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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 6.12 - The Big Guns


crazyforkate

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As we know, every good American family has a cabinet full of guns. I look forward to Modern Family's trenchant commentary on gun control. (Oh, who am I kidding, it's probably about Gloria's breasts again.) Carry on.

Claire and Phil arrive home to find an unfamiliar boat in their driveway. It turns out to belong to the awful neighbours. Everyone complains, Alex is illogically stupid again, and it is decided that Something Needs to Be Done. Except Luke, who likes to look at the teenaged girl next door sunbathing on it. Alex decries the general state of the world, as illustrated by her family's existence. I hope that girl gets a spin-off someday. Opening credits.

Lily and Cam arrive home from an outing, which they are oddly secretive about. Mitchell is instantly suspicious. The secrecy between Lily and Cam is quite hilarious. Soon enough, they confess - Cam took Lily to junior clown college, so she could follow in Clown-Dad's footsteps. Mitchell is outraged. Hey, being a clown is hard, and if my kid showed any talent at it, I'd be freakin' proud. Stuff it, Mitchell.

Manny is starting to get jealous over all the attention paid to Joe, even though the kid's been around for like two years by now. Also, Jay wants to potty train the toddler, which means this episode is going to get really annoying, really soon.

Luke still has a crush on the neighbours' daughter, who knows about the spying and is not inclined to return his affections. I still think this family is way more fun than the Dunphys, which is probably why I don't write for this show. Phil attempts to win them over with banana bread, dropping broad hints about moving it to a marina. Finally, Claire cuts to the chase and asks them to move it. She brings up city regulations way too quickly. The neighbours are obviously pissed off and ask the "uptight buzzkill" to disembark. They point out that she complains about absolutely everything, and she's no fun as a neighbour. The Dunphys hurry home, muttering declarations of war. Point to the neighbours.

Fizbo returns to the household, in order to convince Mitchell to let Lily continue clowning. The small clown, temporarily named "Lizbo" (heh), joins him in a rather half-assed routine. It doesn't go very far with Mitch. Lily does not display much talent, at least until she starts hitting her dad with random objects. That is when Mitchell applauds. Why are these two married again?

Gloria is furious when Jay attempts to train Joe, saying that she should take care of it. The argument quickly devolves into a critique of Jay's parenting skills, with the apparently non-functional Claire and Mitchell held up as examples. She also points out that she's been lying about Manny's milestones since he was a child (wait, what?), and in fact the boy is not as advanced as he seems. Manny is crushed. And apparently in love with J.Lo.

Lily has gotten obsessed with clowning, pranking her parents left and right. (Where the hell does a seven-year-old get a lemon meringue pie on short notice?) Claire and Phil decide to fight fire with fire, with the help of Phil's dad and his friends, all dedicated RVers. The neighbours are stunned and angry, though Ronnie insists it won't affect him. Meanwhile, Luke continues to hit on the teenaged neighbour, with little success. For a moment, it looks like she might warm up to him, but as usual, it's a con.

Cam is now wandering the house paranoid, as he has been consistently terrorized by Lizbo for days. Mitchell taunts him about it. According to Cam, Mitch is in fact to blame for encouraging the meanspiritedness.

It turns out the old people are way more than the Dunphys can handle, making noise and smoking tons of weed, which the neighbours happily join. They admit defeat - for now.

Jay is still attempting to train his son, this time through song, which is exactly as bad as it sounds. Manny is still having a crisis over his retconned genius. Gloria tells him not to keep rushing Joe. It eventually goes back to how distant Jay was from his first batch of kids, and how he wants so desperately to be a good parent to Joe. Just then, Joe is successful in the endeavour, and all arguments are abandoned.

Mitch catches his daughter about to smack an unsuspecting person with a frying pan and decides it's time for a chat. It turns out she's doing this to get Cam to force her to stop clowning, as she hates it but doesn't want to hurt his feelings. Delicately, she tells Cam this, but dresses it up by saying that she could never be as good as Fizbo. Mitchell concludes that she'll be a lawyer.

Ronnie tells Phil that he liked Frank Dunphy, and he sees now that Phil is one of the "good people". Because of this, he's going to move the boat. Just as they're reconciling, the police show up to say that a crazy lady has been complaining about a boat. Cue a completely innocent look from Claire. He's reporting the RVs, too.

Tag scene - Luke walks by the teenaged daughter without looking at her. It turns out to be a setup by Alex, who thinks that ignoring her is the key to winning her over.

Well, I think you could call this episode standard. The stories with Lily and Joe pretty much amounted to filler, though it did contain some insight into their parents. A lot of people seem to hate them, but I must confess - I'm enjoying the funny neighbours. They're crude and weird, but kind of sweet, and it's hilarious to see Claire go bananas over them. So it was inoffensive and amusing, but not a laughfest - just part of the regular Modern Family groove. Let's see if the groove becomes a rut again.

 

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      Edited by dawn9476
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