Before I get to my review of last night's "Modern Family", let's all enjoy this animated gif of Gloria (Sofia Vergara) mixing up some chocolate milk:
OK, on to the review.
QUICKIE RECAP: Claire wanted Phil to sell their old station wagon, which was taking up room in the garage, but then had second thoughts because of all the good memories they had in there. So Phil got it up and running so they could have one last family outing in it before selling it, which went disastrously. Meanwhile, Jay and Cam were building a princess castle for Lily while Mitchell was trying to help, but mostly endangering everyone's lives with power tools. And Gloria, when not mixing chocolate milk (scrolls up... scrolls back down, OK good now) was clashing with Manny's "friend" because of her overprotective Columbian nature.
QUICKIE OPINION: This wasn't the best episode of "Modern Family" ever, but it wasn't the worst either (and it was a lot closer to the former). I tend to prefer the episodes where the stories overlap literally (not just thematically) and this one didn't really do that. Still, each story on its own was solid, but there's no doubt that the Mitchell/Cam story carried the day (even if the episode seemed to spend more time on Phil and Claire). Mitchell trying -- and failing -- to prove he could be a Man's Man by helping build something, while failing to realize the non-manliness of building a princess castle was hilarious, and his utter inability to do any kind of handiwork without destroying things was a good touch of physical comedy for someone that normally is funny through snark.
Also, the Mitchell/Cam story led to the line of the night (unless you count Sophia Vergara's horrible mispronunciation of Shia Labeouf), when Jay recounted his experience building a bookshelf with Mitchell: "That was my Vietnam... and I was IN Vietnam."
I also thought everything about the Gloria-Manny story worked, with the exception of Gloria's obvious additional comments in the couch confessional scenes. They added nothing to the narrative that we hadn't already figured out ourselves, and took away from more potential Manny one-liners. I loved when Manny came back from his failed date and said "Besides, I think there's a girl I'd rather spend time with", making Gloria all happy for a second, before busting out his cell phone and calling Alicia, the "other girl". The rant that ensued from Gloria (a rant that got Jay yelled at for no reason whatsoever) was classic.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.