Sometimes, this show can stick to a format so closely that it feels like we're watching re-hashed jokes. And sometimes, the show finds unique ways to show this dysfunctional family coming together in the end. This episode was another good example of what "Modern Family" does write and other shows do wrong.
A lot of people claim they can't see why this show is Emmy-worthy, but I will always argue that the show, while maybe not being laugh out loud funny every second, is more realistic and is easier to connect with. Take, for instance, the plot where Phil and Claire are trying to see who can get to the restaurant first and decide to race in separate cars. Along the way, both parents are confronted with different ideas that parents do come up across: being an un-fun parent and having their children out-grow them. Both plots lead to hilarious moments, including Phil crying, which makes the other girls cry, and Luke and Claire having a discussion about what it means to have two fun parents and one who's serious and one who's not.
With Cam and Mitchell, they are at the mall before Manny's party and Cam meets an old man who is trying to win back the heart of his wife (or who they think is his wife). Mitchell disagrees with this, and Cam gets upset that Mitch is so uptight. However, the table's are turned when it turns out that Mitch was actually a part of a flash mob, which is the reason why he disagreed with spending so much time helping the old man. For me, it was the weakest part of the night, but it was fun nonetheless.
And although I'm usually not a fan of Jay, Gloria and Manny's plots, I was actually really interested in what was going on here. In a fun jab at how Manny is mature for his age, Jay gets Manny a BB gun and explains it's age appropriate because it seems like Manny was born 16 years old. Manny takes this to heart and tries to do things that children do to make up for lost time. Meanwhile, Gloria loses her keys and Jay tries to keep her a lesson about cleanliness.
Like most episodes of the show, everybody comes together and learns their lesson, and today, the whole point was that the adults were acting more like children than the children themselves. The show never pushed that too much though.. other lesser sitcoms would milk that premise for all it's worth, but this show is more subtle about it.
There were some funny moments here too.. Manny was great today, and I thought it was hilarious when he was laying on the float in the pool, looking depressed as hell. Meanwhile, I died laughing when Phil claimed that "if you ain't white, you ain't right," referring to his team at a family camp (the white team), and then we're given a short scene showing him wearing a T-shirt that says this with a black cab driver mad about it. The show sometimes resorts to typical sitcom humor, but today, there was a lot of subtle jokes. The show does a good job of blending new and old style of humor, and I really like it.
So far, the show has been great this season, with only a few speedbumps along the way.