'Modern Family' - 'Hawaii': Eye of the Tiger!
A vacation episode that still feels like an episode of the show.
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A review of last night's "Modern Family" coming up just as soon as I wrinkle your linen...
Last season, "Scrubs" spent two episodes in the Caribbean in part so that Bill Lawrence could win an argument with his mentor, "Family Ties" creator Gary David Goldberg, that it's possible to do a sitcom episode on vacation and not have it stink. Lawrence pulled his gambit off, and now the "Modern Family" have provided further evidence that the problem isn't with the locale, but the execution.
"Hawaii" didn't feel like a Very Special Vacation Episode of "Modern Family." It felt like a regular episode of "Modern Family" with really nice scenery. The challenges of getting a vacation right (moms treating them like a business trip, couples arguing over what activities to do) is a pretty basic family issue, and one where the characters all got to be themselves.
The running gag about Mitchell's lame tourism ideas was my favorite ("You're not making the case you think you are!") and got a nice payoff with Cam quietly and efficiently showing him how awesome lounging can be if done right. But all the stories clicked, whether it was Manny and Luke as a pint-sized version of "The Odd Couple," or Jay overdoing things until he wound up trapped in a hammock with Phil, or Claire taking a little too much advantage of a teaching moment with a drunken, nauseous Hayley.
Plus, bonus points to the show for resisting the temptation to use Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's wonderful but by now cliche version of "Over the Rainbow" at the end of the vow renewal ceremony, and instead going with a Hawaiian-flavored cover of "Eye of the Tiger," paying off the earlier scene with Phil and Claire in the adults-only pool.
So good on them, and the Four Seasons Maui sure got their product integration money's worth, as I'm going to be starting a vacation fund to go there, like, now.
What did everybody else think?