Modern Family recap: Season 8, Episode 4
Phil and Manny were the stars of this episode. Phil’s character worked like a well-oiled machine, incorporating a little of everything he does best. We got the comic relief of his effeminate and blundering personality, and the sweetness of his earnest side.
Phil is taking his real estate wisdom to TV for a real estate segment on the local news. He tries to do his own makeup, but ends up looking like a woman (Haley: “Is this how we find out you’re transitioning?”). Luckily, one of Haley’s many talents is makeup, and she goes with him as his makeup artist. At the station, they meet vain, smooth-talking weatherman Rainer Shine (the delightful Nathan Fillion). Phil is in awe of him and wants to be his best friend. And, even though Rainer seems like a stereotypical Cool Guy, he seems to get along with Phil, too. By the way, Phil looked in the wrong cameras during his entire segment.
Unfortunately Rainer compromises their budding friendship by kissing Haley. Phil tells him off, but immediately regrets it, and Haley encourages Phil to go to him. They’re enacting the full plot of a romcom, and it’s great. For Phil’s grand romantic gesture, he shows up to Rainer’s live broadcast in the middle of a heavy storm to apologize. Rainer forgives him, and they can now continue their beautiful friendship.
Meanwhile, it’s time for Manny to apply for college, and he wants to go to Juilliard for playwriting. Buckle your seat belts, readers: Here comes a Modern Family Hamilton reference. Manny records a Hamilton parody video as part of his application, complete with rewritten lyrics to “Alexander Hamilton.” But apparently he didn’t check to see if this idea was taken before shooting the whole thing. To his dismay, the internet is full of Hamilton parodies created for college applications. He has to come up with another video fast.
Jay has the idea to highlight Manny’s diversity by taking him to a bad neighborhood to film a video about his experience as a child of immigrants. This is bending the truth though: the Delgado-Pritchett clan is upper middle class and lives in a nice neighborhood. As Manny points out, he has a calligraphy tutor. Manny isn’t comfortable lying to Juilliard, so he goes back to square one. What happens next is a classic heartwarming Modern Family moment. Manny makes a video about being inspired by his parents: an immigrant mother who spent years raising him on her own, and a father who started his own business. It’s sweet, and luckily for Manny, it’s also college admissions catnip. It was a sweet ending to Manny’s story line for this episode, if a little too abrupt. If Luke took a page out of Manny’s book and wrote his college essay about his diverse family, maybe he would have a prayer of getting into a decent college?
Gloria’s story line was a big miss in this episode. Since Joe needs help pronouncing his Rs, she takes him to a speech therapist, who takes it upon herself to help Gloria with her sometimes indecipherable Columbian accent. The joke here is that Gloria speaks in a weirdly stilted American accent for the rest of the episode.
Speaking of horrible people, Lily is merciless in this episode. She’s determined to get rid of their football player houseguest Dwight, so she plants a liquor bottle under his bed. Mitch and Cam enlist their stripper friend to wear his cop costume to the house and pretend to arrest Dwight, hoping that Lily will feel bad and confess. But she doesn’t break! She’s absolutely remorseless. She’s like Mitch, but worse.
Odds and Ends:
- Manny brainstorming ideas for his video:
Manny: The year is 18—
- Phil has wind chimes. Of course.
Episode Grade: C+
Parents just don’t understand… and neither do kids or spouses in this hit ensemble comedy