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Modern Family recap: Trading Places

Everything goes to hell when Phil and Claire switch parenting roles. Meanwhile, Jay falls for a French bulldog, and Mitchell goes gaga for Lady Gaga.

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Modern
Adam Larkey/ABC

Modern Family

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-PG
seasons:
7
run date:
09/23/09
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Comedy

Let me start off by saying that I really related to tonight’s episode of Modern Family. No, not the learning-lessons and walking-a-mile-in-another-person’s-shoes message, but Cam dying on the couch. I too have whatever disease he had — but that certainly didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying our favorite family. In fact, for roughly 22 minutes I forgot about my violent sneezing and runny nose (kinda). Thank you to the wonderful Fred Savage for directing this great episode. Yup, that Fred Savage from The Wonder Years directed tonight’s episode! Ah, how our little Kevin Arnold has grown.

We all know that this show loves a good theme. And while tonight’s theme of switching roles definitely wasn’t subtle, it was still clever. We saw Mitchell forced into Cam’s caregiver role, Jay borrowing a little of Gloria’s compassion, and, best of all, Phil attempting to play the disciplinarian while Claire tried to be “the fun one, dammit!”

When it comes to Mitchell and Cam, I would say that Cam usually steals the show. But tonight, with Cam down for the count, Mitchell got to really shine. His giddy desire to go to the Lady Gaga concert (complete with a little Monster dance and glowstick necklace) was hysterical. It was nice to see him break out of his shell. And while we saw him embrace his looser side, he managed to maintain his signature disgust and sarcasm that we’ve come to know and love.

But if I had to pick an MVP of the evening, it would go to Phil, hands down. Though I loved watching Claire “be fun” in her own obsessive-compulsive, ridiculously intense way, it was Phil’s tyrannical lockdown that had me in stitches (props to Haley’s and Alex’s fearful reactions to him as well). When he jumped onto the roof of their car, I nearly died. But then he topped it off by taping the girls’ laptops shut with duct tape (hopefully parents out there won’t get any ideas), only to put that move to shame when he said to Haley, “Well, it’s either that or we cut off all your hair, because that’s what caused the problem” when she hesitated to stick a hanger down the clogged drain. To see the sweet, slightly dense Phil turn into Mommie Dearest in the blink of an eye was as shocking as it was sidesplitting. Bravo, Ty Burrell, bravo.

NEXT: The best lines of the night (oh, how do I pick?)

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