The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Modern Family – Up All Night

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Another hilarious yet sweet episode of Modern Family!  Our three families tonight performed three great stories of how to be a dad.

Eschewing annoying narratives of masculinity that would dictate Javier and Jay must square off for Gloria’s or even Manny’s attention, the two quickly come together to love Manny together.  Jay even learns how to be more spontaneous from Javier after Javier admits his own insecurities in regards to Jay’s success. In the end, it’s Jay who is left abandoned by Javier after being seduced into friendship with him.  Rather than a pissing contest, then, we have Jay discovering that the ups and downs both Gloria and Manny know from Javier are something with which he can empathize.

Dads can be empathetic.

Mitchell and Cam argue over the ‘ferberizing’(?) method, with Mitchell wanting Lilly simply to cry it out and Cam wanting to be the big mother bear who just cares for her crying cub.  In the end we learn that the disagreement isn’t really about Mitchell wanting to set aggressive boundaries (although really, babies should not be watching Scarface!), but about his fear that Lilly will love Cam more.  The solution – Cam reminds Mitchell that they’ll both walk her down the aisle one day.

Dads can be emotionally over-reactive.

And Phil gets a kidney stone that requires minor surgery and an overnight in the hospital.  While assuring his family that he’ll be fine, he also blurts out panicked statements that he has cancer and that Luke needs to learn all the pin numbers in case he doesn’t make it through.

Dads can be big kids.

Tying these stories of alternative masculinities together, though, is the great thread of those manly men firefighters.  Claire quickly sexes it up when she realizes that the firemen are coming to save her husband, much to Phil’s chagrin (although we also catch him flirting with numerous ladies in his ward), and Cam and Mitchell call the firefighters in together for Mitchell’s ankle as Cam cutely films the guys carrying Mitchell out to safety.

Oh, and of course, in reference to the episode’s title – what can keep men up all night?  Baseball and bonding, screaming babies, and kidney stones!

My only question is, why didn’t we get to see more of those firefighters?!

Best lines in the episode:
Phil to Luke in regards to the ouija board – “That wasn’t wind buddy.  We brought something forth” – I love his childlike earnestness!

And Phil listing the immediate perks of getting one up on one’s spouse – “A week at circus camp” – really, had I known that was a smaller perk, I’d cash in sooner when my husband ended up in the doghouse for something!

In sum, I love Phil!

Posted by Natalie.

Written by themothchase

January 6, 2010 at 10:53 pm

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