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Modern Family recap: The Musical Man

Ed: Please welcome back Adam Britten. I promise to get him a full user account for the next recap.

After taking another short hiatus, Modern Family returned last night for “The Musical Man.”  This episode introduced us to Jay’s brother Donnie, played by Jonathan Banks. Their storyline revolved around the fact that Donnie and Jay have some distance between them due to poor communication.  The only times they talk, they are either picking on each other or making a joke. (Too similar to the relationship between Phil and his dad, if you ask me.)

Speaking of Phil, he’s taken the initiative to increase his “brand awareness” as a Realtor by wrapping the Dunphy’s minivan with an advertisement, complete with a picture of the whole family.  (Claire and Haley actually end up on opposite sides of the car, with the rest of the family on the back – this is where it gets funny.)  As Claire and Haley are driving through town, several cars honk while passing by.  Claire dismisses it, not realizing that the text near the picture is….suggestive.  Phil’s phone is ringing off the hook, and of course he thinks that people are calling to look at a house, and later finds out what’s going on when people start asking for “the hot blonde.”  Claire, who has been upset that her better years might be behind her, has her confidence boosted by the fact that she received more calls than Haley.

Meanwhile, Cameron is deeply invested in turning a middle school concert into a full-blown spectacle.  He has been named interim musical director of Franklin Middle School, and he decides to finally give their show some “flare” and a theme.  The show has been rebranded as “a musical trip around the world” and Cameron is prepared to teach the entire set before the performance that night.  Of course, disaster ensues during the production.  Luke is stuck hanging in a harness above the stage, even while saying the line “learning about the world was fun, but I’m glad to have my feet back on the ground.”  Cameron directed the children to hold up letter cards which would spell out “WE LOVE THE WORLD.” Luke’s absence combined with Franklin’s insignia being lowered into just the right spot caused the children to actually spell out “WE LOVE THE F WORD.”

Back to Jay’s brother, who we find out has cancer.  This causes Jay to treat him differently, which upsets Donnie.  The brothers agree to resume their normal relationship, which is sealed by Jay punching Donnie in the stomach.

Yes, this episode was funny. Generally, every episode of Modern Family has that quality. However, I do not think this episode was as good as the previous episode, or the ones before that.  What did you think of “The Musical Man?”

Adam Britten is a student social media strategist and marketing major at Syracuse University.  Read about him more at or @AdamBritten.

Don’t miss the memorable quotes below the cut:

Cameron: Why do you have to throw a wet blanket on my dreams? You do it all the time, and you know what I end up with? Wet dreams.  I heard it as soon as I said it, just leave it alone.

Jay: Take a look at this, a picture of my butt.

Cameron: Years from now some of these kids will still be talking about the way I Sondheimized them.

Claire: “I can’t be satisfied?” My god, Phil, that makes me look like a prostitute!
Phil: More of an escort, really. You’re just selling your time, whereas a prostitute…