Episode 3 - Earthquake
6 March 2012
Another mixed episode where I was largely satisfied but not entirely happy.
The Dunphy plot had a nice mix of interactions with Phil hiding from Claire and Hayley trying to sneak out and Alex with her own agenda and Luke confused. That mix kept things interesting and Phil's reaction to tripping on the step was probably the thing that made me laugh the most. The earthquake knocked out the step on the staircase which all of last season remained a running gag. Phil is taken by surprise to once more trip on it that he unexpectedly blurts out "You filthy!..." and then moves on.
I also really enjoyed the chat between Claire and the plumber as they are trapped in the bathroom. Claire adoration of her sweet boy Luke and frustration with the all too familiar Hayley has been a consistent part of her behaviour from the start of the show. The obvious truth as to why she is so hard on Hayley is presented to her by the plumber in a very pleasant way.
Manny was in good form as usual. I laughed at him shaking his head and dismissively saying "every morning" when Jay mocked his sugar laden espresso. His relentless questions about heaven and hell were predictable but effective. This did turn into another 'Jay mocks Gloria's beliefs but then caves in' plot. It's an obvious area of their relationship to mine but two episodes in a row is less fun.
Finally over at Mitchell and Cam's we finally get to meet the often mentioned Pepper whose legendary theme parties have now become a chore. I liked the mob wife analogy and Mitch smashing Cam's stuff up as part of his lie. However Pepper seemed like a gay stereotype too far. He hammed everything up and was scripted with a bunch of obvious jokes about being arrogant, being vain, being overdramatic and so on. As ever with Modern Family, perhaps if this plot had had more time to develop he might have been fleshed out more.
Too complaints are beginning to surface in me about the show. One is the familiar call for more focus on one or two stories. The other is the need to find different ways to position the characters. Right now the familiarity of the tone of each story is starting to lower my enjoyment of them.
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