I’ve gone on record a few times this season in saying that I’m not as down on Modern Family’s second season as most were. In comparing this season to the previous two, I’d say it’s not quite at the consistently high level of season one and it’s a notch above season two. One reason is that I don’t think season 2 produced a single episode that was on the level of “Leap Day”. Season 3 has had a few clunkers, but it has also produced some pretty hilarious episodes as well (especially in 2012 – see “Lifetime Supply”) and “Leap Day” may be the best one yet. As I’ll specifically mention in a moment, “Leap Day” had maybe my favorite line of the season and a scene that elicited the most laughs from me of any scene all year. This was Modern Family operating at a very high level.
I’m going to just go ahead and say that the Jay-Gloria storyline was by and large a wash and the Cam-Mitch storyline was generally bland, but did have a few good moments. I particularly enjoyed the flashback to Cam’s previous birthday and his hardly subtle disappointment with Mitch’s lack of a party as Cam tells him “I’m canceling our baby” or in trying to assist Mitch’s party planning, Cam throws out, “You know orange is over right?”.
Ok we got that out of the way so we can focus on what may have been the most hilariously effective storyline of the entire season, Phil vs. the Menstruating Monsters. I know I often point out what a great character Phil is and how he is by far the show’s most consistently funny character and usually its saving grace and as if we needed more evidence of Ty Burrell’s greatness, “Leap Day” sees him operating at the top of his game. Once Phil comes to the realization that all 3 Dunphy women are on the same cycle, the look of sheer terror and anxiety that comes across his face says it all and was one of the episode’s highlights. That’s part of what I love about Burrell’s comedic acting ability, he’s so versatile. He never seems out of his element.
Obviously, the behavior of the women is exaggerated for comedic effect and at times, it seems a bit much, but overall, it works, especially considering all of the madness that ensues. The bathroom scene with the fake blood and Luke’s misuse of it may have been the most I’ve laughed at a single scene of Modern Family ever. I loved his line to Phil of, “See ya on the other side, brother” (so much conviction) and the fact that when he’s covered in blood, you see his hand print on the wall and streaks of blood all around on him. It’s little things like this that made it so effective for me. I mean, how could he possibly get that carried away?? I love thinking of Luke’s thought process during this whole ordeal and how this is where it ended up. Obviously a very strong Luke episode, another highlight was his line to Manny of, “It smells like puke married poop and they had the ceremony in my nose”.
So many great moments in “Leap Day” including a candidate for line of the year courtesy of one Phil Dunphy, “Like when Wolfman, Dracula and Frankenstein showed up in the same movie….except this wasn’t awesome!!” “Leap Day” was just pure, unadulterated hilarity. Even the final line of the episode knocked it out of the park: “In fact, you’re still that sexy little 8 year old I fell in love with.”
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