Category Archives: Comedy

The Big Bang Theory — The 43 Peculiarity (S6E08)

(My review of the last episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Habituation Configuration)

Every day between the hours of 2:45 and 3:05, Sheldon seems to disappear. He has nothing scheduled on his calendar and he just vanishes. The Hardy Boys, Howard and Raj, are on the case! When Sheldon tries to keep it a secret, Howard and Raj follow him to a sketchy storage room. After hours, the boys return to the lab to investigate the room. After an argument about whether they are ninjas or cat burglars, Howard picks the lock to the room. When they enter, they find a very basic room with the number 43 scrawled on the chalkboard. The two spend a great deal of time trying to understand the mysterious number, and their best guess (and what my guess was, as well) was that it had to do with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s number 42: the answer to life the universe and everything.

When they can’t come up with a reasonable explanation, Howard hooks up a camera (the spare for the Mars rover) to spy on him. They are aghast when they see Sheldon’s experiment. He was creating wormholes (which look exactly like the portals from Valve’s Portal games) and trying to find intelligent life in other universes. The number 43 indicated which test number he was on. Just as a monster leaps at Sheldon’s face and tries to eat him alive, Sheldon appears behind Howard and Raj and scares them nearly to death. He saw the camera and wanted to get revenge for their attempts to breach his privacy. He says that he spends some time there trying to unwind, he doesn’t understand what most people do (like sarcasm) and he needs some time to himself. But he won’t tell them exactly what he does because they don’t need or deserve to know. It turns out that Sheldon spends twenty minutes every day practicing with a hacky sack, and his record is 43 kicks.

Leonard is worried about his relationship with Penny once again when he finds out that she is working with a British guy from her class on an oral report. He is sure that he will hit on her and try to steal her, but what he doesn’t realize is that Penny doesn’t want to be stolen from him. When Leonard tries to go to Sheldon about his problem, he obviously makes it worse, tells him how statistically probably it is that Penny will find a better guy than him and dump him. And if that isn’t bad enough, he suggests that Cole might be a hypnotist and is making her sleep with him, and she would have no recollection. Next, Leonard gets some comfort from Sheldon’s assistant Alex. She promises him that no girl would leave a guy like him, and that he’s actually much more loveable than he thinks he is. She believes that more women flirt with him than he could possibly know. Alex, quite infatuated with him, is rejected by his laughter. Poor, clueless Leonard.

When Leonard hears Cole leaving Penny’s apartment, he follows him down to have a little chat. He suggests that he keep away from the cute blonde on the fourth floor because her boyfriend is a real scary guy. When Cole knows that Penny’s boyfriend is a scientist, Leonard insists that The Scientists is the name of his gang. He will try just about anything to try to protect his place with Penny. But Penny followed them down and overheard everything. Penny told Cole all about Leonard, she didn’t even hesitate. Leonard defends his actions by showing his vulnerability, guys will always flirt with Penny, even when he’s around, and it makes him feel terribly uncomfortable. But she doesn’t want to be with any of those other guys. She has Leonard and she’s really happy with him. And for the first time ever, she tells him that she loves him. She didn’t even realize that she said it, it just slipped out. Both of them are near tears, so Penny runs off to work. Penny didn’t realize her true feelings for Leonard until she thought that she might lose him. His insecurities were what made her weary of actually being in love with him, but they’re what brought out her love, as well.

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Modern Family — Arrested (S4E07)

(My review of the last episode of Modern Family, Yard Sale)

We all knew that it was bound to happen sooner or later: Haley was arrested for drinking. Mitch is called upon as her lawyer and Cam offers his services as a babysitter for Luke and Alex while Phil and Claire drive up to bail her out. Claire is upset that Phil is completely, in her opinion his under-reaction is actually an overreaction to the situation, he should be freaking out like her. But it turns out that Haley wasn’t just arrested for drinking while underage, she was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. There is video evidence that completely incriminates her, and there is no way of getting her out of it. She was climbing down the fire escape when the cop yelled to put her hands up, so she did. And she fell off and onto him.

