This is the kind of episode I like to see.
Modern Family Season 6 Episode 19 brings the whole family together to celebrate Jay's birthday, meanwhile dealing with their own subplots to make for an intricate and fun episode.
Phil has a special gift for Jay, and it's no surprise that Jay is less than thrilled to have a new grill with a lot of fancy features.
There's some genuinely funny slapstick comedy when the grill goes nuts and sends chicken flying in Phil's face. It's a man versus machine moment that makes me think of Charlie Chaplin.
There's also a lot going on with the kids in "Grill, Interrupted." Alex is acting weird about a college acceptance – which, by the way, seems entirely too anticlimactic. I remember getting letters in the mail for these sorts of things. Claire assumes the problem is that she didn't make a big enough deal about the acceptance when she first found out, but it's pretty clear there's more going on than that.
I like that it's Jay who brings out the truth in a nice grandfather/granddaughter bonding session. He actually gives Alex a quiet space to think and talk about how she feels, and it turns out she's pretty scared to go to Caltech.
Jay's pep talk seems to do just the trick, and the shot of them watching the rest of the family is almost a little emotional.
The family needs a leader, and I can't do it forever. You can handle it.Jay
I actually wish we could have spent more time on this interaction, or on Alex's big news in general. I'm interested to see what happens moving forward.
Meanwhile, Manny and Luke are experimenting with alcohol, which kind of blows my mind because they still seem so young – maybe I'm just nostalgic for early seasons of the show. Still, this is this is funniest subplot of the entire episode, especially since the boys have to do research online to find out how to drink the tequila.
I knew we should have poured the tequila in your belly button. That's why they have these systems in place.Manny
Gloria is on to them, though, and waters down the tequila. When it still seems like they've been drinking, she tricks them into believing they swallowed the worm.
Poor kids. They never stood a chance. In reality, this is a serious topic, and it's nice to see it being dealt with. Gloria's strategy to scare the daylights out of them is pretty darn effective, but she tops that off with the threat of embarrassment after taking a photo of the boys in an ice bath together.
As for Haley, she's brought along a doctor boyfriend who feels entirely superficial. And with good reason – Haley reveals she isn't that into him and doesn't want anything serious. At least, that's what she tells Andy. Spare me the antics with the getting in bed together and cuddling so Joe will take a nap, or the need for both of them to change clothes. Those bits are funny, sure, but I'm officially frustrated by these two characters.
Can't we just get these two kids together already?!
Overall, this is a really enjoyable, funny installment. It tries to do a LOT, but that's part of what makes Modern Family, well... Modern Family.
What did you think of "Grill, Interrupted"? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!
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