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Modern 1.22 – Airport 2010


Grade: A

Today I woke up knowing that I had way too much work to do. My fault, I had been putting it off. But even as I thought essays on Dugongs and rational electorates to finish, there would be one highlight to my day – watching Modern Family. No show makes me happier. No show makes me laugh more and then throws me a heart warming scene at the end that provokes me to call my mother.

Last night’s episode, Airport 2010, was probably one of the best episodes that the show has done.

I think one of the best parts of Airport 2010 was that every family’s stories were interconnected. It’s nice having three different stories occurring in parallel, but more often than not one of the three usually falls a bit flat. There premise of last night is that Jay and Gloria are going on a vacation to Hawaii (or Hawai’i, if you’re like one of my friends) but, SURPRISE, the entire family is invited.

The writing of Modern Family continues to impress me. The aspect of the episode that really resonated with me is the chaos that usually comes from family vacations. They’re meant to be fun yet often times the preparation brings its own set of headaches. Claire is afraid of flying and needs Phil, Mitch is angry that Cam wasn’t as helpful as he could have been in the morning, these are nagging issues that every family has to deal with. And even though they could be mundane, the writers of Modern Family are experts at taking the mundane and twisting it to the hilarious (I mean, it’s not hard when you have real estate ninjas). Even the shout out to Lost was little zings towards Claire’s apprehensions with flight (though honestly, what are the chances that Luke of all people has seen Lost?). Phil also showed that even though his mind is like a child running through a meadow, he still can give the right advice from the heart. It was a nice moment with him and Mitch that worked extremely well especially since Mitch and Phil are such polar opposites and haven’t really interacted often.

The relationships between the spouses are flawless written. (“People say that I’m made for Hawaii” “What people?” “…You don’t know them?”). That interaction was such a minuscule aspect of the episode’s dialog but was a perfect microcosm of the Mitch/Cam marriage. And even though I’ve thought relationship between Gloria and Jay has lacked some creativity in the past, it really hit its stride last night.

Even small little touches such as Cam spraying Lily with mist to keep her awake like she was some sort of plant were laugh-inducing. It’s frustrating to see sitcoms only rely on situations to create the comedy. Modern Family does rely on situations at times, but also has created characters that are so likable and developed that they can hold on their own. Babies make noise on planes. It’s annoying. Cam is considerate, super campy, enjoys bonsai trees and wants Lily to sleep; he decides to keep her awake before they enter the gate. This is seemingly mundane but it’s handled so beautifully it’s hard to imagine how the writers come up with it.

Other highlights were Hayley and Dylan, but not together. Though they only shared one scene (and a good one – “prisoner trapped in a cell of loneliness” might be my new go-to line) they both were able to hold their own by themselves. Hayley ended up hitting on a kid who was still in middle school while Dylan was trapped in the Dunphy’s home. Dylan running away frantically in his skinny jeans while the alarm blasts in the background might be one of the greatest things his character has done.

There were too many small moments throughout the episode that stuck out and commenting on them would be fruitless. From Gloria’s “SURPRISE” to Claire and Phil boarding the plane at the very end, it’s extremely clear that the cast along with the writers are the most talented bunch of any network television show. Believe me, you will be laughing from start to finish.

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