'Modern Family' - 'Benched' Recap
by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 15th 2010 3:43AM
(S01E20) I never got mortally embarrassed by my parents. I guess I always assumed that everyone else had them, so they understood. Or maybe I just saw too many television shows and movies about teenagers being horrified to be seen by other kids in the vicinity of those old people who brought them into the world. I don't know, though, if I could get even in quite the way that Claire did this week.
Hilarious but brutal.
On second thought, teenagers are horrible, manipulative, shallow little creatures. Claire did nothing wrong except maybe teach a little humility.
Surprisingly, her lesson was for Alex, and not Hayley. In fact, Hayley was nowhere to be seen this episode; maybe she was having a bad hair day and refused to come out of the bathroom. I was wondering how long before they'd start writing Alex and Manny with some of those classic teenage tendencies, but I didn't expect them to both get there at the same time.
While Alex couldn't be seen shopping with her mother, Manny didn't want the embarrassment of Gloria's enthusiastic support at his basketball games. Her Latin blood wouldn't allow her to be quiet (as always, there are too many great lines in each episode to spotlight without recreating the entire script), so it was better for her to go.
The rejection by their kids allowed Claire and her stepmom to bond a bit, with Lily in tow. I love how Gloria's solution to the ungrateful pre-teen in her life was to have another baby, when all Claire was talking about was ice cream. I could certainly go for some ice cream, but I'm pretty sure there's nothing my son could do that would ever make me want to bring another baby into this world to make myself feel better.
It was good to see Phil stand up for himself with Jay. Since Phil is a bit of a woman, as Jay indicated earlier in the episode, it's expected that Jay would try and dominate him at every turn. Jay's an alpha male, and he's used to taking charge. Luckily, Phil didn't have to bust out the Captain and Tennille (or Peaches and Herb) to get Jay to give him a chance with coaching. Unfortunately, Manny and Luke's team is rather terrible.
I doubt they'll continue on with Jay and Phil co-coaching the team, but it would be fun seeing them handle real practices. It's kind of hard to affect change during games, which is essentially all they got when the angry coach from 'Lost' stormed off the court.
While all this was going on, the reason Lily was with the moms was because Cameron and Mitchell were having a luncheon meeting with a potential employer for Mitchell. I was looking forward to seeing Mitchell out of work, but it's worth him going back so quickly to see the entire episode where they were lying to one another about what they really wanted, thinking the other wanted the opposite when they really wanted the same thing. Yes, it was as confusing as all that, but Cam crying and babbling incoherently about pancakes was priceless.
I just realized tonight that we have only two more episodes left this season, but I'm ready to call it now. 'Modern Family' has to have one of the most consistent and amazing first seasons of any comedy series. Each episode is so packed with laughs and brilliant dialogue, that it has few rivals in the history of television.
Critics were quick to praise this show early in the season, and just as many were warning that it was too soon to declare 'Modern Family' one of the greatest comedies of all time. After this first season, I'd say the show is making a pretty strong case for itself.
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