Modern Family, "Door to Door": what do wrapping paper, stop signs, and lost dogs have in common?

Quick Take: Modern Family, “Door to Door”
“Jay is always telling me to 'write this down' – I don’t always catch everything he says. Something something firm handshake. Never take the first room they show you – not sure who 'they' is. This one just says pancakes.” – Manny

Cam, Mitchell, and Lily

Review: Modern Family, “Door to Door”
(S0304) Okay, so maybe it’s too early to tell, but Modern Family can’t not win more Emmys next year after an episode like this.

This week takes the tedious task of going door-to-door, and turns it into another one of Claire’s (Julie Bowen) mom-missions; a chance for Cam’s (Eric Stonestreet) best impression of Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire; and a reason for David Cross to grow a beard that seems to be confused about its color.

After a couple of close calls at a treacherous intersection, Claire makes it her duty to have a stop sign installed at the near-deadly corner. Spurred by the traffic committee meeting that night, she sets off to collect enough signatures for her petition, thinking that Phil is doing the same. He’s not, mind you, because he gets distracted trying to recreate a fluke bounce-shot off of his head for a viral video. Instead of an inspiring endeavour to walk across a tightrope, Phil spends the episode having Luke throw a basketball at his face. I both pity and admire Ty Burrell; I can’t begin to imagine the “impact” shooting those scenes had on him – even if it wasn’t a real basketball he had thrown at his head (but I’m pretty sure it was).

Jay, Manny, and Gloria are all going door to door, too, although with different goals in mind. Jay and Manny are trying to sell wrapping paper – Manny, because he needs to raise money for a school trip, and Jay, because he wants to teach his step-son how to be a salesman as “something to fall back on.” Left at home with the dog, Gloria doesn’t waste any time putting the dog outside so that she can make her lunch in peace. Realizing she left the gate open for Stella to get out of, Gloria abandons her food and recruits Cam, who is avoiding his mess in the kitchen at all costs.

While Cam screams “Stella” like the theatre gods demanded him to wear an undershirt and jeans for such an occasion, Mitchell ignores the urge to clean up the mess in the kitchen, gradually turning the whole house into a pigsty to prove a point to Cam. He just finishes spraying whipped cream on Cam and Lily when a woman from the adoption agency arrives for the visit that Cam wrote down on Jennifer Aniston’s hair. Hopefully this messy encounter doesn’t postpone their adoption of a son.

Leaving her family to discuss the semantics of the movie Blindside, Claire goes to the meeting to present her petition for a stop sign. Already nonplussed as to why he doesn’t have an ice-cream cake for his birthday, Councilman Duane (David Cross), the head of the traffic committee, is ready to dismiss Claire’s request, even when Haley and Alex arrive with the rest of her signatures. Luke and Phil finally come through in the end, too, with an insistent amateur video that clearly demonstrates the need for a stop sign... well, stop signs in general, really.

Gloria and Cam find Stella with a bratty little kid named Blanche (“Mitchell would die”), returning her home and leaving Manny and Jay none the wiser. Unable to make a sale, Manny falls back to his original plan, which is to pander to a rich, old man’s ego. Proving that he really is his mother’s son, Manny lets himself seem sufficiently let-down after a day of rejection, and after a few words about the high bar that’s been set for him, gets Jay to pay for everything, just like he wanted.

It’s not clear whether Claire got her stop sign; Councilman Duane was too busy being disgusted over his cake. I can only assume that this was setting the stage for David Cross’ continued guest appearance in next week’s episode, which sees Claire going up against his character in a potential political showdown.

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!

http://twitter.com/#!/MarkDCurran

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