'Modern Family' Review: "Diamond in the Rough"

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Manny and Luke's little league team makes it to the playoffs, sending Claire and Cam on the hunt for a field they can use, while Gloria discovers a microphone on tonight's 'Modern Family.'

While Manny and Luke keep up their 'Odd Couple' display and practice for their little league playoffs, Claire begins searching for purpose, and it's all thanks to a flippant remark from Haley, who's off to her first day at work. Haley comments that having a job makes her feel like she's worth something and gives Claire a passive-aggressive apology -- Claire's feelings about being a stay-at-home mom are rarely explored on 'Modern Family,' which has felt like a relief considering how redundant similar plots have been on other sitcoms, and usually we've only seen this idea explored via Cam. Cam often feels tedious and in need of purpose with Mitchell off at work and Lily in school, but now that he has a job and Gloria's pregnant, all that leaves is Claire.

So when Claire and Cam find a great house for an unbelievable price, the zealous pair try to convince Mitch and Phil to let them buy the house together and flip it for profit. As Cam notes, he should be in charge of design, obviously, because he knows about colors and shapes, and as Mitch hilariously notes, that's not much because Lily knows about colors and shapes too. Sticking Claire with Cam for this particular storyline makes loads of sense -- Cam is always looking for a new creative project and is often naive in his approach, and here's Claire with this drive to find something useful to do with her time and who is equally naive about what she wants to do.

As it turns out, Claire has been applying for jobs and getting turned down, and all she wants to do is feel like she's really earned something. And why not? She's a sensible, intelligent, and capable woman, and being a homemaker while someone else is providing the cash can make someone feel a little worthless.

But the focus is more on Mitchell and Phil's bickering behind the scenes -- they both agree that Cam and Claire shouldn't flip the house, but Phil told Claire and Cam that it was Mitch alone who didn't support them. This leads to a silly exchange of text messages that are being inadvertently copied over to Claire, and a bunch of fussing over how to tell Claire and Cam that they can't flip the house. We've seen the ways in which Mitch doubts Cam time and again (and often with good reason, though Cam can usually prove him wrong somehow), but Phil rarely doubts Claire on something so important to her.

It's a sticky situation -- you love someone and believe in them, but you're also more aware of their limitations than they are. So you have two options: put your faith in them and be there for them when it falls apart, or prevent them from having the chance to be disappointed. And with this particular endeavor, Phil and Mitch are the providers, and it's their money that will be lost, but unfortunately, money takes a priority for them over their partners' feelings and their value as people.

As expected, Phil and Mitch discover that maybe they should have a little more faith in their partners when Claire and Cam pull off the little league baseball field all by themselves. And Jay shows up for a beat to tell everyone why they're wrong so they can discuss it rationally like grown-ups, but by then it's too late because Phil and Mitch have caved and the group have purchased a house to flip.

Over at Jay and Gloria's house, Gloria has received a microphone that she can hook up to her belly to talk to her baby in the womb. Jay naturally thinks this is absurd, but eventually joins in for a few chuckles. Their plot is the non-story this week, offering little more than a wacky, one-note gag.

Filed Under: ABC, Modern Family
Categories: TV News, TV Reviews
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