<p>&quot;Modern Family&quot;&nbsp;went to Hawaii last night.</p>

'Modern Family' - 'Hawaii': Eye of the Tiger!

Posted May 13, 2010 9:34 AM By  

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?

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  • Chew_talkback_profile
    Shitegeist
    Excellent episode. Phil's speech about animals eating their young was hilarious.

    And Lily looked adorable (and very confortable) napping on Cam's chest.
    May 13, 2010 at 8:45AM EST
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      Oliver
      Are you sure it was Phil? Sounded like Micheal Scott to me...

      "In nature, fathers are known to eat their young. Is it because they're delicious? No.
      It's because they want to give their female... bear, giraffe, what have you... the honeymoon they never had.
      Just to be clear, I'm not condoning eating your kids, but I sure as heck know why giraffes do it..."
      May 13, 2010 at 9:03AM EST
    • Chew_talkback_profile
      Shitegeist
      @Oliver - yeah, I'll totally agree that the speech had a very Michael Scott vibe to it, especially the opening couple of lines. Still very funny though.
      May 13, 2010 at 9:38AM EST
    • Madmen_icon_talkback_profile
      LJA
      Shitegeist is the greatest screenname ever.
      May 13, 2010 at 12:12PM EST
    • Estelle-getty_talkback_profile
      opal
      I gotta say, this isn't the first episode that's made me want to be a year-old child who gets to be carried around everywhere by Eric Stonestreet.
      May 13, 2010 at 2:52PM EST
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    Tarasa (guest)
    Jay was in the hammock with Phil not Manny.

    Good episode - hoping that Julie Bowen was able to do some xtra work while in Hawaii!
    May 13, 2010 at 8:47AM EST
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    • Midnight_run_mca255950_talkback_profile
      sepinwall
      You are correct, Tarasa. Fixed.
      May 13, 2010 at 8:48AM EST
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      notJack
      I REALLY like your idea of Julie being in HI.... could she end up being David's mother in sideways?
      May 13, 2010 at 11:29AM EST
  • Default-avatar
    Danny (guest)
    "A review of last night's "Modern Family" coming up just as soon as I wrinkle your linen... in the HTML view where you want the text to be broken up"

    I'm sure that was not intentional, but it reads pretty funny.
    May 13, 2010 at 8:49AM EST
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    • Midnight_run_mca255950_talkback_profile
      sepinwall
      Need to be more careful about my cutting and pasting, clearly.
      May 13, 2010 at 9:00AM EST
  • (guest)
    You said Manny got trapped with Phil when it was Jay, anyway, first time posting on the new blog.

    Look's nice, also props on the LOST interview yesterday being one of the things my LOST watching friends linked to me.

    Anyway, tonight's episode is continuing the great freshman series, I wasn't too struck with the Manny Luke thing though, I can see that it's the logical conclusion of place childman manny there, but it didn't provide the laughs for me. Manny's character started to feel forced
    May 13, 2010 at 8:50AM EST
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    Amy O (guest)
    As always, a wonderful episode with more brilliant physical comedy from Ty Burrell. Wasn't it Jay who was trapped in the hammock with Phil though?
    May 13, 2010 at 8:51AM EST
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  • Justified-fixer-4_talkback_profile
    conrad
    alan - i believe you mean jay being trapped in the hammock, not manny.

    not my favorite episode of the season, but it was pretty good. i was surprised that lily was returned to her dads so quickly. i really thought that storyline would play out longer. that said, a nice callback when she was lost in the banana grove.
    May 13, 2010 at 8:52AM EST
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    jbriggs
    Another consistently funny episode. Next to Community, it's my favorite comedy. Parks & Rec a close third.

    Alan, I love your posts, but I hate the new site. Talk about cluttered. If you weren't so informative and interesting, I wouldn't bother.
    May 13, 2010 at 8:52AM EST
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    • 445_talkback_profile
      ShirtlessLocke
      I'm sure many others would've agreed that the previous blog was better, as I do, but there's no use in complaining about it now. The content is still here, albeit in a slightly worse format.

      As for the episode, I thought it was done really well. Phil was great and as was Jay, attempting to stay youthful. Ending was nice and not cliched, thankfully. Overall, very solid episode.
      May 13, 2010 at 9:14AM EST
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      cswenski1
      Wow, you just listed my three favorite comedies in order, too. You must have good taste. Although I would say that, for me, Community leaves everything else in the dust.
      May 13, 2010 at 9:26AM EST
    • Chew_talkback_profile
      Shitegeist
      They're my (current) favourites too, although I'd put P&R at #1.
      May 13, 2010 at 9:41AM EST
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    louisS
    The throw away line where Mitchell and Cam lose Lily in the working banana plantation..."She is going to think she's back in Vietnam"...comedy gold.
    May 13, 2010 at 8:54AM EST
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    Sloshkosh
    I'm not normally a big fan of Phil, but I think he was in fine form for this episode. His love affair with the pool jet was priceless.
    May 13, 2010 at 8:56AM EST
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    • Default-avatar
      Misterpuff
      Manny: My jacket would look better if someone hadn't used the iron to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

      Luke: What do you expect. I had bread, I had cheese, and I had an iron.

