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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 6.8 - Three Turkeys





Yes, some of you out there might be aware that Americans have this strange little holiday called Black Friday Eve, or as it was known until 2006, Thanksgiving. It involves Pilgrims and Native Americans and football. So how is this going to work as an episode, you ask? I don't know, but we'd better set up some odds. Phil dropping a turkey on a sensitive body part, either his or someone else's - 2-1. Cam screwing up a big football game - 8-1. And quality writing for all the storylines in the episode? 1,000,000 to 1, folks. Let's see if they deliver.

And yes, I know I'm two days late on this, but this week has been hellaciously busy, so bite me. I mean, it's not like any of you still watch this show.

Phil has been put in charge of the big dinner, which he is learning how to handle with a Nigella Lawson app. And yes, the idea of Phil in charge should strike terror into your heart. It certainly does with Claire. Manny is staying with the Dunphys, as Jay, Gloria and Joe have forsaken this great family occasion to party in Mexico with a bunch of Gloria's family. What, did Sofia Vergara have a supporting part in a romantic comedy to film or something? Also, it's Luke's birthday the next day, which I don't think the show has ever mentioned before.

Turns out that Gloria's relatives cancelled on the trip, so they bailed too, but didn't tell anyone. That's right - it's a staycation for just the three of them, as they clearly love Joe more. Holiday spirit, everyone! Opening credits.

Claire continues to behave as Thanksgiving Dictator-in-Chief, much to Phil's consternation. He keeps getting the kids to fix his screw-ups on the sly. It turns out that Claire has a secret - since she doesn't trust her husband, she's bought a backup turkey and is warming it in the basement. Alex is as disgusted as you expect. I mean, what's wrong with substituting in a quick pizza? Give all those poor exploited workers who have to come in on Thanksgiving something to do.

Meanwhile, Cam and Mitch have a dispute over which one is the stricter parent with Lily. It's dull. Let's move on.

Thanksgiving gets a lot more awkward when Haley has to brake the car suddenly and Manny accidentally grabs her chest. Meanwhile, Phil is getting into some shenanigans of his own, this time involving Nigella and the sexy turkey, and oh my god this show is getting stupider by the minute.

Claire complains about how terrible the rest of her family is while Alex pretends to listen. Seriously, she's become the most insufferable character on the show. They decide they are going to be like their "idiot" relatives (their words, not mine) for a little while, and play with some of the crazy inventions Phil has come up with over the years. Phil notices this, and is delighted that his newfound cooking skills have let his family enjoy themselves for once. Oh, if you only knew. Meanwhile, Manny keeps accidentally making contact with Haley's chest, and it's really creeptastic.

More arguing between Cam and Mitch over childrearing. Dull as dishwater. Lily is the only thing that livens it up. At the Pritchett-Delgado house, Jay says that he's delighted to spend time away from his family (and adds some racist comments while he's at it), pointing out that they spend an unhealthy amount of time together. Well, I'm glad someone finally said it.

Cooking problems have occurred over at the Dunphys', so they transfer dinner over to Jay and Gloria's, forcing the older couple to hide upstairs. Serves you right for ditching your son at Thanksgiving and lying about it. Seriously, that's pretty awful even by Outdated Family standards. Claire continues to sniff around at Phil's cooking problem, just looking for mistakes. Upstairs, Jay and Gloria argue about how to cover for their supposed absence, since they left a bunch of stuff downstairs that indicates they're clearly still around. With the family temporarily distracted, they try to sneak out, but of course keep having to turn around. Ha ha. Not.

Claire and Phil continue to dance around each other in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Manny has somehow gotten hold of Haley's underwear, no doubt through hilarious circumstances. Haley is not amused. Alex snarks, of course.

Jay and Gloria have been sequestered upstairs for hours, and are actually starting to enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, Cam and Mitchell are going upstairs to prove some kind of point to Lily, which involves putting on dresses. This makes no sense, probably because I was barely listening for the rest of their scenes. At least Cam looks dapper in his burgundy suit. Realizing they can't keep up the charade, Jay and Gloria decide to pretend they came home early, but screw this up by forgetting Joe in the house. Once again, A+ parenting.

They decide to roll up a blanket and pretend it's their toddler, but this is messed up when Jay accidentally bashes the blanket into the banister. Everyone thinks Joe is dead. Also, Cam and Mitch have put on the dresses and look really frightening. Gloria runs around the kitchen being zany and probably ruins Thanksgiving in the process.

Phil is still in love with Computer-Nigella-Lawson, but his good mood is destroyed when he discovers the turkey shriveled and dry. Claire runs for the backup turkey. Manny gets into another compromising situation involving Haley. Yawn. Also, Haley's pissed off that Manny no longer has a crush on her. He gives her a poetic speech about her beauty, and they wind up accidentally kissing. More turkey drama, more Cam and Mitch drama. Cam tries to get strict with the kid and fails miserably, possibly causing her permanent injury in the process. Claire's second turkey is revealed, Phil's wrinkled turkey also gets brought out, and everyone yells until Jay makes his trademark "everyone here should shut up because we love each other" speech. His credibility is undermined somewhat when everyone figures out that they didn't go to Mexico after all - a turkey has fallen out of Gloria's bag (she was using it to make it look heavy), though she tries to pass it off as a Colombian manhood ritual for Luke's upcoming birthday. There's a lot of screaming from all sides. Haley, of all people, brings them all back together for the "everyone here should shut up because we love each other" speech. They all agree to spend Christmas apart, the suffocation of constant family tearing at their psyches. I'm starting to sense some desperation in the writers' room...

Tag scene - Everyone overate, and Phil is still re-enacting Her with Cyber-Nigella. Whatever.

So, let's see - the characters all had their moments this episode, but unfortunately, they were all quite forgettable. The strongest plot by far was Jay and Gloria's escape from family. Manny and Haley had a couple of good spots, but it got repetitive. Every other story involved way too many Thanksgiving cliches, or frankly, just had no point. We get the same Cam and Mitch plot every week, for heaven's sake! Considering the way this show seems to be closing in on the same old tired jokes, I can certainly understand Jay and Gloria's sentiments. Happy Thanksgiving, and may your family be a little more entertaining than this one!


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    • dawn9476

      Posted (edited)

      Was it known that Hannah was having a 2nd? I know her social media is private, but it seems like stuff still comes out despite that.

      Edited by dawn9476
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      • Upvote 1
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