- Posted January 13, 2011 by
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Modern Family: “Our Children, Ourselves”
It is not easy to be a kid these days, with all the academic pressure to succeed in order to have a slight chance to go to a good college and have a better future. That is the case of Alex, the only Dunphy that actually cares about her academic future. Phil and Claire want Alex to relax a little about her studies, thinking that she has develop some sort of compulsive behavior (but from whom she gets that? No idea). Her constant obsession even gets her a weird twitch, moving her jaw as if it’s going to snap out of her face at any moment (super weird). That is stress working on her and her parents don’t really get that. They just encourage her to have fun, which actually seems more like forcing her to do something she doesn’t enjoy (like go jumping on the trampoline). I really felt bad for Alex because I’d been there too. When she comes second in her own personal competition to be the best and beat another kid that is the first of the class, she makes a remark that she is doing the best she can with what she has, exposing Phil and Claire as average parents and making them feel like idiots.
Meanwhile, Mitch and Cam are shopping outside with Lily, who appears to be taking things from stores and stashing them into her stroller. But their worries of being raising a future shoplifter disappear after they run into an old girlfriend of Mitchell (yes, a female), only to discover something very disturbing. Mitch confesses his ‘relationship’ with her to Cam and the possibility of him being the father of the little redheaded guy she was giving ice cream to. They undergo into an emotional rollercoaster, speaking out their hearts and just doing a big drama about it. But it was a big issue indeed and they decide to confront Tracy (Mitchell’s ex girlfriend) about the possible paternity issue here.
So far, everything is related about children and how parents handle their strange behaviors; except for Jay and Gloria. They argued about Gloria’s attempt to make new friends with an obnoxious and boring couple they met on vacation. Jay can’t stand them and just wants to get rid of them and decides to be honest and tell them. But things get awkward because Gloria already invited them to stay in their house as guest for one night. This is when the part of “Ourselves” from the title comes to play in the episode, with Jay acting rude like a child and Gloria trying to cover his rudeness telling the couple that Jay’s old age has caused him to starting losing his mind. As we all know, they say old people are sometimes like children, so Jay could be the child of this family for the episode, since Manny is left aside with his little problem with the glass of water (which I still do not understand)and is never being addressed.
But Jay is not the only parent behaving like a child; Claire and Phil realize they are to blame for holding their children back but then forget about it and decide that their time is better spent watching really bad sci-fi movies (like Croctopus!). They are in the movies, getting ready with the 3-D glasses when they meet face to face with Sanjay's parents, the boy who is the first in Alex’s class. Claire decides to put aside the 3-D glasses and going with Sanjay’s parents to watch a foreign movie (with subtitles) because she starts questioning their own intellectual drives. But her attempt to smarten themselves fail with the movie being so boring making her to fall asleep and then with Phil walking out to go see Croctopus instead.
At the end, everybody realizes different things. Cam and Mitchell found out that the little redheaded guy is actually a midget and Tracy’s husband. A very awkward moment for them, with their little slugger gift and everything, thinking that he was a child and the possible son of Mitchell (just run Mitch, run!). Then Claire and Phil saw Sanjay’s father trying to validate the parking ticket but making a fool of him, so they go to ‘help’ him thinking that maybe they are not as dumb as Alex thinks of them. Only to go crashing a glass door with a very big label saying ‘Not an Exit’ (very ironic, and hilarious). The little situation with Gloria and the story of Jay losing his mind ended with the obnoxious couple running for their lives after hearing Manny’s story of how bad Jay drives and swears all the time (referring of course to the Golf Game). Everyone is raising children and at the same time acting like ones. But just as Alex said: they are doing the best they can with what they have (everyone does).
This episode just shows us that sometimes when we are raising our children we are also raising ourselves. Sometimes people say that our children are the reflection of ourselves, and that can be true but it is deeper and more complicated than that. “Modern Family” again hits the nail on the situations we live everyday with our own families, but of course making them funnier just to remind us that we just need to laugh to have a better life.