Modern Family “Little Bo Bleep” Review

Although Lily has been there from day one, we don’t get a whole lot of stories on Modern Family that address the parent-child struggles that Mitch and Cam deal with as fathers of a three year old girl. When she was the calmest looking baby on TV, we didn’t get much out of her “terrible twos” and in the past, Lily had often been a side note to the regular personality clashes between Mitch and Cam – if she was included at all.

It was rather refreshing to see Mitch and Cam break out of the relationship drama that has been the focus of their story lines on Modern Family recently and address an issue in “Little Bo Bleep” that almost every parent has had to deal with. Obviously Lily lacked the context and intent behind her f-bomb to make it malicious, but no parent wants to see their precious child swearing like a sailor.

Cam and Mitch seem generally prudent about the language they use in front of Lily, but Cam’s reaction to her first taboo utterance made it impossible for them to pretend it didn’t happen. Even the most cautious parents can probably recall embarrassing moments where they weren’t able to find the mute switch for those walking voice recorders we call kids. My parents never spoke a foul word in our house growing up, but my brother was sent home from kindergarten for telling his teacher “fut” after his classmate had told him he heard his older sister say it. (Incidentally, it wasn’t until sometime in high school that we realized that “fut” wasn’t actually a swear word.) I think after watching tonight’s Modern Family, my mother would be grateful that my brother didn’t decide to test out the power of his new word in a packed church at a wedding like Lily did.

That Main Street Electrical Parade themed wedding was all sorts of tacky, but I got some hearty chuckles just from looking at Lily in her blinking blue dress while she was on verbal lockdown. I don’t know if that’s just a face that she makes when she’s not allowed to talk or if the director somehow coaxed that irritated look out of her, but every time the camera cut back to her before the wedding started, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. That look on her face was more funny than all her bleeped words combined.

Before the wedding, Claire had been working with her family to prepare for a debate after the local “Weekly Saver” reported that some voters found her to be angry and unlikable. Her family’s attempt to help her cut out her unlikable habits ended up delivering a major blow to her self confidence. She managed to pull herself together during the debate until Duane, the council person running against her, launched a smear campaign citing last season’s Valentine’s Day mix up.

Phil’s attempts to explain the incident only made things worse and Claire’s body was going into strange spasms as she tried to control her natural inclinations towards pointing, eye-rolling, lip-pursing, and exposing the left side of her face. As a result, the Dunphys found themselves going viral once again.

You can now find the video on “PuggleMan42″‘s YouTube channel and from that user name, I’d venture that Duane was probably responsible for the upload. (The autotune itself sounded a little bit like The Gregory Brothers’ style but I couldn’t catch anything in the credits. Anyone know who did it? Whoever was responsible for that autotune nailed it and I’d totally download a full length version.)

I normally love the Jay and Stella plot lines, but this one was weak. It didn’t work for me mostly because it was pretty obvious that Stella could swim. The fear of doggy suicide was just ridiculous, even for an obsessed dog-daddy like Jay. I did love seeing both Jay and Gloria jump into the pool to save the dog, but it wasn’t enough to carry this story line. Stella pawing at the water when she was about to dive in was absolutely adorable though. I think I could watch that on a loop for a couple hours.

There were a few weak points in all the story lines on Modern Family tonight, but I laughed enough overall that I quickly forgot about most of those minor hiccups. Maybe this wasn’t the best of the season, but it was definitely an episode I’d be happy to watch again.