Modern Family “Open House of Horrors” & Suburgatory “The Witch of East Chatswin” Review

Suburgatory Season 2 Episode 2 The Witch of East Chatswin (6)

One of the dangers of having a long running sitcom is having this need to top yourself. If the jokes land in season one, the show will sometimes press in an effort to do more to keep the people coming back. Often, the shows fail spectacularly as the jokes become more mechanical, and the characters become caricatures of themselves. In ABC’s 9 PM hour, we have two shows on the opposite ends of the spectrum fighting to get/stay on the right side of good.

For Modern Family, their below-average 3rd season had critics wondering if we had seen the creative best of the show. The show was still winning awards and getting a ton of viewers, but the characters were trending in the wrong direction. However, the fourth season has seen a return to form. Claire’s neighbors insistence that she “tone it down” with her Halloween shenanigans mirrors the thoughts of a lot of television critics. Sure, Claire still needs to go for the big scare on occasion, but she can also easily exist as a lovely Bo Peep who gently welcomes you with candy. If you were a huge fan of the third season, there’s still some of that madness in there for you, but if you were hoping for a return to form from this season, then you have to be quite pleased at this point.

While Modern Family is trying to return from the precipice, Suburgatory is doing a solid job of avoiding it in the early going of its second season. That being said, they played one of the series’ strongest wild cards tonight by having George and Dallas agree to a date. It was an inevitable thing to do, but given how horribly the Eden-George relationship went last season, I want to see Emily Kapnek put together a competent adult romantic relationship before I give this move my full endorsement. Still, I’ve been such a huge fan of both characters since the beginning of the show, that I will try to steer towards optimism. With Tessa’s birth mother interest driving him slightly crazy, I can understand George’s desire to run to Dallas’s chest arms. What can you do? Sometimes loves hits you like Chris Brown (Shots!).

What did everyone else think of tonight’s episodes?