‘Modern Family: Phil on Wire’ Review
This was a busy episode of Modern Family. There were four completely different plot lines following the various characters this week. None of them were particularly funny enough to carry an entire episode. However, they were each given just enough time to dish out some great comedy without feeling overdrawn. Clearly the writers had some small ideas that they knew couldn’t be big enough for a larger run time.
The first we saw was Jay letting the new dog do everything he could with him and Gloria getting angry and perhaps a bit jealous. The shower sequence was hysterical and smartly didn’t reveal that the dog was in the shower until the best possible moment to get laughs. I also loved the shot of the dog looking directly at the camera in the same way that any of the human characters would. I am not a big fan of the “family dog” comedy that we see on a lot of shows, but luckily this was only a small part of the episode and it was written well enough that a few big laughs were there.
Another storyline this week had Mitch and Cameron doing a juice fast to lose weight. It was great watching Cam be extra moody because he could not eat. It made the ending, which I won’t spoil here all the more hilarious. One thing that surprised me was the lack of the new Lily. She had only one line in tonight’s episode. After the last one I fell in love with her and was excited to see more. Perhaps the writers are still used to when she was silent.
The Dunphy household was split in two this week as Claire and Phil had the kids on separate storylines that both worked. Claire dealt with the two girls being put into the same math class. Alex and Hayley have great chemistry and comedic timing for their respective insults to each other. Meanwhile Claire dealt with an annoying rent-a-cop monitoring the curb outside of the school. This was the weakest story and the ending could have been much funnier had the story been given more time to develop.
However, Phil and Luke made up for it. The two men of the house were watching Man on Wire, leading Phil to want to try it. It was great watching him practice while Luke filmed him. Also, Luke was given all of the junk food in Mitch and Cam’s house leading him to get sick from all the candy and sugar. Luke and Phil easily have the best relationship out of any of the characters on the show. In the end, Luke gave Phil some sound advice and he was able to walk on the wire. It was an appropriately heartfelt ending.
Phil on Wire probably had too much going on but what worked, really worked. I do hope to see more focused storylines in the future but this was still a great episode and continues to prove that even when this show makes mistakes it still comes out on top. (8.5/10)