Haley needs to plead her case in front of a disciplinary board, but she seems completely unfazed. She is wearing skimpy clothes and has nothing prepared. And this is when Phil cracks, she messed up numerous times and she didn’t care. She is going to have to suffer the consequences of whatever she got herself into. And the worst part is that she didn’t even bother to apologize. Phil storms out and finally got Claire’s respect in the way he handled the situation. She realizes that if her dad took this seriously, then maybe she should, too. So during the disciplinary hearing she came clean about everything: she was drinking, she has cut numerous classes, and she hasn’t been putting in much effort. Though she finally took responsibility for her actions, she got carried overboard and was expelled. She promises that she will work harder this year to get back into college next year and will be a more responsible woman. And Alex is genuinely sorry Haley and (surprisingly) believes that she can succeed.

Cam, worried that Claire thinks that he is a terrible father, plans on proving her wrong. He needed to prove his worth, so when the kids woke up he had an elaborate breakfast prepared. He wasn’t going to tell the kids about Haley so they wouldn’t be worried, but Lily spoils that little secret. When Luke loves his bacon, Cam announces that it is actually Facon (Fake bacon) that is much healthier and made of soy. But Luke is allergic to soy. Cam hides this little bit of information from Claire until he knows that Luke will be completely okay. But while Luke is healing, Alex decides to accompany the doctors on rounds. But it turns out that she’s much more squeamish than she thought and passed out while watching a c-section being performed. Poor Alex realizes that she can’t follow her dream to be a doctor and she can’t have a baby, either. This entire event occurred just to prove that Claire was wrong about him being a terrible parent, but it turns out that she never really thought so in the first place.

Jay’s ex-wife DeDe wants to stop by to pick up a photo album, but she has a bit of a complicated past with Gloria (read: she tried to choke her a couple of times). Jay tries to get DeDe out of the house before Gloria arrives home, showing off a pregnant belly. But when Gloria arrives, DeDe is thrilled at the pregnancy; now Gloria is less of a trophy wife and more of a real wife and human being. The women bond over sharing pregnancy stories and DeDe begins to turn Gloria against Jay by explaining how little he helped out with their kids. Jay promises that there is nothing he wants more than to be a part of the baby’s life. He couldn’t help much the first time around because he was working all day, but now that he’s retired he is there for her 100 percent.

Parks and Recreation — Ben’s Parents (S5E06)

(My review of the last episode of Parks and Recreation, Halloween Surprise)

Nothing could ruin Leslie’s happiness about her engagement, but Ben would beg to differ. An engagement party signals the gathering of their families, meaning his divorced parents will have to be in a room together. Leslie’s secret strategy of removing people from feuds is to create a quilt, so she creates a Wyatt-Knope Family Quilt. The second Ben’s dad walks in with his young girlfriend Ulani, Ben is ready to call it quits. It would be bad enough with his parents in the room, but adding in Ulani will shatter them. And when Leslie unveils her magical quilt, it tears the Wyatt family even farther apart. Leslie didn’t make an Ulani square because she isn’t technically a member of the family, which causes her and Steve to throw a fit.

Leslie, still thinking that she can save the Wyatt family and her party, creates an Ulani square by adding a face to a waffle square and etching her name in. But Julia (Ben’s mom) quickly cut out the new square. Her refusal to accept Ulani as a part of her family is going to be a bit difficult now, though. As Leslie tries to propose a toast, Ulani blurts out that she’s pregnant. And if Ben’s going to have a baby brother/sister, Julia will have to deal with Ulani for the rest of her life. Leslie finally decides that it’s completely hopeless and tries to bail on the party. But Ben picks up the slack and gets his family in a row. He demands that everyone attend the wedding and pretend to have fun. Looks like Ben picked something up from Leslie!

Due to his therapy, Chris has been incredibly on edge. He jumps between either end of the emotion spectrum within seconds. When April and Andy work together, they actually turn into a fully functioning human being, and figure out how to manage his feelings. Andy lists off happy things while April reminds him of everything terrible and it begins to balance him.

Tom finally grows into himself when he puts some serious effort into his new company Rent A Swag. He wants to have a real proposal for Ron so he will invest in the company. When Jean-Ralphio refuses to get any work done and tries to get him out clubbing, Tom realizes that JR isn’t as serious about the business as he is. When Ron hears how hard Tom worked for this and how he kicked his best friend out of the company for his lack of responsibility, he invests on the spot. All he wanted was to work with someone serious, and he now has that in Tom. I was so thrilled to watch Jean-Ralphio getting the boot. He was an amusing character at first, but at this point I just can’t stand him. I hope that this is the end of the character, but I have a feeling we will see more of him.

