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This week’s episode of Modern Family, titled “The Late Show,” was one of the strongest yet this season. The episode was filled to the brim with comedic moments with all three families and dealt with some very average family issues. The main storyline of the episode revolved around the family’s reservation at a hip new restaurant. Jay was just dying to eat a specialty steak, but of course Gloria was running late.
Unbeknownst to Jay, Phil, Claire, Mitch and Cam were all running late as well. The theme of “lateness” created a very realistic tension that tardiness often creates within a household.
One thing I noticed was the obvious play on feminine stereotypes within the episode. Because Modern Family is a culturally relevant show, they often get away with making obvious, and at time stereotypical jokes and plot lines. In “The Late Show” both women, Claire and Gloria, were responsible for the lateness, as well as Cam who is often portrayed as the more feminine partner within the couple. Aside from the mild stereotype expressed within the theme of the episode, it was fantastic.
Some of my favorite moments were the minor scenes that often offer outrageous comedy. The reason why Cameron and Mitchell were late for dinner was due to an outfit debate. The two men accidentally dressed identically, which in turn started argument of who should change. This quickly turned into a “who wore it best competition” to which Lily responded, “I’m not doing this again.” Lily is quickly becoming one of the funniest characters on the show with her witty one-liners.
Phil and Claire’s tardiness is due to their decision to leave Luke home alone for the first time. Claire, being typical Claire, completely freaks out before leaving, warning Luke about the dangers of pizza delivery men and reviewing the different alarms in the house. Meanwhile, Phil is dressed in a ridiculously fitted suit that he bought to impress Claire. Because of her preoccupation she fails to notice his obvious discomfort that came with his extra efforts.
When the three couples finally arrive at the restaurant one by one, the haughty hostess reminds Jay that he won’t be seated until the entire party arrives. This causes greater tension as Gloria is up in arms about not being able to make an entrance because she is the first to arrive. In the end, the family’s reservation is given away, but they never leave without a fight! Gloria has an angry outburst to the hostess and explains that the entire night was ruined not because of Jay, but because of his selfish family and herself. One of my favorite lines was at the end of her rant, Gloria breathlessly shouts “Why you haven’t moved!?” at the hostess. The family is then kicked out the restaurant.
Like many of the episodes, the last scene includes the three couples happily eating at a taco stand. Jay is slightly buzzed off of the scotch he inhaled as he waited for his family, and everyone busts up laughing when Phil’s suit finally gives up on him and explodes from all the seams.
One of the highlights of “The Late Show” was a brief scene of Haley babysitting Manny, Luke, and Baby Joe. The scene shows Haley wearing a leopard robe of Gloria’s singing "Midnight Train to Georgia" on the karaoke machine. The three boys are dressed up and singing back up.
This brief moment ties into the final scene that features Jay drunkenly belting "Midnight Train to Georgia" at the taco stand. In the tag, Jay says, “That was the best meal I’ve ever had.” Another great week from Modern Family, which always manages to crack me up and melt my heart.