      Parents: We don't care.

      May 13, 2010 at 1:03PM EST
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    Andrew (guest)
    What I really enjoyed was seeing the ultra fakes on Julie Bowen. Not sure what happened there...
    May 13, 2010 at 9:00AM EST
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    • Chew_talkback_profile
      Shitegeist
      Yeah I noticed those too, they did look strikingly fake in the pool scene.
      May 13, 2010 at 9:42AM EST
    • Madmen_icon_talkback_profile
      LJA
      Those bolt-ons were ridiculous!
      May 13, 2010 at 12:13PM EST
    • Default-avatar
      Kevin
      "What I really enjoyed was seeing the ultra fakes on Julie Bowen."

      I don't get it. Please explain. Thanks.
      May 13, 2010 at 3:56PM EST
    • Default-avatar
      krak
      Julie Bowen appears to have breast implants or "fake" breasts. They are also known sometimes as "bolt-ons". Hope that clears up confusion.
      May 13, 2010 at 7:09PM EST
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    MikeNJD
    I couldn't agree more. Hysterical episode. One of the best of the season. I think my favorite line was "She's going to think she's back in Vietnam!" I loudly guffawed at that. Man, what a revolution in comedies this season, huh? Between MF, Cougar Town, Community and Parks & Rec, comedy has been a boom industry this year. And none with a laugh track (Big Bang Theory, I'm looking in YOUR direction.) We can only hope a couple of the new season's crop of comedies are this good.
    May 13, 2010 at 9:04AM EST
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      Slushy
      If only Better Off Ted survived to makes this season's lineup of comedies even more amazing.
      May 15, 2010 at 11:28AM EST
  • (guest)
    I loved this episode! It was one of my favorites of the year. I am with you Alan, I will be definitely saving up for this hotel in the future. I am sure if I rob a bank or something I'll be able to afford the $500+/night stay there.
    May 13, 2010 at 9:26AM EST
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    Aaron (guest)
    When Phil was laying on top of Jay in the hammock:

    "I keep my wallet in my front pocket... so that's what that is."

    You can clearly see his wallet in his back pocket! Hilarious!
    May 13, 2010 at 9:28AM EST
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    • Godzillavseaster_talkback_profile
      Dezbot
      I saw that, too. Also loved Luke's bathroom Martian. He and Manny could not be any more different.
      May 13, 2010 at 9:51AM EST
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    eidolonnyc
    Alan, like a lot of people, I'm reading your posts on Instapaper. Unfortunately, it doesn't save the comments. Is there a way that your site could be coded so that comments could be downloaded as well? If you're not familiar with Instapaper, it's a iPhone app -- instapaper.com.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:33AM EST
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    • Default-avatar
      Alf
      Well, I hope that explains the number of people offering the same correction to Alan. Please, if you've noticed an error, check to see if someone else has pointed it out before commenting. Better yet, send your corrections by email and leave the comments alone!
      May 13, 2010 at 7:15PM EST
  • Uga_vii_talkback_profile
    BugKiller
    Best line of the episode:

    "Lily! Where are you going???"

    By Gloria, talking to Lily in her super-delux stroller, like she has any choice where she's going, let alone the fact that she's alone in an elevator.

    Comedy gold.

    Speaking of comedy gold, the little girl playing Lily always has this deadpan look on her face at all times.

    It's like she's the straight man between Cam and Mitch.
    May 13, 2010 at 9:42AM EST
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    Col Bat Guano
    Phil watching Gloria in Claire's sunglasses was top moment of the night for me.

    "Is she really moving in slow motion or is that my brain doing it?"

    Manny was a bit too over the top for me in this one.
    May 13, 2010 at 10:20AM EST
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    • Bertrum376183_283071751727043_186933131340906_993200_1940268190_n_talkback_profile
      Angela
      Ditto about Manny.
      May 13, 2010 at 5:27PM EST
  • Default-avatar
    Gayle (guest)
    Alan, my family did vacation at the Maui Four Seasons to celebrate my Dad's b-day a few years back. It's even better than it looks!
    May 13, 2010 at 10:34AM EST
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      Roy
      I've shamelessly used some of their facilities this summer while I was staying in a hostel further inland. Real surprise to it here.
      May 13, 2010 at 11:06AM EST
    • Bertrum376183_283071751727043_186933131340906_993200_1940268190_n_talkback_profile
      Angela
      @Roy, Heh-heh! Thanks for reminding me about how I used to do that too. We would stay at nearest cheap hotel, and then act like we were staying at the 5 star hotel so we could use all the facilities. May be the *only* way I get to see the 4 Seasons!
      Ah, the Infinity pool! Drool. (They didn't have those back then.)
      Hm.... A very good reminder. ;-)
      May 13, 2010 at 5:35PM EST
  • Default-avatar
    Yellowdog (guest)
    Went to the Four Seasons Maui a year and a half ago for my honeymoon and now I want to go back.