Parks and Recreation has been taking a dramatic turn. The past seasons have been mainly about the humor with some drama and character development sprinkled in, but it seems to have flipped recently. The show is now powered by the relationships between the characters and only has jokes scattered through the episodes. And I think that this is a shame, they have such a hilarious cast and they are being underutilized.

 

How I Met Your Mother — Who Wants To Be A Godparent? (S8E04)

(My review of the last episode of How I Met Your Mother, Nannies)

Marshall and Lily’s first day away from Marvin was meant to be spent with their friends, but the group has nothing to discuss. Since none of them have “8 or higher” problems to talk about, all they are left with is the weather. Marshall and Lily scoot out of the bar to spend the day by themselves, but it is cut short when they almost get hit by a car. They realize that death is all around them and they can’t live so wildly, they have to be prepared for the worst: their deaths. And the most important part of their lives is Marvin, so they need to provide a new home for him. After some arguing and some bad decision-making, they realize that their families are off limits. And who is left? Only their three best friends, who all try to win them over by proving that they would be the best godparent. Ted and Robin bring ridiculously huge stuffed bears while Barney is trying to win them over by taking nursery rhymes and lullabies and turning them into bro-songs.

Rather than having to face their death head-on, Lily and Marshall turn it into a game, whoever wins gets to be the godparent. They have to cover topics such as telling Marvin that his parents died, disciplinary measures, and explaining the birds and the bees. With the responses that these three give, I wouldn’t trust any of them with a child for more than fifteen minutes. Barney’s ideas revolve around picking up women and spoiling him. Robin covers tough love and (incredibly) brutal honesty. And Ted wants to explain everything by using a ridiculous puppet named Infosaurus, which his kids in 2030 hate. The three realize how unfair and ridiculous this game is and quit. Ted thinks that he deserves the honor because he has been best friends with both of his parents for sixteen years. Barney wants him to be cool and lose his virginity by thirteen. And Robin thinks that she deserves to raise him because she’s a woman, and that automatically instills mothering instincts in her.

Marshall and Lily finally realize that they would all be terrible parents, but for a different reason. They need to understand that when you have a kid, that kid is your entire life. But after their three best friends storm out, Marshall and Lily realize that they have been terrible friends, too. They don’t know a single important thing going on in any of their lives. Yeah, they have to raise Marvin, but they can’t completely neglect their friends, either. They apologize to them and revoke the 8 or higher rule. Ted has to pay off Victoria’s $70,000 wedding, Robin is dealing with Nick’s terribly un-sexy eco-friendly motorcycle, and Barney slept with an 6.5 (Seriously man? You can do better!). And to finish off the episode on a touching note, the three take care of Marvin the next morning so Lily and Marshall don’t need to worry. All three of them are signed off as the godparents. Maybe if they are all combined, they can make a decent parent… Hopefully it won’t come down to that.

Parks and Recreation — Halloween Surprise (S5E05)

(My review of the last episode of Parks and Recreation, Sex Education)

Ron Swanson doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would get along with children. Not in the slightest. But he has to cope with them for his new girlfriend Diane. He, Andy, and Diane are taking them trick-or-treating when Diane gets a call from the school (She’s the vice-principal) that there are kids pooping on the lawn. Ron is left to take the girls the rest of the way, and is completely lost. When one girl’s tiara breaks, he breaks the other girl’s tiara to even it out. If one can’t have it, then neither can. Ron refuses to apologize for his terrible baby-sitting experience, which causes Diane to break off their relationship. He tries to pretend that he’s fine with it, the relationship wasn’t worth it if there were children involved. But he quickly realizes his mistake and shows up at Diane’s house with flowers, chocolates, and grout cleaner (Who doesn’t need grout cleaner?). And to sweeten the deal, he takes the girls trick-or-treating again, on November 8th.

Donna is finally given a storyline, an incredibly annoying one. When the Parks department shows the 1986 classic Death Canoe 4: Murder at Blood Lake, she rewatches and live-tweets the previous three to prepare. And during the showing of the fourth movie, she yells comments at the screen. She’s that guy.

Due to Ben’s upcoming return home, Leslie searches for a house for them to get together. When she finds the perfect house, she and Ann blast dubstep and dance like morons; it’s quite fantastic. Because Ben’s candidate won, Jen offers him another job in Florida to run the campaign for a businessman, Kurtzwilder. Leslie freaks out, she can’t let Ben leave her again. So she goes to look at the house one last time and is surprised by Ben being there. He drops to one knee, but Leslie won’t let him ask the question. She needs to remember every detail of his proposal, because it is absolutely perfect. And once she lets him ask, she cuts him off to accept. Yet he still finishes the question, which is really cute.

