Modern Family 2.12 "Our Children, Ourselves" Review

This week's episode, "Our Children, Ourselves," looked into the ways parents can feel inadequate or ashamed in the eyes of their children and spouses.  While two of the three stories hit on this theme directly and one did not (Jay/Gloria/Manny), all three plots were of such high quality that unification of theme was not of much concern.  Throw in a small but very funny guest spot form Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe of 24 fame), and what we received was one of the funniest episodes of the season.

When one considers what makes a sit-com episode successful, a few general criteria must be met: witty (and funny!) dialogue, adept physical comedy, convincing acting performances, and creative situations where the others are used effectively (Modern Family nails these routinely).  If a sit-com wants to be an excellent one (in my humble opinion, of course), it needs to throw in a couple other items: character development, real emotion, and surprise.  By this last criterion I don't mean shock -- I'm talking about the unexpected.  If you are reading this review, you are likely a big fan of television in general, and have probably seen countless episodes of varied comedies.  In most cases, within minutes of the title card, you can predict what is going to happen in a given scene or episode.  It is the great comedies that throw a curveball and become hilariously unpredictable.  When Modern Family has been at its best, it has been unpredictable and exhibited the other above criteria.  This week's episode hit high notes everywhere, and mainly in this surprise component. Read More...


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