Modern Family

Modern Family 9×01 – Lake Life

"Never forget how these strong father-in-law hands gave you pleasure."

JEREMY MAGUIRE, RICO RODRIGUEZ, SOFIA VERGARA, ED O'NEILL

Yeah I still watch Modern Family.

I know many people gave up on the show over the course of the past few seasons (and I went through a phase where I stopped watching as well), but having recently gotten caught up, I realize that this is still a tremendously funny and lovable sitcom.

Lake Life is a little bit different from the average episode in that it takes the entire cast and puts them in a brand new setting (on a boat in a middle of a lake). I’m a big fan of the show’s vacation episodes, and while this wasn’t as exceptional as other entries, it’s still a rollicking good time.

Obviously since the cast is so big, some subplots end up feeling half-baked. Manny’s “Manuel” shtick doesn’t really amount to anything, the mysterious island party is never paid off, and what was the point exactly of Lilly temping Joe with bingewatching that show she was carrying around? The writers should certainly introduce less storylines in a single episode if they aren’t going to lead anywhere.

On the other hand, I loved the visual gag of Cam in a caftan drenched in sunscreen, Mitchell’s bait-shop encounter with the first boy he ever kissed, and Gloria’s lake anxiety. The episode even manages to explore some weighty themes with regards to Jay’s friend dying, and Claire and Phil coming to terms with their age. These highlights come together to make this hour a worthwhile watch that manages to overshadow its weaknesses.

Family Bits

– Gloria still calls them “talkie-walkies”. Ha!

– Gloria and Cam assuming Alex’s boyfriend Ben is a “lake butler” damn near killed me.

– Love the reveal of Claire berating Alex for bringing Ben only to reveal that Ben is standing right there.

– How cute is little Joe? Seriously the kid has the funniest expressions. Give him more screen-time writers please!

– Hilarious scene with Claire jumping off the cliff multiple times and Phil chickening out each time.

– Very heartwarming moment with the whole family screaming out to Jay all the things he’s done for them as he tries to paddle away. Say what you will but this show has a lot of heart.

Modern Quips

Cam: You know, growing up on a farm, I always fantasized about lake life. Anyone can go to the lake. Only the elite can sleep on it.
Mitchell: My parents used to take Claire and me every summer when we were kids.
Cam: Oh, I just never dreamed I would marry into a lake family.

Mitchell: (seeing Cam in a caftan) What’s all this?
Cam: The doctor said absolutely no sun while I’m on these antibiotics.
Mitchell: And what would happen? Because if it’s anything short of death, I think you should risk it.

Gloria: I don’t trust lakes. Where I come from, this is where we dump drugs and dead bodies.
Cam: You know what? I am gonna give you a little boat tour and show you this lake in all of its glory, but you need to keep an open mind.
Gloria: Okay, fine. Let’s ride around the liquid graveyard.

Mitchell: I ran into this guy who works at the bait shop.
Jay: Is that a gay bar?

Jay: Run toward embarrassment, not away from it, and you take away its power.
Mitchell: That’s actually not the worst advice.
Jay: It’s great advice. In fact, you should write it down. It feels quotable.
Mitchell: You know what? I am. I’m going back there.
Jay: You got this, Mitchell. Just think of it as one more time when your dad helped you out with all this gay business.
Mitchell: Yeah, okay.

Cam: Oh, Gloria, have you ever seen such pristine blue water?
Gloria: Is that a floating duffel bag?
Cam: No, that’s just a buoy.
Gloria: (panicking) A boy?!

Haley: Anyone have a mirror?
Alex: Good idea. We can reflect the sun onto a passing plane.
Haley: No, I just have a feeling that my hair looks really good right now.

Cam: (to Gloria) Okay, Gloria, there’s a store. Go in there. Get me something to cover me up with anything. But if there is a color choice, avoid yellow and green. It washes me out.

Conclusion
An uneven but highly enjoyable season premiere from one of the most consistent comedies on television.

Nad Rating
B

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