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'Modern Family': 'Everybody wants a slice'

March 11, 2010 |  6:38 am
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Everybody wants a slice.

That’s how Phil sums up his popularity to a prying Claire when she learns that he has reconnected with an old high school flame by way of Facebook.

I certainly get awkward hearing from a high school flame, and I'm just a twentysomething. I couldn't imagine my parents' reaction to hearing from an old flame -- though I'd kill to be one of Phil’s 447 friends and see the pictures he posts and what crazy status updates he writes.

“Women in their 30s on the Internet, they’re like ninjas. They get in their little black outfits and they try to sneak their way into your marriage,” she warns him.

Of course, meeting up with a newly divorced ex could be a recipe for disaster for Phil. Poor Phil, the man really doesn't keep the light on upstairs, does he?

The show has seen a lot of guest stints, and although some have worked, others have fizzled. But I knew there was no way Judy Greer would disappoint as the old flame. She even brought her best ninja game to the table, and yes she had on black.

119177_1181_pre I’ve been in love with Greer since she starred in “Jawbreaker,” and for this unabashed rom-com fanatic, she always plays a good supporting lady. Check out “The Wedding Planner” and “27 Dresses” for a good fix.

But her comedy skills are what make her shine, and there is no denying that she completely killed in “Arrested Development.” It was only fitting that she appeared in the best sitcom to air on television since then, and she reminded me again why I fell in love with her. She has this frantic style of comedy that I love and also scares me a little. She sure can play the jilted woman with a wicked sense of humor.

And Greer opposite Ty Burrell was another bit of brilliant casting. It was physical comedy at its best. Phil’s ineptness mixed with the brazen come-ons of a ninja in heat were the absolute highlight of the episode.

This show's continued success is rooted in the fact that it's taken the family sitcom and, well, made it modern again.

The story lines are ones we've seen versions of on many past hits:  Jay accidentally kills Manny’s beloved turtle and lies about it (pick a sitcom, any sitcom). The same for Claire and Phil's tug-of-war and ditto for Mitchell’s dilemma of working too hard and missing precious moments with the family. We have seen it before, and it doesn’t matter one bit. The combination of impeccable writing, spot-on acting and cast chemistry make this family sitcom rise above. I could just watch the three households for hours on end.

It’s only appropriate that I share some of my favorite moments from the episode:

Mitchell: “Lily just stood on her own for the first time.”
His boss:  “Yeah, they do that, it's a big day.”

Mitchell (after quitting): “I need the ID to make the elevator go down ... to freedom.” He grabs a mug  “... and this to complete the set.”

Alex (to Hayley): “Don't you have an eating disorder you need to attend to?”

Nearly every Cam-Mitchell moment is quotable, but the car scene was my favorite. Mitchell wanted to see if Cam could hear him speaking with the window down, as he feared his boss could when he bashed him while on the phone.  "Go around!  We're re-creating a faux pas,” Cam shouts to honking cars. Then we get this gem:  "I sort of had to shout," Mitchell informs him.  "You had to what?" Cameron asks.  “Shout.” “A little bit louder now," Cameron says.  “Shout.”  “A little bit louder now.”  “Shout,” Mitchell yells back.  "Hey-hey-ay-ee-ay-ee!"

Jay : “It was like a bloody pillow fight,” he tells Gloria when describing the accidental death of Mitchell’s bird, Flyza Minnelli, which died in his care. Mitchell also had a snake, Zsa Zsa Gaboa.

Phil (after Claire and Denise learn he dated them both at the same time): "I know the pain is fresh, but the lie is really old."

Cameron (after learning Mitchell quit his job): "I am used to nice things, what are we gonna do?"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter @GerrickKennedy)

Photos, from top: Phil and guest star Judy Greer. Phil was right -- she did want a slice. Jay teaches Manny a life lesson. Credit: ABC

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