Modern Family, “Three Turkeys,” (6.8) - TV Review


MF Turkey

Modern Family, Season 6, Episode 8, “Three Turkeys”

November 19th, 2014, 9PM, ABC

This week, Thanksgiving once more descends upon the Dunphy-Pritchett clans, and there is, quite naturally, chaos. Luke and Phil team up to cook dinner, and Claire’s worries over the notion of them neglecting the family’s preferences are extreme enough to convince her to make a back up turkey, which she then hides in the garage to spare their feelings. When Alex finds Claire tending to it they try to be as spontaneous as Luke and Phil, which leads to them causing a short in the electrical system that results in their needing to move the whole meal to Jay and Gloria’s, where the turkey secret becomes nearly impossible to hide. Meanwhile Manny, Hayley and Luke try to make up for the gaps in Phil’s cooking education and Phil embarks on a flirtation…with his Nigela Lawson cooking app while trying to get the meal together and facing disaster after disaster. Jay and Gloria, too, scramble to hide when their trip to Mexico is cancelled at the last minute due to a mudslide and the entire family congregates at their house for dinner, resulting in them learning some unpleasant truths about their clan while hiding with wine and baby Joe in their walk-in closet. Lily, meanwhile, refuses to wear a fancy dress to dinner and Cam must play ‘bad cop’ with his daughter and come up with a solution to the problem. Mitch, meanwhile, refuses to intervene, sick of playing ‘bad cop’ to Cam’s ‘good cop.’; and Manny and Hayley deal with an awkward incident that keeps getting more awkward after he accidentally grasps her breast during a short stop in the car.

Awkward is the name of the game this week, and there’s no one more awkward in a good way than the Dunphys. Watching Phil try to prove Claire wrong and produce a successful meal was fun –I can’t say the same for the Nigela Lawson plot, which at times turned downright creepy. The show acknowledged and lampshaded the moment, which made it more acceptable as satire – but it’s still creepy no matter how much effort was put into that.

Also creepy was the quasi-incestuous stuff going down between Manny and Hayley. Ratcheting up the discomfort until you have to either laugh or hide your eyes, the storyline is somehow simultaneously very funny and very cringeworthy. Rico Rodriguez and Sarah Hyland guide the plot in a way that makes it funny, but the second-hand embarrassment almost makes it too hard to follow.

The Cam and Mitch part was amusing, with little Lily again leading the plot and tossing in a lot of amusing one-liners. Self-assured Cam, who can coax a whole football team into behaving being wrapped around his daughter’s little finger is always a fun character trait; and of course poor Mitch is the disciplinarian. Again, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons is worth however much they’re paying her, she’s an endless fount of humor.

The least distinct part definitely belonged to Jay and Gloria, which is a shame because their plot last week was very enthralling in a sitcommy way.

Yet another freewheeling spin through the Dunphy/Pritchett clan’s lives, “Three Turkeys” provided another outlandish, frantic, yet funny look at life in a busy, loving family. A good, average episode of the show, fitting well into its general canon.
The Roundup

  • That really was Ms. Lawson voicing her own role, by the way.
  • Mitch hates raisins.
  • Alex considers keeping Luke alive her mission, and once caught him running on a treadmill with scissors.
  • ”The Kennedys Didn’t Get Together This Much!” And how, Jay.
  • Phil mixes scotch and 7-Up.
  • Jay likes to spank Gloria…apparently.
  • Next Week: On the day before Thanksgiving, the episode “Do Not Push” will repeat. Happy holidays for those celebrating!

Jam-packed with hilarity – and awkwardness. Those who succumb to second-hand embarrassment easily need not apply, but otherwise this is a fun, basic run-of-the-mill episode of the show.

  • GREAT 8.9

About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, 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.