Nathan Lane fails to shake things up on 'Modern Family'
October 7th, 2010
12:45 PM ET

Nathan Lane fails to shake things up on 'Modern Family'

On Wednesday night, a big earthquake hit all three of our families, but what could have been something of a gimmick-y episode didn't shake the sharp writing we usually expect from "Modern Family."

The quake provided the perfect excuse for Mitchell and Cam to get out of a theme/costume party with Cam's ex Pepper ("It was the nineties, we'd just lost Princess Di. I was at sea."), played by Nathan Lane, who showed up at their doorstep late in the episode.

I had high hopes for his appearance, but Pepper in the flesh was a disappointment compared to the one Mitchell and Cam described. At the same time, I loved how much the two ended up trashing their house to back up their lies to Pepper.

At the same time, the earthquake locked Claire in the bathroom with the plumber, giving Phil (who survived the earthquake, despite Gloria's confusion) the chance to bolt down the bookcase after the fact: "It's like they say, sometimes when God closes a door, he closes it so hard that your wife can't get out."

Haley also takes the opportunity to get out of the house instead of studying. Of course, Haley is desperately in need of some study time since she thinks "doubling" her four weeks of being grounded would come out to ten weeks (by the way, does anyone else notice that Alex, the middle child, is once again the smart one? She would get along famously with Lisa Simpson).

The quake also coincides with Gloria (who survived the earthquake, despite Cam's confusion) confronting Jay about skipping out on church to go golfing (making this the second popular show in as many days to deal with religion). This time, butterfly-phobic Manny gets the quote of the week: "You're playing pretty fast and loose with my soul."

What did you think of this week's episode? Did you also hope for more out of Nathan Lane (at least more screen time)? Share your view on video or in the comments below. Meanwhile, check out what iReporter Kathi Cordsen thought of the episode.

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Shanna Lindeman

    Amazing article. Good work done ! I'll add it to my list now. Thanks for sharing ! 🙂

    May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Peggy

    Too much tinkering with the formula is not a good idea when it was nearly perfect before. This remark is in reference to increasing the references to being gay. We needed flamboyancy when we loved the subtlety? Mitchell's character, especially, was ruined for me.

    October 9, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bubba

    I have found the whole 2nd season to be much weaker so far compared to last year. It just hasn't been as funny and has left me stratching my head trying to figure out what has happened.

    October 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired

      you are so right. we really laughed at this last year. this year we only hear the audience laugh track. they are making the mistake of trying to deal with sensitive issues and it is becoming a dramedy. but what do i know 30 rock doesn't make any sense at all and people seem to love it and think it is hilarious

      October 15, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sam

    Lane was great but I hoped for more screen time for Pepper. I hope the MF team will ask him to come back and do a longer segment – knowing his busy schedule I don't know if that would happen this year, but it is something to look forward to!

    October 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. portalpunk

    I'm the real portalpunk. I'm just a sad little troll that thinks he's funny and clever. I still live with my mommy in the basement and self-abuse all day long. I've never had a real girl because I have a tiny little weewee. Please continue to feed my ego but really, I'm so scared that I pee my panites everyday.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BobO

    "by the way, does anyone else notice that Alex, the middle child, is once again the smart one?"

    October 8, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Not sure what was meant by this comment either. Obviously the writer reviewing this show just started watching it. I'm pretty sure that was a given since Season 1 Episode 1.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. portalpunk

    I'm the real portalpunk. I think I'm clever and funny but really, I'm just a sad, self-abusing little troll that still lives in my mommies basement. I also have a tiny little weewee.

    October 8, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Annette

    Oh and will add I thought he was AMAZING, I just wish he was in it more.

    October 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Annette

    More screen time! He could have done a lot with that role.

    October 7, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mario

    Modern Family continues to be funny each week. I would prefer that they tone down the 'mock-u-mentary' conversations with the unknown and unseen interviewer. In other words, more Modern Family and less interviewing. One aspect that I'd like them to show would be the origins of the relationships. It would be interesting to see how Gloria and Jay met and got together. The same for Phil and Claire, Mitchell and Cam. If not this year during "Sweeps" then maybe next year, but at some time without a doubt we will see Lilly's birth mother come in from Viet-Nam and want to take her child back. Season-ending cliff-hanger...

    October 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caroline M

      Mario I completly agree with you.. the only thing i don't like...

      October 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melinda

      I disagree with the Lilly's birth mother line. This is Modern Family, not Grey's Anatomy.

      October 8, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. jgr

    Best quote by Mitchell: "Thank god we didn't get killed (by the earthquake). If they found us in these costumes, we we ruin it for all gays!" Too funny!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Be Quiet

    This episode was hilarious just like every other! Modern Family is hysterical every single week. Usually there is one great line that I remember from each show, but this week had 3.

    “No, you're not a joke, you're Pepper Saltzman.”

    “I couldn't find any straws so you'll have to drink it like cats.”

    “Jooou are going to spend eternity together!”

    I hope this show stays on for many years to come.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    "i couldn't find any straws, so you'll have to drink it like cats."

    October 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J. R.

    I watched the show and thought Nathan Lane was hillarious. Did the person who wrote this review/observation watch the same show I did (or even watch the show at all)?

    October 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellie

      I Know!! Nathan lane is AMAZING! especially in the Producers !:D hahahahahahahahahahhahaha:)

      October 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris (DC)

      I agree, Nathan Lane is always good. This cast is so sharp, it is hard for anyone, even as great as Nathan, to steal the entire show. He was perfect.

      October 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Catherine in Tulsa

    I love that this show is really an ensemble, and everyone has great lines. Manny frequently cracks me up, but I also really enjoyed Gloria getting back at Jay in last week's episode. No one is just a prop for another character.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |

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