Modern Family – “Mother Tucker” Review

It’s a relief to see Modern Family picking up the slack after a largely lackluster start to its sophomore season.

“Mother Tucker” surprisingly reuses some situations and even exact lines from last season, and I’m sadly getting a little sick of Mitch and Cam’s rinse-and-repeat dynamic this year, but despite those complaints it’s a great episode with a lot of genuine laughs.

The main plot follows Haley’s apparent final breakup with Dylan and the subsequent mixed emotions for Haley that come with having to face moving on from your first love. Of course, the situation is almost as distressing for nutball father, Phil, which is still funny, but I was disappointed to hear him reuse his “What? No!” line in response to the news when it didn’t seem like an intentional nod to his hilarious delivery last season. In any case, I’m really enjoying the show’s focus on Haley this season. It’s adding layers to her previous “dumb teen” personality and setting her up for great dynamics in the future. It may come at the cost of diminished screen time for already-complex middle child, Alex, but she’ll get her due.

Mother Tucker

Phil's "I wrote a song" joke is funny too.

Digressions aside, it was nice to see Haley and Dylan mature from daily “breakups” to a – admittedly still highschool – breakup that actually caused some real introspection from both parties. Also, after some great and not-so-great parenting moments from Claire this season, Phil took over the role perfectly by hanging out with Dylan behind Haley’s back yet coming through and being a great Dad when Haley truly needed him.

In other families, Mitch and Cam have been riding the “Mitch and Cam don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings” train far too hard this season, and it’s getting very tired. The show even seems to recognize this slightly by giving the couple the most number of guest stars in the disappointing Nathan Lane appearance and tonight’s passable introduction to Cam’s mom. I miss when the two would interact more often with other characters. Mitchell and his father was hilarious in season 1 as was Cam’s episode with Gloria. At least Mitchell and his sister had a scene with their consistently strong dynamic, but the rest of the couple’s storyline was cookie cutter and gimmicky at worst and pleasantly amusing at best.

But back to things that this season has been doing well, namely Jay and Gloria. Last year was all about the family’s reaction to their age difference and the cultural clashes they faced with their son Manny. Now that the couple isn’t so new, it’s more about how they actually get along as a family, and their stories have often been the high points of every episode. “Mother Tucker” saw Manny and Jay indulge in some mild internet hypochondria while Gloria called them pussies. Instant recipe for laughs. One of the things Modern Family does best is not place too much importance on predictable plot twists, and even if the plot goes the entirely expected way, the show opts to find humour in the characters’ genuine reactions and not the “unexpected” ending or twist.

I’ve been breathing a sigh of relief the past few weeks as Modern Family has been sinking back into a consistently funny and well-written show that grows with the characters. I’m worried about Mitch and Cam, despite their excellent performances. They were often the strongest part of the first season and they’ve gone downhill fast.

SCORE: 8/10

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2 Responses to “Modern Family – “Mother Tucker” Review”

  1. Pete says:

    Well written.

    I like the columbian chick’s boobies.

    Oh and Ed O’neil was more prevalent in my life than my real father growing up.

    If they’d ad some video games references I’d watch the show religiously.

    Another thoughtful comment from Pete.

    Pete

  2. Ethos says:

    She has fantastic breasts, and the show is extra aware of it this season!

    And they at least referenced Plants vs. Zombies!

    Another thoughtful response from Ethos

    _ethos

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