I haven't had the time to go through every episode of "Modern Family", but to the best of my recollection, they've never had a bad guest star, and James Marsden did a fantastic job upholding that streak in Wednesday's episode, "Slow Down Your Neighbors", as Mitchell and Cam's new "neighbor."
I put "neighbor" in quotes, because while Marsden's Barry played himself off as living in the apartment above Mitchell and Cam, it turns out he was actually living in Lily's princess castle -- and was slightly crazy. I have to give most of the credit to the show's writers for coming up with such a premise, and a character, but Marsden really did an amazing job bringing Barry to life.
The episode got its title from Claire's crusade against a neighbor who drove her car too fast around the neighborhood -- the same neighbor who Phil was trying to land as a client. I thought the Claire part of this particular story was weak, but Phil more than made up for it with his ineptitude at "leading a double life". He was like the anti-Zack Morris, which is typical for him, but his Phil-ness was amped up in this episode.
Then there was Jay, teaching Manny and Gloria how to ride a two-wheeled bike. Things went fine with Manny, but not so fine with Gloria, who failed in hilarious fashion. That led Jay to call in a replacement, leading to the second-funniest scene in the episode: Luke "teaching" Gloria to ride a bike by shooting her with a water gun until her flight instinct kicked in and she biked away. The only funnier scene? Luke using the same teaching method on Haley. Just watch:
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.