Review: ‘Modern Family’

I honestly wonder if the sting from losing the sixth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series has worn off for the cast and crew of Modern Family. Perhaps this is the time that the ABC sitcom regrouped and focused on capturing its audience again? I sound like I’m making up excuses for it, but I still defend the show. It’s still a solid half hour of television, and the premiere on Wednesday evening proved that this clan can still make us laugh.

At the top of the episode, Haley almost breaks up the engagement between Andy and Beth. She gets there a second too late, and sees Andy get down on one knee. This leads to Haley lounging around the house in a dull shame spiral as her younger sister, Alex, is smitten with her nerdy love, Sanjay. The Dunphys run into lovable scuzzball Dylan at the mall, and it’s clear that Haley is going to give that dependable doofus another chance.

There are smaller stories involving Cam trying to get Mitchell back into the mood for work (Mitch tries to hone his passion for painting, and seeing Jesse Tyler Ferguson disheveled and paint covered is a bit jarring), and Gloria and Jay trying to find Joe a school late in the summer months. These aren’t as funny, however, as Claire and Phil meddling in their daughter’s relationship. Andy and Haley both find out about their true feelings after overhearing the parents talk them (“we need to start having family discussions in the garage,” Phil tells Claire).

My favorite thing about the episode is actually a silly sight gag. Dylan has discovered a passion for creating v-neck t-shirts that have words with the letter V in them–the neckline being the letter. Late in the episode, Jay is confused about the spelling of “evolve” on Claire’s shirt:

“It says evolve, dad. The v-neck is the V.”
“Evolve has two V’s in it.”
“I only have one neck, dad. Don’t make me defend this!”

It’s great to see these characters back for the fall. Hopefully, they will all be given a strong episode and work together in a cohesive episode. It’s clear why this show won so many statues at awards shows.

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