Modern Family—Season 1

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great cast in smart stories





Meet the Modern Family!

Jay (Ed O’Neill), Gloria (Sofia Vergara), and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) are a family. Phil (Ty Burrell), Claire (Julie Bowen), Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter), and Luke (Nolan Gould) are a family. Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) are a family and have just adopted a child. Together they are a modern family with the problems of a new society.

Modern Family premiered on September 23, 2009 on ABC and finished its first season run on May 19, 2010. The show was a critical success and nominated for multiple awards. It won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy, Outstanding Supporting Actor for Eric Stonestreet in “Fizbo”, and Outstanding Writing for the pilot episode. It was nominated for Outstanding Directing (“Pilot”), Outstanding Supporting Actor for Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Family Portrait”), Outstanding Supporting Actor (“Up All Night”), Outstanding Supporting Actress Julie Bowen (“My Funky Valentine”), Outstanding Supporting Actress Sofia Vergara (“Not In My House”) and Outstanding Guest Actor Fred Willard (“Travels with Scout”).

Mitchel: "I was "fire," 'cause of the red hair, and Claire was "nice," because it was ironic and she wasn't"

Mitchell: “I was “fire,” ’cause of the red hair, and Claire was “nice,” because it was ironic and she wasn’t”

I enjoy Modern Family. Watching the series, it is obviously a combination of both The Office and a “nice” version of Arrested Development with overlapping plots. Modern Family is good but not as good as Arrested Development or The Office in its prime. It is a nice substitute for the two so it is good that it appears that it will have a nice long life.

The series is really aided (and hindered) by its actors. The core families are awesome, but I do feel that the kid actors often struggle (particularly Nolan Gould who often just sounds like he’s reading lines). It isn’t always their fault however since most of the “real” plots revolve around the adults and the kids stories are almost always subplots and somewhat typical storylines.


Fizbo kicks ass!!!

If you want to see an episode that shows off the best of this series, check out the “Fizbo” episode which highlights what this series is capable of. The story is smartly crafted with tons of red herrings on how the injury occurred, and Eric Stonestreet is awesome as the persistent clown and Phil as the man who is terrified of clowns. It is a great coming together of cast and script, and every time I’ve seen it, I wish that more of the series has this great convergence.

Modern Family is a fun, smart series that has a lot of TV sitcom clichés but also isn’t afraid to be a little un-PC on occasion (though the series primarily is a kind show). I wish the show would get a bit dirtier, but also realize that a dirty Modern Family would be out of character with the themes of the show.

Modern Family—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:



1.1       Pilot Airdate:  09/23/09

Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) work at raising their kids Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter), and Luke (Nolan Gould).  Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Jay (Ed O’Neill) adjust to their new marriage and Jay adjusts to having Gloria’s son Manny (Rico Rodriguez).  Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) return home from Vietnam after adopting a child.  Haley introduces her parents to her new boyfriend Dylan (Reid Ewing).  Manny deals with his first love against Jay’s wishes and Mitchell and Cameron wonder how to tell their family about Lily.


“The Bicycle Thief”

1.2       The Bicycle Thief Airdate:  09/30/09

Phil decides Luke a new bike against Claire’s orders that Luke needs to learn responsibility.  Mitchell and Cam take Lily to her first play group and find themselves competing with the other mothers.  Phil and Gloria plan to go to Wine Country while Manny is visiting his father, but Manny and Phil argue over their relationship.


“Come Fly with Me”

1.3       Come Fly with Me Airdate:  10/07/09

Mitchell falls in love with Costco.  Manny spends time with Claire when he’s supposed to spend time with Luke.  Alex goes shopping with Gloria who tries to convince her to buy a dress.  Phil tries to get closer to Jay by helping him fly his model airplanes.


“The Incident”

1.4       The Incident Airdate:  10/14/09

Chaos comes with the arrival of Mitchell and Claire’s mother DeDe Pritchett (Shelley Long).  When DeDe reveals she wants to make amends for her actions at Jay and Gloria’s wedding.  Haley finds herself at odds with her mother over her desire to go to a concert.


“The Coal Digger”

1.5       Coal Digger Airdate:  10/21/09

It’s the big game, and Jay worries that he won’t be able to watch but ends up bonding with Cam.  Luke and Manny’s fight at school continues to the homes between Gloria and Claire.  Mitchell tries to learn about football to fit in with Jay and Cam.


“Run for Your Wife”

1.6       Run for Your Wife Airdate:  10/28/09

Schools back in and Manny, Alex, Luke, and Haley are getting ready.  Cam and Mitchell deal with doing first time parents.  Phil and Claire get into a debate about who can run faster and Gloria gets upset at Jay for telling Manny he shouldn’t wear a poncho to school.


“En Garde”

1.7       En Garde Airdate:  11/04/09

Manny’s success at fencing brings up family resentment.  Claire and Mitchell argue about their old figure skating group “Fire and Nice”.  Phil tries to find Luke’s special gift.  Manny worries about having to fence against a girl.


“Great Expectations”

1.8       Great Expectations Airdate:  11/18/09

It is Phil and Claire’s anniversary, and Phil is frustrated by Claire’s lack of imagination.  When Claire decides to get the bass player of Spandau Ballet Izzy LaFontaine (Edward Norton) to perform for him, Phil realizes he has no idea who he is.  Mitchell and Cam decide to spend the day with their friend Sal (Elizabeth Banks) but find she has a problem with Lilly.  It’s Jay’s Night, but Haley wants to ditch to go to a party.



1.9       Fizbo Airdate:  11/25/09

Luke’s birthday is coming up, and Claire and Phil decide to throw him a big party since he always is missed due to Thanksgiving.  Cam decides Luke has to have a clown and sets himself up as his clown alter-ego Fizbo.  Tragedy strikes the party as a member of the family is rushed to the hospital.


