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Episode 12 - Our Children, Ourselves

24 April 2016

Initially I thought these plots were quite promising. I liked Jay just being honest and telling the Hoffman's he just wasn't interested in being friends. I was intrigued by the idea of Alex developing a nervous tick from the stress of studying. And even though it would obviously not be his kid, the red headed child in the distance also seemed to promise something different for Mitchell and Cameron to do.

Instead each plot was far worse than I could have imagined. This isn't 1985 but the writers seem permanently trapped in a world where the only comedy can come from misunderstandings and mature adults being insecure and foolish. The misunderstandings in particular feel so old hat, they are dragging the show down. Mitchell's ex didn't have a red headed son, but a red headed husband, who was a little person! Oh the embarrassment, oh the misunderstandings. It was utterly cringe inducing and the red hair looked like a wig.

Meanwhile instead of Jay and Gloria maturely dealing with their conflict we got some awful jokes based around the idea that Jay had lost his mind. Similarly Claire's freak out about whether she was intellectual enough for her children was based on the silly insecurity of what others might think. Actually that plot was the best of three because it showed off Claire and Phil being a couple for once and having fun. Still, I think they should be more worried about Alex' facial tick.

The closing scene was quite irritating because it was the most interesting of the episode. Phil learns from Mitchell that he had slept with a girl, something he had no idea about. Now there was a genuinely interesting moment, a father who had assumed he would have a straight son, who had to adapt to having a gay one, learning more about his son's sexual life in a comfortable way. It had potential and the humour flowed from it naturally without need for a misunderstanding.  We are approaching the point where I might stop writing about Modern Family. I will probably stick it out the rest of the season but the show has a chronic problem and I don't want to spend every week pointing out how old fashioned and limited the writing team can be.



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  • I can't believe a line that Phil had in this episode. He compares Alex's twitch to a specific challenge in miniature gulf where you have to maneuver your gulf ball through the opening and closing mouth of a giant hippo. He looks at her lovingly, as she's twitching, and says, "I can't believe the number of times my balls hit those teeth." I couldn't believe I heard that. There was no laugh track after the line, which leads me to believe that the writers wanted most viewers to miss it. I didn't!

    Viewer score: 100 / 100

    Posted by Kurt, 22/04/2016 7:48am (2 years ago)

  • As someone with Tourette's Syndrome I was quite interested with where they would go with Alex's tic. Was it a nervous tic? Was it OCD or Tourette's related? Was it going to be the butt of jokes or was it going to be a refreshing take on tics?

    But alas, as you mentioned it was almost entirely abandoned. I'm not sure if I should celebrate that it didn't devolve into a misuse of tics, or if I should be disappointed that it didn't seize the opportunity to use tics intelligently.

    Posted by Brando, 13/01/2011 9:30pm (8 years ago)

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