Leslie and Ann tried to scare Tom as he exited the restroom, but were surprised by Jerry’s appearance instead. Jerry was much more surprised, and suffered a fart attack. He had a heart attack that induced a large excess of gas to be expelled. Since it was just a mild heart attack, Jerry is actually okay with the attack: it was a wake-up call. Since health insurance in Pawnee is completely useless (Leslie couldn’t get her medical bills covered for a sprained wrist because “having a wrist was a preexisting condition”), Leslie hosts an auction to earn the money. When they don’t earn enough money, on a whim, Leslie tries to sell Ann for a night. An incredibly creepy guy covered in tattoos wins her for $900.

And Tom has a chance to actually come up with a good idea. He loans his ridiculously fancy clothes for a short period of time: that way it doesn’t cost nearly as much for the consumers, but they can still get the nice clothes. The name could use a bit of work, though: Rent A Swag. Good luck, Tom!

(My review of the next episode of Parks and Recreation, Ben’s Parents)

The Big Bang Theory — The Habituation Configuration (S6E07)

(My review of the last episode of  The Big Bang Theory, The Extract Obliteration)

I might be a bit biased due to my love of Wil Wheaton, but I truly loved this episode of The Big Bang Theory. It had a nice mix of Sheldon and Howard’s growth, humor, and flags.

Though Howard promised to move in with Bernadette when he returned from his mission in space, he still spends half of his time at his mom’s place and most of his stuff is still there. When he tries to delay the move again, Penny insists that it will never happen, he’s too attached. Howard appears to toughen up when he stands up for himself to Penny, telling her that he is a grown man, has a successful job, and is married. He will move out when he thinks that he needs to and no sooner. But as soon as she’s out of earshot, Howard begs for Bernadette’s forgiveness, it was just a show for Penny. The next day, Howard reminisces about the nice (and not-so-nice) time he had in his old room as he, Leonard, and Raj pack up his things and move him into Bernadette’s apartment. When he is finally moved into Bernadette’s place, he explains why he had such a tough time moving out. He was always there for his mom, she was really lonely and sad and he was the only one who could cheer her up. After his story of taking up magic to brighten his mom’s life, Bernadette breaks. She tells Howard that he has to go back, he can’t leave her when she’s so vulnerable. But is she really that vulnerable anymore? We know she has/had a boyfriend in Howard’s dentist a few weeks ago!

Sheldon decides to have a special guest star on his newest episode of Fun with Flags. And since he is trying to understand Star Trek’s many flags, he invites Wil Wheaton, the actor who played Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation. And since this is the first time Amy is directing a show, she wants it to be perfect. Though Sheldon is the one being completely wooden, she takes it out on Wil. Wil would love to help his friend Sheldon out, but not if Amy was going to be such “a pain in the ass.” Sheldon completely misreads Amy’s cues, and takes her threat to leave as an invitation for him to hang out with Wil. Leonard is (surprisingly) baffled that Sheldon didn’t take Amy’s side in the argument and forces her to apologize. But when he gives her a call, he insists that he shouldn’t be in trouble because he didn’t do anything. To try to make up for his mistake, Sheldon brings Amy the entire boxed set of ST:TNG: if she understands how amazing Wil Wheaton is, maybe she will understand her fault. When she refuses to take the oh-so-generous gift, Sheldon begins to recite the entire series, starting with episode one. She grabs the boxed set and slams the door in his face.

Sheldon reaches a new low in his relationship, he has to resort to asking Penny for relationship advice. She tricks him into drinking a Long Island Ice Tea, and then a few more, while he has no idea that it’s alcoholic. Sheldon finally realizes that Amy is a great girl and tells Penny that, though he knows she would never leave him, because he’s just so great. Sheldon goes to see Wil to defend Amy’s honor, he expects to duel over her. Wil apologizes, something that Sheldon definitely wasn’t expecting. And before he throws up in one of Wil’s shrubs in his front yard, he realizes that he only knocked twice on Wil’s door and makes up for it a few minutes late. He wasso drunk that he messed up knocking, something that happens incredibly rarely.

