Can I just start by saying, what a wonderful episode! Along with last week’s sensitive adoption topic, Modern Family flawlessly handles a few others. From this week on, I’m going to start giving a number out of 5 laughs on the funny scale and this one deserves a 3. Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments section below!
The episode leads off with a yard sale that Manny and Luke’s school is doing to raise money for the children in Africa. Often times we forget what a blessed environment we live in and those who are less fortunate. Manny and Luke really remind us of what’s important albeit for a pizza and pool party! Jay is grumpier than ever with his driveway being the location for this yard sale. Gloria finds a box that Manny had moved out from the attic for sale without her permission. She suspiciously takes it back and will answer no questions. As curious as little boys can be, Luke and Manny sneak it away and discover a head, as Luke predicted – well not a real head – but one of those ventriloquist dolls, Uncle Grumpy. Gloria explains it was for the talent portion of a beauty pageant she took part in 20 years ago. She rehearsed for weeks but ended up freezing on stage. Although she won the pageant anyway, she couldn’t let go of the horrible memories. Luke manipulates Gloria into thinking how sad Manny was as he had lost confidence in his brave mother. She wants her son to be proud of her and conquers her fear by performing a puppet show with Uncle Grumpy, who has an uncanny resemblance to Jay!
Confidence was flowing through this episode with Phil as well. He gives up his…transportation contraption (I have no idea what it’s called) for a motorcycle to prove his sexiness as a man to Claire. Riding it up the mountain, he became one with the bike. He and Gloria both conquered their fears! There was a hilarious parody to the film 127 Hours (2010) when Phil gets stuck under the bike, He ends up slicing off one of the legs off of his jeans and wished he had worn his shants (shorts/pants)! Phil rides the bike back after being stuck on the mountain for a little over 31 minutes and stands up to Claire. Just because he is terrified of motorcycles doesn’t make him any less of a man. It’s okay, Phil! I don’t think you’re any less of a man either!
A nice subplot this week was Alex’s relationship with a cute boy named Michael. If you remember from last season, Michael made an appearance when taking Alex to the prom. Claire is 90% sure Michael is 100% gay and Mitch and Cam agree. Claire asks the two to talk to Alex hoping to save her from heartache. Although Cam is on board, Mitchell tries to stay out of it but of course they both end up meddling. Modern Family did a really good job once again this week on handling this topic as it easily could have gone the other way, into a terrible spiral of controversies. They talk about how boys in this age are no longer the same as before; they’re not concerned with traditional masculinity, they care about how they dress, they groom, etc. It’s really nice to see a lot of shows exploring the male stereotypes rather than just focusing on women, although BOTH are important. When Cam and Mitch talk to Alex, she refuses to listen and decides to just ask Michael straight up. Times are changing and the best way to do it is just to come straight out with it. Michael says he’s not gay, although Modern Family makes it seem obvious that he is but the point is not that, rather it is that it doesn’t matter and it’s not up for us to judge! Leave the boy alone!
Another theme of confidence and conquering fears was seen with Cam in this episode. He’s lost a lot of weight and wants to sell all of his fat jeans. Mitchell wants to protect Cam by saving them because whenever he gains the weight back, at least there is a safety net and he doesn’t have to buy the jeans all new again. Cam explains he can’t have a net or else it’ll be too easy to gain the weight back. Here, we see that conquering our fears is a scary thing but we don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes with a little push (like Gloria and Phil) and support from our friends and family, we can conquer anything!
Overall, this was a really great episode that explored a couple of important topics and gets a 3/5 laughs from me on the funny scale. Hayley made a short appearance via video chat and I can’t wait to see more. Did anything else stand out to you in this episode? How many laughs would you give this episode?