Elements of this story were fun: Cam's obsession with playing a clown at Lily's birthday party, and the twist which has Claire's ex-boyfriend falling for Claire's mom and Claire's mom subsequently fighting with Gloria over Jay. But Julie Bowen's overacting spoils it. She seems to feel she has to gesticulate wildly, flail her arms about, shake her head furiously, bare her teeth and deliver her lines in a voice that alternates between pitches so low and so high that she sometimes whispers and at other times literally squeaks. The scene in which she confronts Matt Dillon's character is quite painful to watch, and you can see every muscle in her body straining to get out her lines. I wish someone would take her aside and tell her that she doesn't need to overplay her scenes in this self-consciously manic way, but as she's now won an Emmy, I'm not holding my breath.
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