To replace Wil (But let’s face it, he’s irreplaceable), he nabs LeVar Burton as his new guest celebrity for Fun with Flags. Amy is quick to judge him, too, and considers him even worse than Wil. But LeVar understands and accepts her rudeness when Sheldon explains that she is his girlfriend and he just has to agree with her. That’s good enough for him, and he continues to participate in the show.

(My review of the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, 43 Peculiarities)

The Big Bang Theory — The Extract Obliteration (S6E06)

(My review of the last episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Holographic Excitation)

Sheldon hits the highest point in his life when Stephen Hawking becomes his friend. Well, he agrees to his request to playing Words with Friends, and that clearly means that they are friends. When Amy tries to help him by giving him the word ‘extract,’ Sheldon faces a moral dilemma: should he use her word and cheat or should he lose a massive amount of points? He decides to use the word ‘extract’ and it isn’t cheating. One definition is a noun (such as vanilla extract) and one is a verb, to extract information from something or someone. Only Sheldon would consider this a real solution. When Hawking doesn’t play back after a few days, Howard informs Sheldon that Hawking is a huge baby, and he probably doesn’t want to get creamed. Sheldon, now afraid that he will lose the perfect friend, a genius who sounds like a robot, decides to throw the game. After he wins, Professor Hawking calls Sheldon and makes fun of him for losing, and uses one of Sheldon’s favorite phrases, “neener neener.” I wonder if it was worth corrupting his moral compass by throwing the game for that.

Penny started taking a history course at the Pasadena Community College for fun and a boost in her intellect. But she is scared to tell Leonard because she knows he will make a huge deal out of it, and she is right. Leonard insists on helping her with her essay, even though she wants to pass the class by herself. While Penny is sleeping, Leonard sneaks a peek at her essay and discovers his worst fear: it’s terrible. Leonard is distraught, he wants to help her write a better essay, but he can’t tell her that he read it. When Sheldon tries to discuss his problem, Leonard resorts to using a chess clock to give them a fair share of the time to discuss their problems. Sheldon, deeming his own problem superior, ignores this.

Penny wakes up to breakfast in bed and a story about elves who helped a shoemaker during the night in secret. When she finds out that he is the little elf in the story, she is pissed. This course was something that she really wanted to do by herself and Leonard wouldn’t allow it. She assumes Leonard invaded her space because he couldn’t bear being in a relationship with “just a waitress,” which we all know is untrue. Just like in his four years of college and five years of graduate school, he isn’t going to be sleeping with a college girl. Amy and Bernadette helped her modify her essay and Penny shows off her B- to Leonard in the snottiest way she possibly can. But Penny’s ego drops again when she realizes that her friends got her a B- because they knew anything higher would have looked shady.

This episode showed how both Leonard and Sheldon could be corrupted if they thought it would end in their favor. Sheldon wanted to show Stephen Hawking that he was a genius, so he cheated during the game. But when he realized he might lose him as a friend, he tossed his ideals out and threw the game. This definitely didn’t work out for him. He did have another chance to talk to him, but Hawking was definitely not acting as a friend. Leonard’s curiosity got the best of him when he read Penny’s paper, but his niceness was what really got him in trouble. He couldn’t bear to see Penny get a bad grade, so he knew he had to help. His idea of helping was definitely not what Penny was expecting and just got him into more trouble.

(My review of the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Habituation Configuration)

The Big Bang Theory — The Holographic Excitation (S6E05)

(My review of the last episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Re-Entry Minimization)

Everybody knows that Howard went to space, but he can’t stop reminding them of this fact. Howard bring Stuart a gift, a signed picture of him in his space suit. He can relate literally any topic to the fact that he went to space, and won’t hesitate to do so. This constant reminder started to drive all of his friends crazy, it’s hard to have a conversation with him if it’s always about space. Though it seems that he does this to make everybody else feel inferior, he does it because he thinks that he is inferior. Going to space is the only amazing thing he ever did and will probably ever do, and he doesn’t want people to forget it. Bernadette comforts him and quells his angst by telling him that she married him “on purpose”, she loves the plain old Howard Wolowitz. And this point is driven in by a video that Raj sent about Buzz Aldrin handing out space-related candy (Mars Bars, Milky Ways, Moon Pies) on Halloween and explaining their significance to the children. And since it’s Halloween, they dressed up as Smurfs, which is incredibly creepy. But I have to say, Bernadette has a much better way with words than Tobias Funkë from Arrested Development does when she says, “I just spent three hours coloring myself blue” instead of “I blue myself.”

