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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 6.7 - Queer Eyes, Full Heart


crazyforkate

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Okay, it's late and CFK has to work in the morning, plus CFK really should be working on her graduate school applications instead, but CFK is lazy and if she thinks about the applications for one more minute she'll probably explode, so here goes. Can this review be finished in forty-eight minutes, at midnight PST? Let's find out.

So we know from the title that this is going to be a Cam and Mitch episode, which means alternately adorable and cringeworthy. Awesome. They're at a Clean Water nonprofit gala, which sounds like Claire Underwood's organization, which makes me hope desperately for a House of Cards crossover (let's all take bets on which family member would be Six-Feet-Underwood first). Instead, Mitchell fanboys over some newscaster, complete with pitching a story about some homeless people he is representing.  However, she's much more interested in Cam's story, as an openly gay football coach. Soon enough, they have an interview set up. I hope she realizes what she's getting into before he walks into the studio as Fizbo the Clown. Opening credits.

Jay has discovered his old model of the USS Constitution, which interests Manny about as much as the latest installment in the Kardashian saga. He brags about America for a while, capturing no one's attention. Manny's Spanish tutor arrives, probably played by an interesting guest star, though Manny protests that he wants to take French, since between the poetry and the genuine emotion he's practically a Communist anyway. Diego, the tutor, turns out to be HAWT, and looks familiar but I can't place him. Gloria and Manny argue about learning Spanish for a while, during which Gloria makes several Tobias Funke errors. Has she been hanging out with Phil too much?

Phil comes home to an angry Alex (what else is new?), which he attributes to sleep deprivation. Claire, meanwhile, is more concerned about Haley, who has the audacity to relax and enjoy herself after a day's work. Her Type-A personality absolutely cannot stand this, so she yells at her firstborn for a while to feel better, eventually ripping the headphones off her head in order to be understood. A+ parenting there, Mrs D.

Mitchell also returns home to chaos, as Lily has broken her toy and Cam is in a tizzy about his news segment. He also needs Mitchell's help to cook the varsity coach's annual pancake breakfast, a role traditionally filled by the coach's wife. Busy and a bit offended, Mitchell refuses, but Cam continues to chip at his objections. I imagine he'll be worn down by next scene, and then it'll all go hilariously wrong, since they have a variation of this argument every week.

Andy, Gloria and Jay's "bro-pair", shows up at Casa Dunphy, where he pisses off Claire, exchanges buddy-buddy chat with Phil, and then takes Haley down to the basement for some good old-fashioned side hugs. Claire is quite concerned, but Phil thinks that Andy's just following in his proud studly footsteps (it sounds a lot better the way the writers put it, honest). Over at Jay and Gloria's, Manny still hates Spanish, but Gloria and the Sexy Tutor are getting along splendidly, having lots of subtitled conversations about food and squirrels. Jay, of course, misinterprets this very badly. Expect WACKY MISUNDERSTANDINGS to follow! Uuugh, I'm getting too old for this shit.

Mitchell and Cameron squabble during the pancake breakfast, which is being filmed by the news crew. Gloria continues to get into seemingly compromising situations with Diego (played by Nicholas Gonzalez - thank you, Google). Jay reacts exactly how you'd expect. Manny has finally gotten into US naval history, and bizarrely, uses it to taunt Jay about his insecurities. He'll stop the teasing - if Jay signs the permission slip so he can move into French class. Of course, there is the predictable commentary about French cowards, which I think is coming from the deep-seated North American insecurity that comes with sensing their innate inferiority to Europe. (Seriously, guys, have you ever heard perfectly spoken French? It makes us sound like a kwyjibo.)

Phil and Claire argue about their overachiever child vs their underachiever child, which we've been hearing for roughly six seasons, only now it's completely Flanderized. Haley tells her mother that she and Andy are in a purely physical relationship just for the "stress relief" of carnal knowledge. Of course, it turns out to be a lie - they're just friends and Haley didn't particularly feel like discussing it with Claire, and so invented the best conversation-stopper ever. Of course, it makes every interaction they have that much funnier.

The filming continues, with Mitchell getting noticeably more annoyed, especially when Cam refers to him as "my Connie Britton", and then reveals that he doesn't remember what Mitch's current case is about. He takes his husband aside and they get into a major argument about who supports whom and which career is more important and oh my god I'm going to bang my head against this desk. Moving on.

Gloria has found out about the French Betrayal and is livid that she can't always dictate her son's life choices. They argue about nothing for a while. It turns out that Diego has also been replaced by an unattractive woman. Gloria tells them how hard it is to use her second language, even after all these years, and how she felt so safe finally getting to use her own language in her home. She storms out, and even Manny's on his mother's side by now.

Andy asks to talk to his best buddy Phil, explaining that he wants a career in real estate and would like to learn from Phil. A little nonplussed, Phil turns him down - but then reveals it was part of his first lesson, "Never take no for an answer". Claire walks in and, instead of assuming that this was a weird courtship thing like I would have, instead expresses concern that Andy may have a conflict of interest. Andy explains that they're helping each other prepare for job interviews, and lets slip that Haley has a big interview with a famous stylist coming up. The parents rejoice that their kid won't die alone and destitute after all.

Cam feels guilty about the fight, so he goes to observe Mitchell in the courtroom to get a glimpse into his life. Mitchell displays brilliant legal talent, impressing the hell out of Cam. Of course, this doesn't stop Cam from (accidentally) doing everything possible to interrupt him, though Mitch doesn't quite catch on that it's his spouse causing the ruckus.

Jay and Gloria make up and apologize and all of that, and Jay reveals that he hired a new tutor - to teach him Spanish. I expect we'll never hear him speak another word of the language, but it's a nice gesture. And a reminder that I need to get back to Swedish practice. Gloria's thrilled that someone else sounds stupid for once, anyway.

Haley is treated rudely at the stylist's office, but manages to give one of those impassioned speeches that never works in real life. It does here. Obviously. And so Haley is now apparently working for Gavin Sinclair (Michael Urie), stylist to the stars. Remember when this show was touted to be realistic?

At the evening football game, the film crew is still there, Manny is mistaken for gay, and Cam uses an interview to extol Mitchell's good qualities. Despite his valiant attempt to substantiate a fluff piece, the finished product is still mostly focused on the game. Haley comes home with her triumphant news, everyone rejoices. We also learn that Beth, Andy's possibly non-existent girlfriend, is still on the scene. Alex is so tired that she's forgotten how to read. Claire takes her child to get some much-needed rest, while Phil rejoices that he was right about the girls after all. So Phil is in contention for Worst Parent of the Episode award and currently the frontrunner. Also, does Luke still exist?

Tag scene - Haley cries after her interview, because misery is funny.

Haley's story could offer some promising comic moments, and I'm still hoping for a Mitch-the-Lawyer spinoff one of these days, but other than that, what a retread! Gloria and Jay fight over ethnic differences, the guys are complaining about their careers, Haley and Alex are different people and that upsets Claire. Frankly, this episode had very little to offer, either new or funny. This show is in desperate need of fresh material. Maybe that squandered opportunity for a House of Cards crossover could come in handy?

 

FJ Discussion Thread

 

...oh, and the self-imposed deadline? Missed by half an hour. Who needs sleep, anyway?

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