Wednesday Comedy Roundup: Modern Family 4.18, Whitney 2.15 & 2.16

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Modern Family Season 4, Episode 18: “The Wow Factor”
Written by Ben Karlin
Directed by Steven Levitan
Airs on Wednesdays at 9pm on ABC

This week we see the return of Modern Family and it’s back on top form. Leaving behind the new, experimental elements of episodes “Best Men” and “Bad Hair Day“, the Dunphy/Pritchett clan are back to their old, entertaining ways. Cam acts like a drama queen, Jay tries to get out of one of Manny’s artsy events, and Phil gets in over his head.

We return to the house-flipping plot this week as Cam and Claire play each other when working on the renovation. Cam “Trojan horses” Claire where he shows her an extravagant design option with a hefty sum so the compromise is the option he actually wants. Claire has her own game called ‘The Number Dump’ where she deliberately talks about percentages and the budget to scare Cam away. The pair soon figure out each others game when they argue over a water fountain. Cam is fabulous as always and deviously brings in his lesbian friend Pam (Wendi McLendon-Covey) to fight his corner only to find Claire using her female charms as a distraction.

Meanwhile back at the Dunphy household, Phil is failing to keep the girls interested when he tries to teach them about running a house. In the Pritchett house, Jay volunteers to spend some time with the baby so Gloria can spend time with Manny who reveals his plans for them to go to a four hour reading of Moby Dick. When both Jay and Gloria slyly change their original plans it becomes apparent that they are going to run into each other. However, watching it unravel is still entertaining especially when we see that Gloria is just as bad as Jay. Each storyline is similarly predictable, but Modern Family strives on minimalism making each episode enjoyable. The highlight of the episode is by far Mitch’s B story. His hatred for bullies leads him to teach Milo, the bully in Lily’s grade a lesson. Of course, Mitch has no chance of winning and goes to Luke for pointers. Both Mitch’s reaction to winning and Luke’s training are the funniest parts of the episode.

Whitney Season 2, Episode 15: “Alex, Meet Lily”
Written by Megan Hearne
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Airs on Wednesdays at 8/7C on NBC

“Alex, Meet Lily” focuses on Lily’s desire for a male friend and Whitney’s decision to make Alex fill that role. This is an interesting dynamic to explore so late into the sophomore season but it’s actually quite entertaining. The two of them are both great characters, particularly Lily so when they spend more time together it’s both interesting and amusing. Lily is so weird and hilarious and Alex isn’t that tolerant (probably because he only knows how to deal with Whitney) but to their surprise they both have a great time. Bonding over their love of horror leads to Alex setting Lily up on a date with some desperate weirdo he goes to the gym with. Once again it’s Lily’s reactions and mannerisms that make this scene entertaining to watch.

The B story in this episode isn’t particularly strong or entertaining but it does provide more Roxanne and Mark time. At Mark’s bar, a darts competition between Mark and RJ ends with a dart in Roxanne’s back. Marks takes her to the hospital where the dart is easily removed but she can’t leave until she gets a tetanus shot. Of course she has a fear of needles and to sooth her anxiety, Mark tells her a sentimental story about a victory over a fear of his when he was younger. Mark is there for Roxanne once again and gets her through the shot without her noticing.

Alex’s choice of man leads Lily to come to the realisation that she comes across as desperate and decides she needs to work on it. It’s sad to see a character as wonderful as Lily so unlucky when it comes to finding romance, and as a viewer you kind of long for Neil to come back and state his sexuality was just a phase.

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 13.22.35Whitney Season 2, Episode 16: “Cake, Cake, Cake
Written by Whitney Cummings & Dan Levy
Directed by Andy AckermanAirs on Wednesdays at 8/7C on NBC

The moment we have all been waiting for finally happens in the season finale of Whitney. After episodes of awkward moments, sexual tension and wasted opportunities the pair finally kiss. However, it takes a new girl on the scene and some stalking before Roxanne stops fighting and resisting her urges. Mark gets set up with a girl who is the complete opposite of Roxanne and from the moment she said she didn’t see the point in drinking it was clear Roxanne was going to hate her and become jealous.

The episode title “Cake, Cake, Cake” comes from the main story where Whitney sees her therapist (Chelsea Handler) eating cake out in the park alone. Upon confronting her, Whitney loses her as a therapist and Alex steps in and makes Whitney realise she doesn’t actually have any problems or need any more therapy. Whitney invites her now ex-therapist round and she shares a moment with Alex and states he actually solved most of Whitney’s issues.

We have yet to hear the future of Whitney and it’s likely it won’t get renewed for a third season and in this episode it’s apparent they think the same. This storyline with Whitney and her therapist is kind of random and feels more like an excuse to bring back real life friend Chelsea Handler for what could be the show’s last episode. They’re having fun with it and Whitney even drops the f-bomb which is censored of course but it’s still funny. With Whitney realising she is in fact happy, there is a strong feeling that this could be the end of the show. Whitney Cumming’s sister show 2 Broke Girls just got renewed for a third season so it’s quite possible Whitney could get one too.

 

Tara Costello

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