Raj is trying to help Stuart pick up chicks by throwing on amazing Halloween party, or as he calls it, a “Koothra-party.” He shows up to the party as Indian Jones, Indiana Jones’ dark-skinned love child, which is actually quite clever! Raj is incredibly proud of the menu he is designed, it is comprised of normal foods with Halloween sounding names such as Draculoni and Cheese. And when Stuart takes credit for the amazing party, Raj gets surprisingly upset. He thinks that he deserves the credit for the party, even though he promised Stuart to let him take the credit.

Sheldon agree surprisingly quickly to Amy’s request to wear a couple’s costume, but it’s not exactly what she had hoped for. He requests going as C-3PO and R2D2, but agrees to make a concession and pick something she would agree to. After hours of trying to decide on a costume, they decide to go as something that typically isn’t considered a “couple’s costume.” Amy is dressed as Raggedy Ann and Sheldon is Raggedy C-3PO. The fans have constantly said that Sheldon looks and acts like C-3PO, and I think it was quite a nice gesture from the writers to include this.

After some whining about attending the comic book shop’s Halloween party, Penny realizes that she hasn’t been an ideal girlfriend. She stops by Leonard’s work to try and understand what he actually does for living. She is completely lost, until Leonard shows her something a bit more her speed, a holographic device. He shows her a holographic image of the world and zooms out to show her the entire galaxy, making an observation that maybe they’re just images on a painting, not even real. All of a sudden, Penny is turned on by Leonard’s intellect, something that hasn’t really happened before. And for the first time in his life, Leonard gets to fool around in his lab. When they get to the party, Penny is dressed as a cop and Leonard is Albert Einstein (sans accent upon Penny’s request). And they quickly head to a back room to spend the evening together again. It looks like the doubt Penny had about the relationship might have finally disappeared.

(My review of the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Extract Obliteration)

Modern Family — Yard Sale (S4E06)

(My review of the last episode of Modern Family, Open House of Horrors)

Manny and Luke’s class are trying to raise money for UNICEF (The real motivation isn’t to help those in need, rather to earn pizza and a pool part), so they are holding a yard sale. The entire family donates their goods and attends to try to support the boys and their cause. Since he lost a lot of weight, Cam brings all of his old jeans that he doesn’t fit into anymore. Mitch knows that Cam won’t be able to keep the weight off, he never can, so he hides the pants to prevent having to buy new ones. When Cam finds the pants, Mitchell admits to stealing them, but consents to selling them to remove Cam’s safety net. It gives him an extra reason to keep the weight off, and he needs that extra push.

Claire is absolutely sure that Alex’s boyfriend Michael is gay and is worried that the relationship will end with heartbreak. Alex thought he was gay at first, like when they went to prom last year, but after they made out, she realized he was actually straight. Claire enlists Cam and Mitch’s help in ensuring that he really is gay before talking to Alex about it. She tells them that Alex is only tough on the outside, she uses sarcasm to protect herself, but inside she is a fragile girl. [As an incredibly sarcastic teenage girl, I want to let y’all know that that’s not why we use sarcasm. Seriously, it’s not.] Cam and Mitch insist that boys actually care about their appearance, so it’s impossible to tell when someone is gay. But within three seconds of meeting him, they agree with Claire’s assumption. Cam tries to break the news to Alex that her boyfriend is gay, but she shrugs it off, she can just ask him since it’s not the “olden days” anymore. Michael is pissed when she asks him for the truth, he insists that he’s straight. And, to Claire’s disappointment, they make up later that day.

Luke and Manny discover a mysterious case of Gloria’s that’s from Columbia. Luke, as always, insists that there is a head inside the box. And he was actually fairly close, it was an incredibly creepy puppet. When Gloria was in a beauty pageant her talent was ventriloquism, so she created Uncle Grumpy. Gloria refuses to show off her talent, because it’s embarrassing and during the pageant she froze and couldn’t perform the act. Luke, intent on watching this ridiculous show, tells Gloria that Manny will be so upset, he always thought she wasn’t afraid of anything and this will prove him wrong. She wants to prove that she is awesome and gain Manny’s respect back, so she performs for the entire family. And when Jay walks out of the house grumbling about nonsense, Claire realizes that Gloria married her puppet. They are both old, grumpy characters.

