‘Modern Family’ 2.10 Recap: “Oasis for Men?”

‘Modern Family’ is back for one last episode before the holidays. While it’s not bad, it definitely comes off as a way to wrap things up for the next month.

A school dance is the focus of this episode, aptly named ‘Dance Dance Revelation’. Luke and Manny are both going, while Claire and Gloria are tasked with organizing the event. Like a lot of ‘Modern Family’ episodes, it sounds like the sort of thing an awful sitcom would be doing, but somehow manages to be great.

Phil and Jay take Luke and Manny to the mall to get clothes, but after a man steals Phil’s parking spot, Jay ends up harping on him for being too soft. I tend towards the optimistic and pacifistic, so I definitely side with Phil on this one. Wherever you fall on the subject, the clash of temperaments is something we can all relate to.

In the end, Phil snaps and chases a cologne seller around with his own product, landing himself in the office of mall security. It’s a funny moment, and it’s nice to see Phil get a little crazy. It’s fantastic that the segment ties in at the end when Cam and Mitchell wind up knowing the cologne vendor.

I love that the salesman, Longines, has a ridiculous name like the rest of their friends. I can’t help but wonder if his was one of the names mentioned in the earlier episode where Mitchell complained about having too many gay friends.

I enjoy the rivalry between Manny and Luke, and I think the fact that it’s not a featured story helps it too. It feels real and it’s plenty funny. The rivalry between their mothers takes the spotlight in the episode and works just as well.

Gloria has always been a sore note for Claire, and the relationship gets explored more in this episode. It’s not exactly the funniest segment, but there’s some nice character development and an incredibly understated cameo by Danny Trejo. Yes he’s a janitor. Artemis Pebdani is on the episode too; you might recognize her as Artemis on ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia’.

The final piece of the show surrounds Cameron, Mitchell and Lily, who has started biting other children. This isn’t the most interesting part of the show, though Mitchell and Cam passing blame back and forth is a riot. “Don’t bite my head off. I’m not a pack of batteries!”

The episode lost me a bit with the wrap-up, though. Narration only works so well in a documentary-style show. The show has pulled it off beautifully in the past, in episodes like ‘Fifteen Percent’, one of my favorites. In ‘Dance Dance Revelation’, it just feels clumsy and a little tacked on.

That’s it for ‘Modern Family’ this year, but the show will be back on January 5th for more.

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