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'Modern Family': Families are like fudge ... mostly sweet with a few nuts

March 25, 2010 |  1:31 pm


"So much of what is great has sprung from the closeness of family ties" is a quote I once read from playwright J.M. Barrie.

Though Sir James has been dead for decades, his statement hits the nail on the head when it comes to “Modern Family.” And no other episode embodies his proclamation as much as “Starry Night,” which aired this week.

For a while I’ve been hoping we would get an episode chock full of intermixing between the families as part of the plotline. Viewers know that in past episodes when they have done this, it has worked. In early episodes such as  “The Incident” or “Fizbo,” it was the entire family dynamics that made those episodes so incredibly brilliant and spot on.

With “Starry Night,” the writers threw fans a bone when they divided the plot between certain family members in an attempt to spark new bonds.

There was Cameron and Gloria, who spent a night out on the town visiting some of Gloria’s old haunts. Manny and Mitchell – who virtually have had no screen time together in the past – finally had a chance to really bond like brothers. And as if they don’t bond enough, we got another Luke and Phil subplot – which is always a treat that never disappoints.

Switching things up played nicely. Cameron continued to put his foot in his mouth in regard to Gloria, Manny desperately wanted to bond with his big brother, and that was too cute for words -- even when his zingers "crossed the line," as Jay said. What I liked most is how the Dunphy kids are being used. On other family shows, the kids seem to be mere filler, but not here. They are always thrust into the action, and as they continue to show us, they can hang with their adult counterparts. Now if only we could see more of the kids with their step-grandmother.

Given this was one of the stronger episodes of late, there were way too many quote-worthy moments. Here are a few of my favorite moments from the best dysfunctional family around:

Phil: What’s my favorite way to relax? Throw on my wireless headphones and disappear into the Nature Channel. [Sadly, Luke thought Phil’s noise cancellation headphones meant that no one could hear him talk.]

Cameron: I was nervous. There was a lot of different foods on the menu, and on the floor and on the wall.

Mitchell: Are we sure we're not exaggerating just a little bit?
Cameron: Were you there, Mitchell? Because I think I would have recognized the only other white or gay person.

Claire [after eating Haley's cupcakes]: Do we still have the number for poison control?
Phil: I love you, Claire, I'll always love you!
Luke: My mouth is asleep like at the dentist.

Cameron: Tonight is the magnificent Lyrid meteor shower.
Mitchell: It’s where the planet geek passes through the nerdyway.

Phil: I'm really sorry for not underestimating Luke enough.
Claire: Well that means a lot to me.

Gloria: This part of town might be very rough, but the people here, Cameron, are the best!
Cameron: I'm pretty sure I had wheels when I parked here.

Cameron [about him and Gloria]: On paper we should be good friends, one spicy curvy diva.
Mitchell: And Gloria.

Gloria (to a sweating Cam): Your head is running water.

Jay (to Mitchell about looking good in a dress): If you were that type of a gay, you’d probably do all right for yourself.

What were your favorite moments from the episode?

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

Photo: Cam and Gloria have one heck of a night out on the town. Credit: ABC


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