On his way to the yard sale, Phil is riding a StreetStider, a dolly/bike. It is one of the most ridiculous inventions, so, of course Phil has it. Claire and Luke mock it, but Alex takes the cake when she tells him, “Even I think it’s nerdy and I’m fluent in Elvish.” My love for Alex just grew exponentially, both because she speaks Elvish and her amazing wit. To make up for this, he takes Jay’s motorcycle out for a spin. But he’s deathly afraid of motorcycles, and proves himself right by getting trapped under it. After being stranded for 27 minutes he records a video for his family, his goodbyes. But he manages to return to the yard sale riding the motorcycle and missing a pant leg. His brilliant idea was to cut off his leg, but only managed to make it through his jeans.

This episode was only mediocre. The only genuinely funny scenes were the ones with Alex and the family’s reactions to Michael. And this episode proved that Luke isn’t given the credit he deserves for his intellect. He might not be book smart, but he’s kind of an evil genius, and I really hope they keep playing out this aspect of him.

(My review of the next episode of Modern Family, Arrested)

Modern Family — Open House of Horrors (S4E05)

(My review of the last episode of Modern Family, The Butler’s Escape)

Even after a traumatic incident that ended with a man having a heart attack, Phil still can’t see Claire as frightening. Everybody else in the neighborhood is scared to death (almost literally) of Claire, causing them to avoid the Dunphy house like it’s the plague. As someone who loved Halloween, Claire is devastated, she doesn’t even get to hand out candy and admire the children’s costumes. Since she can’t partake in her usual Halloween activities, she decides to prove once and for all to Phil that she is, in fact, scary. He has set up an open house on Halloween, he tricks the children into the house and explains all of the positive features of the house to have them recite it back to their parents. Though he doesn’t notice her appearance at first, when a couple who are actually interested in the house arrive, he freaks out, hoping that Claire won’t jump out and kill his deal. After the couple leaves the lights shut off, the TV turns on, static crackles, and the phone rings. Phil is quite scared, but won’t admit it. When Claire says that she’s already home, and has the kids on the line verify it, he gets even more nervous. Maybe the house is actually haunted! Rather than escaping before the house eats him alive, he goes to explore. When he arrives in the bedroom, Claire reaches her hand out from under the bed and grabs him, Alex and Luke jump out right after. Though it pains him to admit that he’s scared, he does.

One night Mitch told Lily that her mother was a princess, and that’s why she had to give her off to him and Cam. Lily didn’t forget this and became obsessed with princesses, she dressed up this and last year as one. Cam has no idea, and it was starting to get hard for Mitch to hide it from him. When she sees another woman dressed as a princess, Lily runs up to her and asks her if she is her mother. It was tough to watch, but Cam and Mitch had to break it to her that her mother isn’t really a princess, they didn’t know who she was. The only reason Cam wasn’t furious about Mitch’s lie was because of the lies he told Lily to try to train her.

While Mitch was trying to hide his little secret, Cam was trying his very best to show his. He had lost a lot of weight, but no one was noticing in his bulky costume. When flashing them made them feel uncomfortable, he decided to change into a sleek, white suit that showed off the lost weight. Right as he does this, though, another man walks in a similar suit with a stapled stomach, stealing Jay’s thunder completely.

Manny accidentally flipped the fire alarm, and the principal thought he was trying to get out of taking a test. Gloria, being a total hothead (and the hormones aren’t helping), flipped out and threatened to pay this principal a visit. She proves Manny and Jay’s point even further when she refuses to give a couple of teenagers some candy, they retaliate by egging the house and running off. That teenager was Durkas, the bully that Manny is deathly afraid of. But Durkas is under the impression that Manny called the fire to get out of the test, which gives him quite a bit of cred, and invites him out with his friends. Reuben (dressed as one of the LA Angels) tries to convince him that he isn’t one of those boys, he is respectable and needs to behave so. Luke (as the devil) convinces him that this is his only chance to be cool, and he has to take it! This was a terribly cheesy superego/id, angel/devil battle, but Modern Family tried to make it work due to Halloween. It didn’t really work. When the teenagers show up at Cam’s house, Gloria chases after them and manages to peg the slow one with an egg. Little did she know that the slow one was her son trying to be cool. Reuben, still dressed as an Angel, reminds him that he should have acted like himself. He just proved the devil wrong.

(My review of the next episode of Modern Family, Yard Sale)

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