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'Modern Family' recap: Seeds of change

Let me start off by saying, nice butt Julie Bowen! When she unknowingly flashed Haley’s boyfriend on video chat, we sure saw a lot of her, and she was looking pretty damn good – especially for someone who was hiding her pregnancy behind laundry baskets in the pilot episode. Tonight’s overarching theme was about change – big and small. From guest star Kristen Schaal’s makeover to Jay’s slow acceptance of his friend’s supposed (but ultimately false) homosexuality, to Claire’s ability to handle technology and admit she can be wrong. But this being Modern Family, no one actually changed that much (and thank goodness for that, we love them all as they are) — just 15 percent.

I love how Family continually embeds some sort of deep message but never takes it so far that it enters into sap-ville. The other theme of tonight was technology and our continual fight with inanimate objects. Who hasn’t smashed a remote on the floor or fought out loud with a car’s voice command? My second favorite interaction of the evening was between Mitchell and his car, which went something like this, Car: “Enter a destination.” Mitchell: “Hell!” The car: “Mexican Food.” Mitchell: “Shut up!” Funny stuff. My first favorite interaction? When Claire and Phil were discussing which of their children is the dumbest. Only this show can make something so seemingly un-PC so hilarious.

While last night’s episode continued on Family’s hot streak of guest stars with Flight of the Conchords’ Schaal as Whitney, Manny’s much-older Internet date, and Chazz Palminteri (of A Bronx Tale and Usual Suspects fame) as Jay’s old friend Shorty, the core family stole the night with their zingers. Below are some of my favorites of the night.

“You guys look like a scene out of Jersey Boys. ” – Cam, when meeting Jay’s friends who are gathered on the sidewalk outside of Papa Don’s Deli looking tough.

“I had to actually come out to my dad three times before he acknowledged it. I’m not sure if maybe he was hoping he heard it wrong, like I said ‘Dad, I’m grey.’” – Mitchell on coming out to Jay

“My gaydar is never wrong, and it is pinging like we’re at a bath house,” Mitchell to Jay, about his friend Shorty who Mitchell claims is gay

“In my country there’s a saying, ‘Love is just around the corner.’ I come from a neighborhood with a lot of prostitutes.” -Gloria (maybe my favorite line of the night!)

“We’re guys, we don’t open up. We talk about sports and cars and getting up in the middle of the night to pee.” Jay, reluctant to talk to his old pal Shorty about his possibly being gay. On that note, guys do get up a lot more to pee in the night, why is that?

“Cheerleading in my college was cool. The football players were so jealous they wouldn’t even let me and my buddies, Trevor, Scotty and Ling go to their parties.” –Phil about his cheerleading days in college. Of course he was a male cheerleader! Could that be more perfect?

Favorite exchange over a flower arrangement:

“I got all medieval on the florists.” –Cam, after demanding that the florist bring him a new arrangement when his flowers appeared to be droopy

“Cam, I heard you on the phone, you said you were displeased, but that’s hardly going medieval.” –Mitchell

“Excuse me, I said very displeased and I used my cowboy voice.” –Cam

“Look at that, two things flaming at once.” –Mitchell (while pointing at himself), to the flower delivery dude after Cam’s flowers burst into flames.

So what did I miss? What was your favorite line of the night? Your favorite interaction? How many remote controls have you broken out of frustration? And who is dying to see clips of Phil cheerleading? Me!

Originally posted January 21 2010 — 8:11 AM EST

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