October 21st, 2010
12:45 PM ET
"Seinfeld" had "The Contest," and on Wednesday night, we had the 21st century, more family-friendly version of that on "Modern Family."
Claire challenged the Dunphys to go "Amish," as Phil put it, and give up all electronic devices. Luke was the first to crack, because he's "not made of stone," then Alex, for school reasons, of course (old encyclopedias aren't much help with cytoplasm and protoplasm).
Surprisingly, and hilariously, Claire was out next, caught cheating by logging on to get plane tickets. The automated, voice-activated phone number she used was maddening (who hasn't been there?).
Leave it to Haley, the most gadget-addicted of them all to pull a fast one when a car is at stake. Claire was shocked: “She carved a phone out of a bar of soap!" Phil's response: "Holy crap, we've been Shawshanked."
Meanwhile, Mitchell and Cam were in a panic over the fact that Lily had yet to be enrolled in a prestigious preschool. Then they found out that they were supposedly a slam dunk to get in. As a receptionist at one school put it, "You’re diverse times three – you’re like Jimmy Buffett tickets to these hybrid-driving straight white folks."
When they aimed high, going for the "Harvard" of preschools, they got spooked by the competition: "Disabled interracial lesbians with an African kicker?” said Cam. “I did not see that coming,” said Mitchell.
So, their interview was a total disaster, involving Cam pretending to be 1/16 Cherokee, and Mitchell asking if he could interview again as a single parent.
Lastly, we had Jay and Manny dealing with the spectre of Gloria having killed the neighbor's constantly-barking dog (he had responded by saying he never complained about their squawking parrot, a.k.a. Gloria).
To the relief of Jay, Manny and PETA, Gloria -who once chopped off a rat's head and left it as a warning to the other rats - merely stole the dog. When Jay reminded her that that is illegal in the U.S., Gloria sarcastically replied, "In Colombia, we trip over goats and kill people in the streets. Do you know how offensive that is? Like we're Peruvians?"
This week, all three plots were equally strong, but I have to admit, I'm really looking forward to next week's Halloween episode even more. What about you? Post a video or comment below. In the meantime, check out iReporters Nadya Alvarez and Kathi Cordsen, who shared their take.
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