Wednesday Comedy Roundup: Modern Family 4.16, Whitney 2.10 & Workaholics 3.16

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Modern Family S04E16

Modern Family Season 4, Episode 16: “Bad Hair Day”
Written by Elaine Ko
Directed by Gail Mancuso
Airs on Wednesdays at 9pm (ET) on ABC

This week’s episode is packed with guest stars as Claire heads off to a school reunion. With Phil playing on Jay’s bowling team, things work out for the best for Claire as she gets to see her ex-boyfriend (and ex-professor) played by Maxwell Caulfield. Annie Murnolo and David Faustino also guest star as Claire’s old school friends. After being booted off the team Phil turns up and surprises her, this leads to Claire admitting that she wanted to look at the life that might have been. Cue another guest star, Maribeth Monroe of Workaholics as the professor’s wife. Monroe plays pretty much the same character but does it perfectly, so Claire realises she is lucky to have ended up with Phil.

Much like last week, it’s Mitch and Cam’s story that is the more entertaining. Back at home, Cam stages a photo shoot for their upcoming Oscars party using Lily as a model. When Mitch brings baby Joe home and Lily grows tired of modeling, Joe is used as her stand-in leading to a cute wig mix-up with a hilarious outcome.

“Bad Hair Day” is another out of character episode of Modern Family until the last five minutes, when all of the plot threads tie together beautifully. This is something that doesn’t happen that often on a show that is driven by jumping from story to story between three family units but when it does come together, hilarity ensues.

With all of the family members bribing each other to take responsibility for the hair disaster, this is the realest depiction of family life you will see on television, plus it’s highly entertaining. It’s a delightfully zany set up that brings all the stories together and seems unimaginable for any other sitcom. Yet every time Modern Family pulls it off.

The recent risks present in this week’s and last week’s episodes show that the writers are really having some fun exploring with plot structure and so far it hasn’t been disappointing.

Whitney S02E10

Whitney Season 2, Episode 10: “Breaking Dad”
Written by Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Airs on Wednesdays at 8pm (ET) on NBC

This week’s episode of Whitney is a little disappointing considering how last week’s ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger. Nothing changes between Roxanne and Mark; in fact they do not share any time alone at all this week.

Peter Gallagher guest stars again as Whitney’s father and the dynamic they share does not change, though it seems like it could throughout. This feels like a waste of an episode, as Whitney’s father is a highly unlikeable character and the audience all want to see what will happen with Roxanne and Mark.

Whitney’s father gives her five thousand dollars and she decides to give it to Lily to help her get her life back on track. It’s always interesting to see Whitney show some compassion and Alex’s reaction is amusing as usual. The rest of the episode follows how the money gets handed to and from people and in the end Lily invests it in Mark’s bar. This does add to the plot but still feels like it didn’t need an entire episode dedicated to it.

The fact that Whitney eventually chooses to show off her photography merely because she realises she doesn’t want to be like her father is another great, true depiction of people and life on television and choosing Mark’s bar to exhibit it is a lovely touch.

With two episodes left this season, hopefully Roxanne and Mark will get it together.

Workaholics S03E16

Workaholics Season 3, Episode 16: “High Art”
Written by Sean Clements & Dominic Dierkes
Directed by Ben Berman
Airs on Wednesdays at 10pm (ET) on Comedy Central

Everybody’s favourite drug dealer returns to Workaholics this week in a stranger than normal episode about art and selling out.

The central plot of the episode revolves around Adam and Anders getting excited to attend the opening of a club owned by a former college classmate who is now successful and rich. Of course they have an ulterior motive: pitching business ideas so they can get rich quick. In true Workaholics fashion, they are all terrible and stupid ideas. Adam and Anders change into club clothes which consists of a ridiculous amount of product in their hair and become “bald sellouts” in order to enter the club where Blake, being the “hairy artist” he is, refuses to change (why he is the best character) and does not gain access. This leads to Blake joining Karl and a bunch of kids vandalising the neighbourhood.

Both storylines provide great montage sequences: Adam and Ders, after stealing Blake’s idea, fail to create unburnable flags whilst snorting a large amount of cocaine and the collectives pulling off liberating acts such as shoplifting salad. The grip this little kid has on Karl and Blake is hilarious to watch. Karl isn’t present much this season so it is great to see him again. By the end of the episode, Blake has a change of heart and soon the trio get their own back on the kids, showing the audience again what the real premise of this show is: their friendship.

Tara Costello

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