Why change what works? For the season six premiere of “Modern Family” last Wednesday, the Dunphys, Pritchetts, Tuckers and Delgados taught us that the good can only last so long.
We meet the Dunphy brood toward the end of their best summer yet. Claire is relaxed and carefree for possibly the first time ever, Haley and Luke aren’t fighting and Phil is Phil.
The Tucker/Pritchetts and Delgado/Pritchetts aren’t so lucky. While Cam is desperately clinging to the honeymoon phase of his three-month-old marriage to Mitchell, Jay seems to have stopped clinging to whatever shred of youth he had left.
The result is a false sense of happiness, the perfect embodiment of the time-honored maxim, “ignorance is bliss.”
By the time the episode ends, the blissful facade has collapsed to show a more familiar family picture: The Dunphys without Alex to keep them in line are (in Phil’s own words) “fire-starters, poison-eaters and online-prostitutes;” Gloria wears a fanny pack to prove that Jay isn’t old; and, Cam finally realizes that a “three month-iversary” isn’t a real thing, with good reason.
It’s the same caliber of humor we’ve come to expect from “Modern Family,” and that’s actually okay.
With 17 Emmys under their belt, anyone would have to admit they’re doing something right.
While this season premiere wasn’t as exciting as the season five finale, it still had me laughing with Lily’s one-liners (“It sure was nice when this house wasn’t full of bees”) and Phil’s “Be Mine” candy heart costume (“Clearly you thought this said ‘Be Mean’”).
My only gripe is that there was an unfortunate cringe-worthy moment when Cam made an appearance at Mitchell’s work-only event. The discomfort is overwhelming when Cam throws his arms around Mitchell and exclaims that he’s Cam’s “hugs-band.” The awkward fiesta doesn’t end there, as Cam continues to make very public romantic displays which, in another context, might have been sweet.
For a show that features a gay couple as part of their main arc, I’m a little disappointed that up until now, Cam and Mitchell haven’t shown as much affection for each other as Claire and Phil and Gloria and Jay. I wish that the affection they showed in this episode hadn’t come with that little awkward moment, because there’s still too much stigma attached to non-heterosexual relationships without “Modern Family” contributing.
Despite that caveat, the season six premiere was still pretty solid. It can be hard for some TV shows to maintain their comedic stride, but if this episode was any indication, I think this family has found their groove.