Modern Family, "Baby on Board": fire and ice

Quick Take: Modern Family, "Baby on Board"
"I'm lying next to my rock." – Cam

 Modern Family,

Review: Modern Family, "Baby on Board"
(S0324) With all of the premature cancellations and shortened episode-orders slated for some of TV's best comedies next season, Modern Family is enjoying a period of stability and undeniable popularity. Certain to be in the running for more comedy Emmys to complement last year's haul, ABC's fan favourite took a marginally-serialized approach this season, leaving audiences little choice but to continue watching when it returns in September.

Mitchell and Cameron commanded a great deal of attention this season, as they weighed and made the decision to want to adopt a son. Despite the many opportunities that presented themselves, however, the fates didn't see fit to bring this dream to fruition. Everything seems to start falling into place, however, when they receive a phone call from the adoption agency, telling them that their son, whom they have just been accepted to adopt, is being born that very day.

Okay, so for all of the amicably relatable family antics that the Modern Family has to deal with, there are an equal amount of inconceivable dilemmas that arise, as well. If a landlord has to give twenty-four hours' notice to enter his own (rented) building, then I can only assume an adoption agency is going to give you more than one day's notice of your becoming parents.

Regardless, Cam and Mitch drop off Lily with Jay and Manny to take to her recital, and leave for the hospital with Gloria, who they require as a translator between them and the Hispanic family they are about to meet. Even though Community is (or was) streets ahead in developing concept-episodes, Modern Family can now claim a "first" over NBC's abused step-child, as Cam and Mitch walk right into a scene out of a Spanish soap opera.

The other markedly pertinent storyline that has been developing this season revolves around the eldest Dunphy daughter. Facing her final year in high school, Hayley's fate for the year(s) to come was all but undecided until the finale. Despite being waitlisted on her college application, Hayley had yet to hear back,, opting instead to apparently grow up. She applies to community college, gets a job at The Gap, and even decides she wants to move in with Dylan, who has wandered back from the Dude Ranch in Wisconsin like the cattle he couldn't herd.

Suspicious of Hayley's choice not to go to her final prom – something that even Alex has the sociability to attend – Phil and Claire are treated to dinner in their own home, shopped for and prepared by the non-college-bound lovebirds. When Dylan lets slip his and Hayley's plan to move in with each other, he is banished to Luke's room while Phil and Claire illustrate the beauty-free life without shopping that awaits their daughter.

Neither Luke nor Dylan wants Hayley to leave home for college; where Dylan has talked Hayley into staying with him, however, Luke has only made possible by hiding the mail. Hayley's acceptance letter has already arrived – along with bills, tickets, and fines revealing of Luke's own (mis)adventures this season – and for once, Dylan have the presence of mind to want what is truly best for her.

Even though Cam and Mitchell resign to take a break from the emotionally taxing search for a son, audiences shouldn't be left feeling cheated. As revealed in the final moments setting up Season Four: Gloria is pregnant. The implications are endless – well, there's a few of them, anyways. Claire and Mitchell will undoubtedly have troubles reacting to the pending birth of their younger-by-several-decades half-brother or half-sister. Already accustomed to being an uncle to the other children, Manny is now bound for older-brotherhood, while Hayley, Alex, Luke, and Lily are in store for a new aunt or uncle. And even though he's largely the show's grandfather, Jay has been growing more possessive of his step-son, and even now he's softened up enough to dance with Lily onstage to help her confidence – in front of an audience, no less!

By Mark D Curran

About the author

Mark is a freelance writer, student of English and Philosophy, and still has too much time on his hands. If you have any of your own, check out the blog and follow him on Twitter!!/MarkDCurran

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1 Comment
On: Thursday, June 7, 2012
Sara said:

"Several decades". Several makes it sound like they're 70-years-old or something. Still, Lily and the Dunphy kids will have an aunt/uncle who is younger than they are. 


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