You know how scientists suspect that certain athletes’ brains process events so quickly that it is almost as if these athletes are perceiving what is happening around them in slow motion? (Wayne Gretzky comes to mind). It supposedly allows them to better anticipate what’s coming and map out how they’ll react faster than regular humans. Well, audience, you and I are these super athletes when it comes to Modern Family – we’re watching jokes coming from waaaay down the ice, anticipating the punchline and the smirk, cringe or eye roll they will generate. Oof.
Last night’s episode was about dreamers versus dream crushers. Kind of like last year’s Punkin Chunkin episode, except Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) have switched roles and Claire is now the dreamer. This may be due to her feeling inadequate and insignificant since she is unable to land a job. This nerve isn’t helped by Haley’s (Sarah Hyland) offhand remark that “There’s something about going to work that makes you feel like you’re worth something…no offense mom.”
Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Jay (Ed O’Neil) remain firmly in the “dream crusher” camp. There are two dreams going on: one involves building a field of dreams for Luke (Nolan Gould) and Manny (Rico Rodriguez). The other is a Pritchett-Dunphy house-flipping project that will hopefully generate some good plot points when the series returns in 2013.
I have to say that I find it odd that Phil isn’t supportive of Claire’s house-flipping idea since he’s a real estate agent. I also wondered, during the scene when Mitch chases Phil and Claire’s minivan, if Jesse Tyler Ferguson runs like that in real life, or if this is another “p.s. I’m gay” trait that’s been added to Mitch’s character.
In the end, Claire and Mitch work miracles and the baseball field is complete and beautiful. I am honestly astounded that there were no Field of Dreams references in the entire episode. Did I just miss them? (Mabe I’m not such a super athlete after all?) It’s just such an obvious movie to allude to with so much potential for puns and rip-offs. And, if we’re being honest, given how the writing’s been going this season, it seems like something the show would do.
Finally, will this baby ever be born so that we can have a new character and be free of Gloria’s pregnancy antics? How much more will Sofía Vergara humiliate herself for the sake of this pregnancy plot? In this episode she sings badly to her baby via microphone, to encourage “bonding”. The bad singing lasts the entire episode – and I mean every scene that she’s in – until Jay tells her that she really can’t sing and must stop. I would have added that not only is she traumatizing that poor fetus, but she’s also over-acting her way out of an Emmy nomination (zing! That’s how you do comedy). And then, inexplicably, she sings the national anthem at Luke and Manny’s baseball game with the gusto of Roseanne Barr. Thankfully we’re spared the rude gesture of a finale. But seriously, what’s the point of all this: she has self-confidence issues? I didn’t realize that this was even an issue.
So, is it me or are the writers trying (too much) to be clever? Maybe when Gloria and Jay’s baby gets here we’ll be treated to some funnier plot lines. I’m personally waiting for Claire to announce she’s pregnant since they’re apparently re-showing “Snip” next week. I think there are some story lines from Father of the Bride II that might be usable…
Modern Family has finished airing its fall episodes and will return to ABC in 2013