TV in Review: Modern Family, “Planes, Trains and Cars”
May 5, 2012 Leave a comment
This week on Modern Family we get a few separate story lines, linked thematically through their focus on modes of transportation — hence the title, “Planes, Trains and Cars.” As usual, all will be will at the end, with the story lines along the way revealing a lot about the fears and desires of the characters before we wind up with this…
We start with Phil, who goes car shopping and must confront a quandary. Practical? Or fun? In other words, will he lease the Cadillac sedan, or for the fancy Porsche?
PHIL: Colonel Klink, that is nice.
Cam and Mitch take Lily on a train ride, which made me think “Really? People with money take the train in L.A.?”
I mean, not only do Cam and Mitch have money, but they have the kind of money that comes with a brother-in-law deciding between a Cadillac and a Porsche…and what is the dilemma faced by Jay, Gloria, and Manny? Oh yeah, it’s whether to travel to Jay’s meeting at Pebble Beach with his high school football friends in a BMW, a small plane, or a helicopter.
GLORIA: I am not getting on that little thing. What if the rubber band snaps and we fall out of the sky?
Frankly, the helicopter option seemed to be in part an excuse for Gloria to make her “takka-takka-takka” sound.
We get the standard discoveries. Cam and Mitch discover that their fear of homeless hygiene is greater than their need to recover Lily’s doll. Gloria discovers that Jay wants to parade her around like a trophy (and she likes it). Phil discovers that he enjoys getting to know his kids by driving them around. Claire discovers that she enjoys driving up the coast to the beach…that is, until she loses her keys.
But I didn’t get as many of my own desires met in this episode as usual. True, there were some amusing lines and gaffes…
PHIL: You know what, I’d rather take her for a spin. Let’s get her top down and see what she can do. I — no — I meant the convertible…
…but not as many as in their best episodes. And, worst of all, Manny’s affectations didn’t give me the usual sense of joy I get from his comically advanced tastes. Although I did like the look on his face when Jay told him there wouldn’t be any bathroom breaks on the ride to Pebble Beach.
So yeah, I enjoyed the rides, but it wasn’t as much fun as taking a private plane or buying a Porsche. Maybe the lesson is I should take off today and go drive down the coast…in my Hyundai Elantra…
ABC first broadcast Season 3, Episode 21 of Modern Family on May 2, 2012.
Polentical: TV in Review: Modern Family, “The Last Walt” (Season 3, Episode 20)