Thursday, March 1, 2012

ABC Wednesday Night Comedies: "Leap Day" and "Cocktails and Dreams"

I'm starting to feel that my feelings about Modern Family and Happy Endings have an inverse relationship. The better Happy Endings gets, the worse Modern Family does. I loved Modern Family from the beginning, and it still manages to pull out a good episode now and then. However, it's truly been on the decline lately. On the other hand, I hated Happy Endings' pilot, but it has slowly become one of my favorite current comedies. While I'm not planning giving up on Modern Family, it's episodes like last night that make me wish for the glory days of season one.

Modern Family 3x17: "Leap Day"

I'll be honest; I think "Leap Day" was one of Modern Family's weakest episodes to date. Usually Luke's and Phil's storylines (particularly when they have one together) are the saving grace of even a less-than-stellar episode, but their storyline last night was perhaps the worse of the three. The whole storyline pretty much consisted of one unfunny joke: girls are so crazy when they're on their periods. Yes, that one joke was repeated over and over in a completely unrealistic manner. Watching this storyline, I thought there was no way that a woman wrote this storyline because it was so unrealistic. In fact, it's almost as if the writer who penned the episode has never actually met a woman and used only cliche depictions from other television shows as the basis for the storyline. I understand that comedies often use exaggeration and I'm sure that's what they were going for here, but I felt it just came out as a really cliche and one-note mess. On a positive note, I did chuckle at Luke's attempt to fake an injury with the fake blood.

The Cam and Mitchell storyline didn't do much for me either. It consisted of Mitchell planning Cam's 10th or 40th (depending on how you interpret leap year birthdays) birthday party. Cam really wasn't very likable in this storyline and threw a tantrum when he felt like an inadequate amount of effort had gone into his party (even though he claimed he didn't want one). The whole storyline felt kind of tedious, but it did contain my favorite moment of the episode: an oddly-relevant, clever The Monkees joke.

The last storyline, Jay and Gloria's, never really seemed to have much direction. It pretty much consisted of Gloria wanting Jay to punch someone and was sprinkled with "Jay is old" jokes. It felt under-baked at best and seemed to be another iteration of a storyline we've seen plenty of times on the show.

With three mediocre storyline, I found "Leap Day" to be a pretty bad episode. It was sprinkled with a few good moments, but as a whole, I'd definitely give it a thumbs down. It looked particular bad in conjunction with the a-mah-zing episode of Happy Endings that followed it.

Happy Endings 2x16: "Cocktails and Dreams"

Honestly, how great was "Cocktails and Dreams?" It was probably one the funniest episodes yet in a very funny show. Typically, even in a good episode of a show, one or two moments might stand out as hilarious. "Cocktails and Dreams" was so full of great moments that each comment I read about the episode online seemed to point out a different one. Just to name a few of the moments, I enjoyed Penny's almost suicide (I don't know why I found this so funny, but it was executed perfectly), the Colin Hanks guest appearance (and Dave worrying about calling him Tom), Penny hiding her non-detox food, and Jane and Brad waking each other up after their dreams.

Even though I haven't been particularly rooting for Alex and Dave to get back together, I think the idea works pretty well. While the show starting by revolving around their failed relationship, it had been pretty much pushed to the side other than a few moments of foreshadowing here and there. As long as they don't put too much focus on Alex and Dave, I have faith that Happy Endings will handle the relationship well.

All in all, it was a fantastic episode, and I look forward to Happy Endings more and more every week.

No comments:

Post a Comment