The three very separate storylines in Wednesday night's Modern Family had one important thing in common: hilarity. So many episodes of this series have been so masterfully executed, it's often hard to believe that this is a new series that in many ways still has room to establish itself. Chalk it up to veteran actors and fantastic writing. "Up All Night" finally introduced us to Manny's absentee father, and had Cameron and Phil suffering through their own personal hells.
Manny's father has been mentioned in previous episodes and we already know he has a history of disappointing his son. Jay, for his many reasons (of which he has to have none) doesn't like the guy. Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order) filled the role well, coming across as the world's most interesting dad. He has run-ins with pirates, he played minor league baseball, and he lives in the moment. Still, it's easy to side with Jay and not like the guy: "I could be sitting grill-side watching a guy build an onion volcano. Instead, I've got Rico Suave in my kitchen." The most fun came early in this storyline, with Jay grumbling about Javier, but it was also enjoyable to watch Jay be seduced by Gloria's ex-husband. After hanging out with Javier and living in the moment, it was easy to see the man would also disappoint Jay. Having Jay end the episode standing on the curb looking for the no-show Javier, as Manny once did, was both funny and a little sad.
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