Tuned In

The Morning After: I Ain't Sayin' She a Coal Digger

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Maybe it was just an off night for Wednesday comedy all around. Modern Family wasn’t as disappointing as last night’s Glee, and I found plenty of laughs in it, but all the same it was probably the show’s weakest outing.

On the one hand, it reiterated the show’s strength: it has a big cast of fairly well-realized (for the first season of a sitcom) characters, who can be combined in vast numbers of permutations to keep things fresh. This time, we got to see Gloria and Claire work on their issues, and Jay bond with Cameron. (Yes, I am twelve years old, but having Mitchell misinterpret “Dick Butkus” as a homophobic slur was hilarious.) But “Coal Digger” also showed a tendency to beat jokes to death, in this case Phil’s awkwardness around his hot mother-in-law.

Just a relatively off night for a very good new show and nothing I’m worried about. In the meantime, at some point I need to do a marathon of The Middle and see how that show’s held up. Any opinions on that?