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'Modern Family' last night: Has your companion ever embarrassed you in a social setting?

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Typically terrific Modern Family last night, but the scenes in which Mitchell tried to impress a possible new boss (all praise to Justin Kirk), were almost too good — awfully squirm-inducing.

As Cam babbled nervously and bumped into the furniture, I could feel the ambivalence that was making Mitchell’s face nearly as red as his hair. On the one hand, this was a social setting, so it made sense for Cam to be hanging around. On the other, the Justin Kirk character had clearly invited Mitchell to his party as part-job interview, to see if they’d get along in a work context.

I agree with my colleague Margaret Lyons that the scene was discomfiting. But I also really enjoyed it; it’s one of those moments that pulls you even further into the reality of the show even as it pulls you out to consider what you’d do under the circumstances. I’m sure I was not alone in wanting Mitchell to mutter tersely to Cam, as adorable as he is, “Get out! Get out now!” It also struck me as not quite typical of Cam, who’s usually so sensitive and adroit in social settings, that he’d linger when the host took Mitchell away from the party to chat privately.

(Another thing that wasn’t typical of Modern Family? That Algonquin Roundtable joke made by the usually-meticulous Cam. James Thurber wasn’t a regular Roundtable member; Cam [and the writers] were probably thinking of Robert Benchley, whose girth was closer to Cam’s.)

Anyway, I’m glad Mitchell looks to be on the road to re-employment, that Cam can resume house-husbanding. I hope Justin Kirk becomes a semi-regular, and I want to know: Has your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/companion/mate ever made you uncomfortable in a social situation?

For more: Modern Family recap: Put me in, coach

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