Modern Family is a funny show, which means that even weaker episodes like "Benched" will still have some really funny moments. This freshman series has had a number of episodes that have taken some of your basic sitcom standards and given them a unique and hilarious spin. But a few episodes, especially early on, missed the mark when it came to presenting something fresh. "Benched" fell somewhere in the middle. Most of what we saw we could have predicted, but there were still some well-earned laughs.
The basketball storyline was pretty basic. Luke and Manny play for a pretty terrible team with a terrible and abusive coach (Hey! It's Radzinsky from Lost!). It was no surprise to see him quit and have Jay and Phil take over. It's been fun to watch Phil and Jay's relationship develop over the run of this first season, and "Benched" was a good example of their dynamic. Most of the bits were just average, though. There was little funny about the "uniquely frustrating group of boys" getting hit by the ball, guarding no one and stealing the ball from their own team. Jay and Phil's bickering/coaching had some moments, but nothing incredibly memorable. I did love how Jay called Phil's fists Peaches and Herb instead of their appropriate title: The Captain and Tennille.
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