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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Modern Family chooses "Someone to Watch Over Lily"

     ABC’s Modern Family was new last night, presenting the episode “Someone to Watch Over Lily”. In it, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) disagree over who to name guaradian of their baby daughter, Lily, in the event that tragdedy should strike them both. Mitchell nominates someone from his family, whom live nearby, while Cam would rather send Lily to his parents on a farm in a state farm away. While Mitchell and Cam do surprise drop by visits to judge the readiness of Mitch’s relatives, Cam also speaks to his mother, who is dealing with frozen cows during a billzard.

     Naming a guardian is a huge decision in any parent’s life, and it is natural for the guys to disagree over who it should be. Turning it into a contest, however, and looking at isolated incidences, instead of an overall picture from years of knowing the people, is deeply flawed. Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) are having a bad day, after accidentally leaving their son, Luke (Nolan Gould), at a mall, both assuming he is with the other parent. It’s a forgivable mistake, except for the fact that they don’t realize it for several hours, even though they both drive to the same place after. But looking at the larger picture of how Claire and Phil’s kids have turned out, they seem to be very capable.

     Cam balks at Jay (Ed O’Neill) because of his rough exterior. Cam should remember that lately Jay has been very accepting of his son and son-in-law, recently spending an evening drinking and chatting with their other gay friends. Yet, it takes a ringing endorsement from Manny (Rico Rodriguez) to sway Cam. Granted, Jay has been shown to be very good to Manny, and the scene in the car this week as Jay tells his step son he will support him no matter what decision he makes is extremely moving. But Cam doesn’t need that information to know who Jay is. They’ve been family for years.

     Jay’s wife, Gloria (Sofia Vergara), at first appears to be the most suitable. Then a misunderstanding, made possible by Gloria’s heavy accent and Mitchell’s inattentiveness, leads to Gloria piercing baby Lily’s ears with what she thinks is parental consent, but is not. This is enough to tick off Mitchell to the point where he does’t want her raising Lily. Why not? She has a done a fine job with Manny, and he knows that Gloria is loving. Perhaps she made a decision that he didn’t like, but it’s not like she hurt Lily or anything. It just doesn’t make sense that he would turn on her so quickly.

     Overall, it is a very funny episode of Modern Family. The only problem is that the writers let jokes get in the way of realism. But what sitcom doesn’t from time to time? It remains one of the most solid on television. Like choosing guaradians, please look at the overall picture Modern Family presents, rather than a few isolated mistakes. Modern Family airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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1 comment:

  1. I loved this one. Mod Fam is at its best when the three families get to interact and "Someone to Watch Over Lily" was the first episode in a while where there was a lot of crossover between the stories.

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