Thoughts on tonight's "Modern Family" just as soon as I drive through neighborhoods that have only recently been gentrified...
Thirty seconds into Fizbo, I tweeted an objection to "Modern Family" being the latest show to use the very tired in media res opening device. (See Tuesday's "V" for a recent hackneyed example.) By the time we found out why they were in the hospital, though, my objections had gone away. For once, the non-chronological storytelling served a purpose: adding a nice comic kick to the party as we wondered if the crossbow, the rock wall, the poisonous scorpion, Dylan's mayonnaise allergy or something else would land a character in the hospital.
At this point, in fact, I may just need to start putting some real trust in the "Modern Family" creators. I'm not going to love ever episode (as I didn't the Ed Norton stuff last week), but part of what makes the show so much fun is how it takes things that seem so familiar from other sitcoms - the clueless dad, the party that gets out of control, the bickering siblings, the outrageous uncle - and makes them all feel fresh.
The highlight of "Fizbo" was, of course, Fizbo himself, and how seriously Cam/Eric Stonestreet threw himself into the part. Every time I think that the contrast of Cam's gregarious nature and Mitchell's more introverted, judgmental qualities is going to get old, we get a hysterical talking head like the one where Cameron outlined the four types of clowns, followed by Mitchell creating the marvelous assembly of words that is "weird gay clown uncle."
Rico Rodriguez continues to be wonderful as Manny. The character doesn't know how to tell the Interrupting Cow joke (or its funnier/more aggressive spin-off, Interrupting Starfish), but Rodriguez can even find a way to make Manny's sad bouncing funny. (Gloria being ogled by the dads was more predictable, but when you put Sofia Vergara on a show with a bouncy castle, some things just have to happen the way they're gonna, I suppose.)
We got a more sarcastic side of Phil than usual (I liked him offering to go on a supply run to the 1950s to get Claire some more crafts), which then nicely offset his pathological clown fear.
A very funny, very satisfying episode, and one that'll hold me until the next new one in two weeks.
What did everybody else think?