‘Modern Family’ 2.02 Recap: “He Blew His Lid When She Tried to Contain Him”

It’s funny, it’s sweet and it’s a little bit sappy. That could be said about a few different ‘Modern Family’ episodes, but ‘The Kiss’ is a particularly good example of the show at its best.

Yet again ‘Modern Family’ manages to excel where other shows would fail. This week’s episode, ‘The Kiss,’ is about the relationship between a mother and her two daughters, and relationships between men and their partners, their wives, and their children.
It’s also about kissing.

The thing that continues to amaze me about ‘Modern Family’ is that it manages to make those sitcom staples funny again. It’s not so much about the show being innovative or doing something no one else has done before. It just does everything so very well.

Claire snoops in on Alex’s cell phone and notices a flirty text message. Alex won’t ‘fess up about a boy in her life, so Claire asks Haley to find out more. Haley starts trouble, of course, and things escalate from there.

The other main story – and there are plenty of side stories to go around too – is that of Mitchell, who refuses to kiss Cameron in public. Cameron makes plenty of attempts, but with little success.

There are plenty of great laughs along the way, like Phil’s printer instruction song – a great callback to the thermostat instructions song of the first season. There’s also a brilliant scene in which Jay is slapping chickens while screaming.

By the end of the show, problems are resolved and everyone’s happy again. Jay kisses Mitchell to show him that it’s okay to be affectionate in front of others, Mitchell stops being so uptight, and Alex and the boy she’s interested in decide to wait on their first kiss.

Something like this should be cheesy and predictable, but it’s not. It’s sweet in the best possible way. The show’s funny, but that sweetness is a real strength of ‘Modern Family’ and something I hope it continues going forward.

I’m left with the feeling that ‘The Kiss’ is one of the best episodes of ‘Modern Family’ yet. It seems to mix the comedy with the drama and tenderness in just the right proportions, never going far enough into comedy that the characters become unrelatable, but also never forgetting to throw in the jokes.

It should also be noted that ‘The Kiss’ was written by Abraham Higginbotham, a writer new to ‘Modern Family,’ and whose name I recognized immediately but just couldn’t place. Higginbotham is more known as a producer than a writer, but he did pen five episodes of ‘Arrested Development,’ which endears him to me forever.

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