    As for the show itself, it's hard to believe it's only been on a season. It's a masterpiece and will go down as one of the best sitcoms ever. They can even pull off a vacation episode, and in the first season to boot. Take that, shark. Brilliant.
    May 13, 2010 at 12:05PM EST
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  • Madmen_icon_talkback_profile
    LJA
    Loved Alex telling her mother about Hailey's drunken state, "you're not going to like this as much as I do..."

    Alex kills me which is surprising considering my family matches the Dunphys sibling-wise, and I'm Hailey.

    Very entertaining episode. I just love this show.
    May 13, 2010 at 12:17PM EST
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  • Cropped_corky_talkback_profile
    Kensington
    As much as I enjoy the writing on this show, sometimes I got the most pleasure out of just watching Lily. She's so cute and still and quiet, and for some reason I find her very compelling. During the scene when Cam pulled out of the lavender day trip, all I could do was watch that adorable little baby.

    And then I loved the moment when Gloria found her in the elevator and spoke to her almost as if she was expecting her to respond.

    It's those little moments I love most of all.
    May 13, 2010 at 1:54PM EST
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    Anna (guest)
    Hi Alan,

    Any chance you can talk the Hitfix people into returning your very useful side banner? If I'm an episode or two behind a show it is great to search for your posts of one show with one click. Here I have to run a search and I get ALL articles about it rather than just your reviews. Any way to fix this? It's going to be especially hard for people who watch DVDs of the shows months later and want to follow your posts (as I'm planning to do with The Pacific this summer). Thanks a lot. Anna
    May 13, 2010 at 2:43PM EST
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    • Bertrum376183_283071751727043_186933131340906_993200_1940268190_n_talkback_profile
      Angela
      May 13, 2010 at 5:37PM EST
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    Mac T
    May 13, 2010 at 5:27PM EST
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  • Bertrum376183_283071751727043_186933131340906_993200_1940268190_n_talkback_profile
    Angela
    Another episode I want to watch twice because I always miss a few gems the first go around. How many comedies have that going for them?
    You all posted the priceless lines already. But I loved Cam backing out at the last minute re; the Lilac Farm, because it felt right that he should do just that. Oh, and I can't remember the exact words but there was a great line in Cam explained to the camera that he had told Mitchell he was into adventure, and how could he now tell him otherwise. Anyone?
    And the comments by Mitch and Cam about the calming energy that would be good for Lilly, and to take back home, were good as they rang true also. That's why I like this show so much. There is a lot of truth about how humans act, and the writers are able to convey the silliness of it.
    Community and Parks and Rec., are going back on my to try list thanks to all the comments here. :)
    May 13, 2010 at 5:57PM EST
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    parker (guest)
    Loved the episode but it contradicted the previous one - last week Cameron was going to hike up volcanoes in his new boots but this week he was a stay by the pool vacationer. Plus last week Gloria has the entire week scheduled to the minute but there was no evidence of that this week.
    May 13, 2010 at 7:50PM EST
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    leor (guest)
    i know i'm a day late to the party, but one thing i really liked about this great episode was that they didn't pull the old "neither cam nor mitchell like adventuring, but do it because they think the other does". not that it's a bad premise, just one that some shows overuse.
    May 14, 2010 at 8:37AM EST
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      Angela
      Leor, I need to watch it again, but I thought it really was that Mitchell did go for adventures, meeting the locals, absorbing the culture, etc.
      On another note I'm wondering if there is way to tell if new posts have been added, like yours was a day later, without checking back to the end of the comments at Hitflix.
      I *finally* figured out how to use Blogspot so that I could get/see all the comments when-ever they were posted using Safari's email RSS feed. About 3 days later Blogger ended. :P
      If this isn't an option, no-one will probably see this. But if there is, even a simple yes or no will help. I'll check back here for replies. Thanks!
      May 14, 2010 at 3:40PM EST
    • @Angela that's what i meant...mitchell really was into it. at first when we found out cam wasn't into it, but did it for mitchell's sake, i assumed we would find out that mitchell was doing the same thing.
      May 14, 2010 at 4:59PM EST
    • Bertrum376183_283071751727043_186933131340906_993200_1940268190_n_talkback_profile
      Angela
      Ah....Sorry about that! I totally agree with how nice it is that they did not use that premise of "neither Cam nor Mitchell like..."
      And I have to ask. How did you know I posted to your post? Did you come back to the end of the comments on Hitflix, in order to see it, or?!? :-)
      May 17, 2010 at 11:17AM EST
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    brittany (guest)
    where can i download that version of eye of the tiger- I loved that arrangement!
    May 15, 2010 at 12:01AM EST
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