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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 5.17 - Other People's Children






This episode appears to have a high amount of Sociopathic!Lily, which can only be a good thing. Onward forth!

The family is gathered for dinner at Jay and Gloria's, coinciding with a major basketball game. However, Cam and Mitch bow out to take Manny and Alex to an art exhibit (postwar abstract expressionism, lucky bastards), Haley has a date, and Gloria and Claire are taking Lily flower girl dress shopping, so Jay and the overly eager Phil are left together. Jay is just thrilled. Opening credits.

Joe is with Elijah Andy the manny. In desperation, Jay begs Andy to bring the baby along and watch the game. However, Andy is already occupied with finding the perfect gift for the girlfriend-who-may-or-may-not-exist. Phil is only too glad to offer suggestions.

Lily immediately fixates on a Belle (as in Beauty and the Beast) dress in the Disney Store window, because she wants to be a princess even if it's her dads' wedding. Gloria and Claire both balk. Meanwhile, Cam, Mitch, Alex and Manny form a mafia of cultured people, bonded by years of intellectual loneliness. They have a nice laugh at the expense of their relatives. To be fair, I can't pretend that I haven't done this myself. In secret. However, Cam is a little nervous about looking cool with his smart family, so he has learned everything he can about Kandinsky in advance. The exhibit turns out to be closed. Manny, Alex and Mitch happily move on to a Matisse, but Cam struggles.

Phil and Andy have ditched the basketball to make a video love letter for Andy's girlfriend. Haley, a longtime Andy hater, thinks the idea is ridiculous and tries to plant seeds of insecurity, but the oblivious Andy will not be dissuaded. However, she doesn't have much to brag about, because her date appears to have stood her up. Andy calls him inconsiderate, to which she scoffs - no way can considerate be sexy.

Lily is fed up with shopping, but Gloria and Claire have to win their battle of wills. Gloria loves flair, Claire loves tradition, and they are stuck. Gloria whines about not having daughters to buy pretty clothes for. Claire admits that she's never even tried a wedding dress on. Gloria squeals. Game over.

In the Pritchett basement, Jay continues on a manliness quest of his own - teaching Luke how to lift weights (and Joe, though he can only watch). Luke is in awe and immediately agrees to this. Over at the museum, Cam is feeling increasingly out of his element and wishes he was back on the farm. He wants to leave, but Mitchell won't let him - because he is scared of being the dumb one.

Phil and Andy continue to have fun with the green screen. Phil confesses that he loves film, and loves love..."I guess you could say I love making love on film." When Andy hesitates partway through filmmaking, Phil advises him to look deep into his eyes. However, they agree it's weird, so Haley is called in. She thinks it's stupid, but Phil recruits her anyway. They stare into each others eyes...and to her credit, she's only affected a little.

Mitchell and the kids leave the museum, where he manages to repeatedly sound stupid. He decides to go check on Cam...which leaves Manny with the title of Stupid. Harsh world, guys.

The video is finished, and Andy and Phil say more homoerotic things. Haley's date arrives, honking at her from outside, which causes Phil and Andy to remark that he is obviously not a gentleman. Haley mutters about their naivete. The guys ignore her and decide to re-enact Gravity instead. Phil calls Sandra Bullock, though. Haley happily departs for her date - but has some harsh words for him. In the end, she winds up canceling.

Claire comes out in a poofy wedding dress, causing Gloria to squeal over her stepdaughter's beauty. Claire tries to join in, but Gloria sees right through her attempts to get this over with. At a stalemate, they decide to go home and shout for Lily. The child is nowhere to be found. They run out of the store (Claire still in the dress), shouting her name. Sure enough, she's in the Disney dress, which can only be named as such because this show is on the Disney-owned ABC. Claire and Gloria realize how happy she looks dressed as Belle, and decide to let Lily wear it, even if it invokes Cam and Mitch's wrath. In fact, her dads are totally cool with it. Manny leaves the museum, destroyed by Alex, and they commiserate on their collective stupidity. Alex follows soon after and suggests they go find food. In an interview segment, she admits that she was tired of having to dumb herself down.

The manliness quest continues, and Luke proudly builds his first birdhouse. He is in complete awe of his accomplished grandfather. Jay reflects that he doesn't really have anyone to pass things onto - Mitchell wasn't interested, Manny was already very much himself by the time he met Jay, and Joe won't be old enough for a long time. As a last touch, he offers Luke his first taste of beer. However, he pauses, and realizes that he doesn't want to deprive Phil of that moment. He sends Luke on his way, and exalts the miracle of beer to his infant son.

The Gravity remake continues, and it's hilarious. Alex asks what's going on. Haley recaps what happened, and tells her it was "actually kind of sweet". It's all cool, until Alex remarks that he's just like their Dad. Haley runs out in disgust.

Tag scene - Cam, Mitchell and Manny make a whole bunch of pretentious arty comments. It turns out they're talking about Alex, who has just gotten mustard all over her shirt. Cam gets a little too bitchy and winds up with more mustard in his face.

Okay, Phil and Andy - gold, especially with Haley's growing nuances. I love what they've done with her this season. The Jay story and the Claire/Gloria story proved to be filler. I did get a kick out of the ridiculous art museum plot. And as they Lampshaded, it really was nice to see that foursome together. All in all, it was a nice, normal episode of Modern Family - nothing revolutionary, but not bad either.

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