'Modern Family': A Very Awkward Valentine's Day



It's been a year since Modern Family viewers first met Clive Bixby and his mistress Juliana, and their return wasn't a moment too soon. One of the best bits of Modern Family's first season was Phil and Claire's painfully awkward attempt at role-playing and seduction during last year's Valentine's Day episode—which ended in Gloria having to help free Claire from a particularly embarrassing and risqué situation getting her coat caught in the escalator. This year's attempt at recreating the-night-that-never was ends in similar (and perhaps even more horrifying) fashion. Of course, the rest of the couples have their own tiffs and problems: Cam and Mitchell argue over which of them Mitchell's assistant has a crush on, Jay and Gloria are back to scheming, and Manny continues to learn that emotional maturity and being a good guy isn't valued by women until much, much later. This week's lessons:

Someone always "wins" Valentine's Day. As always, everything is a scheme and a game with Gloria and Jay. Jay has an elaborate five-course meal he's arranged at their home, hoping to surprise Gloria after their reservation at the hot restaurant du jour, Ibiza, falls through. For Jay, the fun lies in making her "look like a big idiot" after making her frustrated and angry with his incompetence and then surprising her with a romantic night. This is something that an alarming number of guys find hilarious and think is a good idea. Note to men: don't do this.

At the restaurant, Jay instructs the host: "Here's 50 bucks, do NOT give us a table...You must also refuse my wife—she is very persuasive." Gloria is sent reeling into anger after they're forced to surrender their table at Ibiza to the Cameron and Mitchell, the real Pritchett reservation. However, little does Jay know that Gloria is the kind of woman to have some tricks of her own.

There's no denying the power of a Say Anything moment. Manny did his best in attempting to woo Haley: building her confidence and asserting her power as an independent woman, free from the hold of her new boyfriend David and the memory of Dylan. Just as we start cursing the name of this new "David" character, our favorite romantic, clueless sap Dylan drives up with a full band in tow to save the day with only the most tender, original song he could think to compose for Haley: "Imagine Me Naked."

Role-playing isn't easy. Everything about this scene between Clive Bixby and Juliana is perfection—Phil and Claire take awkward to a new level with their reprise of last year's hotel bar seduction.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Aylin Zafar is a freelance writer based in New York.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?

Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus


Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.


Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.


The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air



More in Entertainment

Just In