“Undeck the Halls”

1.10     Undeck the Halls Airdate:  12/09/09

Phil cancels Christmas when he finds a cigarette burn on the couch and none of the kids will admit to doing it.  Cam and Mitchell accidentally get the mall Santa fire and learn are forced to take him home when they are homeless.  Jay finds Manny and Gloria’s Columbian Christmas traditions strange and square off against them for the holiday.


“Up All Night”

1.11     Up All Night Airdate:  01/06/10

Phil suffers from a kidney stone but finds Claire is more interested in the “hot” paramedics of 911.  Cam and Mitchell disagree on how they should deal with Lilly’s crying.  Jay finds Gloria’s ex Javier Delgado (Benjamin Bratt) is in town and finds himself being swayed by his charm.


“Not in My House”

1.12     Not in My House Airdate:  01/13/10

Gloria worries about Jay’s strange obsession with his dog butler statue Barkley.  Mitchell finds Cam is too caring when he invites the gardener in to deal with his problems.  Claire finds a porn picture on the computer and Phil tries to blame Luke.


“Fifteen Percent”

1.13     Fifteen Percent Airdate:  01/20/10

Mitchell objects to Jay’s treatment of Cam and reveals to Jay that one of his old friends might be gay.  Claire can’t work Phil’s fancy new remote control and challenges Phil to train Haley to use it.  Manny’s blind date turns out to be a little older than he expected.


“Moon Landing”

1.14     Moon Landing Airdate:  02/02/10

A face off at the gym in racquetball leads to an accidental butt-bump aka moon landing for Cam and Jay.  Mitchell is hired to defend Gloria in an accident but learns that she might be at fault.  Claire meets with her old colleague Valerie (Minnie Driver) and sees what her life might have been if she hadn’t married Phil.


“My Funky Valentine”

1.15     My Funky Valentine Airdate:  02/10/10

It’s Valentine’s Day and the families are celebrating!  Phil and Claire set out for a romantic role-playing dinner that doesn’t go as planned.  Jay and Gloria take in a David Brenner show and Brenner points at their difference in age.  When Mitchell loses a big case, he and Cam try to help Manny get back the girl that was stolen from him.



1.16     Fears Airdate:  03/03/10

Haley struggles to get her driver’s license as Alex worries about her dance.  Manny tries to get out of a party due to his fear of rollercoasters.  Cam and Mitchell invite their pediatrician (Suzy Nakamura) over to get on her good side but end up worrying that Lilly isn’t bonding with them.


“Truth Be Told”

1.17     Truth Be Told Airdate:  03/10/10

Mitchell worries his boss heard him badmouthing him on the phone and sets to make it right.  Jay accidentally kills Manny’s turtle and tries to fake the crime scene.  Claire is jealous of the arrival of Phil’s ex-girlfriend Denise (Judy Greer), and Alex plays a trick on Luke by telling him that Denise is his real mother.


“Starry Night”

1.18     Starry Night Airdate:  03/24/10

A star-watching tradition takes Mitchell and Jay to the countryside, but Mitchell finds Jay has invited Manny with them.  Cam gets alone time with Gloria and tries to get over the feeling he offends her.  Phil tries to guide Luke through a project his way while Claire tries to help Haley make cupcakes for school.


“Game Changer”

1.19     Game Changer Airdate:  03/31/10

It’s Phil’s birthday, and Claire blows it when she fails to get him his iPad at the release.  Cam gets obsessed with a neighboring family when he hears they are breaking up over the baby monitor, and Mitchell worries that he isn’t tough enough to protect Lily.  Jay and Manny face off in chess, and Jay learns Manny and Gloria have been lying to him about their ability.



1.20     Benched Airdate:  04/14/10

Phil finds himself at odd with Jay when they both are charged with taking over Manny and Luke’s basketball team.  Mitchell takes Cam to meet his potential new boss (Justin Kirk), and Cam secretly wishes he’d take it.  Claire finds herself pushed away by Alex in front of her friends, and Gloria discovers Manny doesn’t want her at his basketball games.


“Travels with Scout”

1.21     Travels with Scout Airdate:  04/28/10

Phil’s dad Frank (Fred Willard) comes to visit and brings a dog as a gift.  Cam finds himself a member of Dylan’s band and finds he enjoys it.  Jay accidentally takes Manny to a scary movie and pays the price when Manny can’t sleep.  Claire tries to get Phil to talk to his dad when she worries that something is wrong with his marriage.


“Airport 2010”

1.22     Airport 2010 Airdate:  05/05/10

It’s Jay’s birthday, and Gloria has surprised him by taking the whole family to Hawaii.  As they wait at LAX for their plane, Mitchell and Phil rush home for Mitchell’s wallet.  Claire’s fear of flying takes the back seat when she tries to drink away her fears, and Jay just wishes he had more alone time with Gloria as Gloria and Manny deal with the TSA.



1.23     Hawaii Airdate:  05/12/10

The family trip to Hawaii appears to be a success as Claire and Phil try to find time for themselves.  Jay’s birthday brings the fear that he could die at the same age as his father while Cam and Mitchell disagree on what makes the best vacation.  Phil sets out to surprise Claire with the wedding she never had.


“Family Portrait”

1.24     Family Portrait Airdate:  05/19/10

Claire is preparing for a big family portrait and driving everyone crazy in the process.  Luke sets out to do an interview of Jay about life in the ’60s and Jay is unable to attend a Laker’s game.  Mitchell skips out on Cam’s singing premiere and battles a pigeon that gets into the house.  When the kiss cam lands on Gloria and Phil, Gloria takes matters into her own hands.  Will Claire get the picture of her dreams?

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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