TV in Review: Modern Family, “Snipped”
October 23, 2012 Leave a comment
I haven’t seen the very latest, but through the first three, each episode of Modern Family’s fourth season has been better than the last. In “Snipped,” it felt once more like we were peaking through a window in their lives, rather than watching a rusty creative team try to get back into game shape. (Writes the blogger who can’t help but mix metaphors. As Grandma used to say, you can’t teach old dogs which way the wind blows.)
So, what’s to like about “Snipped”?
Phil and Claire sniping at each other about the snipping had some of the great obliviousness that is Modern Family at its best. (And which also, I would argue, allows for its sentimental moments to be effective.)
Luke makes an appearance, booby-trapping his locker with yogurt, which winds up exploding on Claire. Although Luke and Manny seem to be mostly marginal thus far this season.
The creative team also hasn’t t rushed into showing Haley’s collegiate escapades just yet. Her only appearances in “Snipped” came via Skype, or whatever non-branded video conferencing they use in the world of sitcoms.
Modern technology not only connects you to your kids in college, it allows modern sitcoms to show audio-visual of their modern daughters as they’re off at college, without cutting away to campus.
I thought Eric Overstreet was already overdoing the 1970s gay-man-with-waving-hands thing. And then they have him do this.
CAM: Have you ever stitched Lycra? It’s not for Lily. It’s for the cat. It’s a mermaid costume for the cat. My master project is a mermaid costume for a cat.
All is forgiven, because sometimes it really works. As in, really really works.
Can we get mustachio Cam on every episode please?
(Speaking of which, if you’ve never watched this twenty-three seconds of prime grade People’s Court, please do it. Now.)
Okay, this is a tiny detail that is the kind of tiny detail I notice. In this episode we get references or oddities (the mustache! the bigger belt line!) without it being made too obvious, as sometimes happened in the last couple episodes.
I liked the silliness when Cam dropped by and surprised Mitch at the office…
…and they wind up having a public fight…
JEOUX: I don’t know what you’re doing. Should I wave?
The writers are on top of it enough in this episode that they take a lousy joke — Claire’s witticism that she has “post-post office distress disorder” — and make it both better and longer by making it multi-layered, so it’s also about Haley hating the joke and Phil (of course) loving it.
Poor, oblivious Phil. Let’s look at him in action, shall we?
See Phil run away from his vasectomy…
See Phil argue with Jay…
See Phil get worried about issues of masculinity and yet remain oh-so oblivious…
PHIL: Can I get a copy?
JAY: Oh, there’ll be a lot of copies.
This just makes me love Phil all the more more.
Jay also has his concerns about masculinity and fatherhood, of course. Turns out he’s frightened of having a baby girl. So that means Jay and Gloria are going to have a baby girl, right?
They’re gonna need a bigger belt.
ABC first broadcast Season 4, Episode 3 of Modern Family on October 10, 2012.
Polentical: TV in Review: Modern Family, “Schooled” (Season 4, Episode 2)