Quick thoughts on last night's "Modern Family" coming up just as soon as I charge my phone...
"Modern Family" has very quickly reached a level of likability that makes me happy I've watched episodes even when I don't laugh a whole lot. "En Garde" was far from the funniest episode they've done - though it had some good comic beats, like Cameron freaking out over the orange slices, or Jay saying "Duuude" to Manny, or Jay and Gloria's increasing horror at what Manny was doing to his opponent(*) - but I've grown to enjoy spending time with these people, and to get a goofy smile on my face when I see moments like Claire and Mitchell acting out their ice skating routine, sans skates.
(*) I actually think I would have enjoyed the punchline to the fencing story more if I didn't spend several minutes wondering if Mo Collins was hustling Jay and Gloria so they would get Manny to throw the match. I feel like I've seen that beat too often on a lot of sitcoms, and was relieved in the end that "Modern Family" didn't go there.
I do have a couple of ongoing issues, though. First is that Phil needs to start demonstrating that he's not an utter moron in every aspect of his life, and soon. I suppose it would just make the Michael Scott comparisons even more obvious, but I was hoping it would turn out that Phil had conspired with Luke to sing the praises of the house and help close the sale. Instead, Phil was (at first) as ignorant about it as everything else. (In fairness, I did laugh at him saying Luke was gonna drink your milkshake.)
Second is that I'm losing patience with the heart-warming voiceovers at the end of each episode. I appreciate that a lot of the show's broader appeal (as opposed to something like "Arrested Development") is that it's clear these people, for all their quirks, love each other. And I have no problem with warmth in my sitcoms. Some of my favorite moments on "The Office," or on "Frasier" or "Cheers" or any other comedy I've loved, have come on those occasions where the writers set the jokes aside for something a little sweeter. But there's plenty of warmth in these episodes without Jay or Claire or whoever having to spell out the moral of the story for the audience at the end, and it's starting to feel both obligatory and forced.
What did everybody else think?