Modern Family, “She Crazy,” (7.4) – TV Review

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MF Crazy

October 14th, 2015, 9PM, ABC

Phil can’t convince anyone else to help him take care of the duck eggs; he plans to build a coop for them but help isn’t readily at hand, as most of the family thinks the eggs are dead or unfertilized. Phil finds himself manipulating Lily into helping out, teaching her a lesson in maintaining a sense of faith over cynicism and finding the fun in hope. Meanwhile, Claire comes up with a great closet design idea and is afraid to suggest it to Jay and his super-pretentious hipstery idea team – but it’s Jay who shoots down her pitch as unoriginal and behind the times, and her day doesn’t get any better when she fails to pitch another client due to a pigeon invasion; Gloria and Manny deal with awkward relationship problems – Manny has a crush on a coffee-serving barista and Gloria wants to have dinner with her favorite telenova actress, both are staying and working at the same hotel, and they conspire together to reach their goals – but the girl’s not interested in Manny and Gloria quickly embarrasses herself in front of Mariela Morales. And Cam relives his college days when a bunch of frat guys rent the upstairs apartment, stampeding recklessly about the condo, covering for them when noise complains come pouring in and leaving bootmarks all over Mitch’s new rug. They quietly drive Mitch to distraction, and Mitch finds himself venting to an anxious Luke while trying to teach the latter to drive – not an easy feat, as Luke has failed his test twice in a row. But when they find Cam in the middle of the road being pranked by the frat Mitch must admit that he thinks the college kids are using him.

Sometimes, against all odds, Modern Family actually manages to get it right. “She Crazy” is generally a funny outing, especially when it manages to give a positive point of view that’s useful and actually rewarded. The unfairness of the ducks eventually imprinting on Claire is sort of annoying, but otherwise Phil is back as a shining beacon of human niceness, and that alone makes this episode more tolerable than the last ten.

Falling on the weird side of the spectrum is Gloria and Manny’s plot; while it’s nice to see that even uberconfident Gloria has weak moments, though Manny’s flirtation with the barista is kind of hampered by the fact that we never get to see her. Luke’s plotline, meanwhile, manages to humanize him in a way he hasn’t been seen in seasons, and Mitch as his foil was a nice twist. Cam’s frattish behavior fits his love of being social, his ability to get along with anybody and his previous days as a football star.

Claire’s plot worked decently – the addition of pigeons using her as a landing zone was rather uncessary and seemed like too much and too broad.

The only real downside was an unfortunate moment that showed Cam fitting into friend groups of different ethnicities…by participating in the most stereotyped behavior possible (IE: reacting loudly with shouted instructions to a horror movie while sitting with a black family). It was a racist stumble in an otherwise good episode .

The Roundup

  • Haley makes a “boop boop” noise when she wants Dylan to fast-forward.
  • Phil has named one of the ducks Quack Nicholson, after the actor Jack of course.
  • ”My choices today are frat house, car crash, or duck village. I’m feeling very confident in my choice.”
  • ”You’ve got your whole life to roll your eyes!”
  • ”It’s more fun believing when nobody else does – anyone can be a doubter.”
  • I have no idea what they were thinking with those little Cam scenes but I can’t excuse them. Ugh.
  • Luke found the duck eggs in “Alex Goes to College” last week.
  • Haley too had driving lesson problems, and it took her a try or two to get her license.
  • Cam’s collegiate years as a hard-partying jock have been addressed previously in episodes like “Farm Strong”.
  • Next Week: Claire takes Haley and Alex to work day (…even though they’re both in or post-collegiate) but her employees get in the way of a positive experience; Jay replaces Gloria as an aid at Joe’s preschool when his wife gets Jury Duty and Mitch and Cam argue over who to invite to a party in “The Verdict”.
7.1 GOOD

The humor’s improving but there are some moments that earn a side-eye. This late in the game the show should treasure what minor victories they get.

  • GOOD 7.1
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About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of Firefox.org, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.