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Modern Family: Family Portrait Review

Say cheese. The series finale of Modern Family was a near-perfect snapshot of America's new favorite family. As the season draws to a close, their worst traits come to the surface. Hilarity ensues.

Gloria and Phil take Manny and Alex to a Lakers game, with a cameo appearance by superstar Kobe Bryant. Phil, who smuggles snacks into the game ("Not because I'm cheap. It's the principle."), is in for a shock when the kiss cam lands on him and the crazy Colombian turned suburban wife. To keep the crowd from booing, Gloria grabs Phil and plants a big wet one on him. Amidst a series of poorly-timed text messages, Phil comes to believe that Claire and Jay have seen their smooch on TV. More on that later.

Jay spends quality time with grandson Luke when the youngest Dunphy child works on a school project. Luke is required to interview someone who lived through the 1960s. Possibly hampered by his crotch tourniquet (Jay's and Manny's underwear are placed in the wrong drawers by the maid), Jay is a boring subject, at least until he begins lying about his past exploits. According to Jay, he was the official hairdresser to Martin Luther King, Jr. and numerous presidents. Fat chance.

Cameron, who was unceremoniously bounced from the Christmas choir last year, nabs a job as a wedding singer after a particularly stunning karaoke performance. Mitchell, no fan of small talk, stays home. In a scene inspired by The Godfather, Mitchell destroys the living room in attacking a pigeon who flies into the house, interspersed with the rapturous strains of Cameron singing "Ave Maria." Wielding a tennis racket, he chases after the unwelcome bird with no luck. Harmed in the process: the couple's framed photo above the fireplace, a few feather-filled pillows and a set of expensive glasses.

At Claire's request, the clan is scheduled for a family portrait. Obsessing over the broken step, a recurring part of the Dunphy household for the entire season, Claire panics when planning the event. After deeming her house unworthy, she corrals the family over to Jay's mini-mansion. With the group dressed in cream-colored threads, Claire rails against everyone---especially Phil, who fesses up to locking lips with Gloria---and Mitchell fights with Cameron over their newly-demolished living room. Jay's angry admonition to his children---"You're both uptight about everything!"---fires up the whole troop. To loosen them up, Jay slaps mud on Claire's all-white ensemble. Eventually everyone is dirtied up, which actually makes for a neat photograph after all and a sweet ending to a successful first season.

Posted by Blake Jonathan Boldt on May 20, 2010 9:48 AM
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