'Modern Family' Finds Humor In Gloria's Pregnancy
The season four premiere of Modern Family ended with both good news and bad news for TV’s favorite dysfunctional family. The good news is Gloria (Sofia Vergara) is pregnant, and Jay (Ed O’Neill) is ecstatic about it. The bad news? She probably won’t be wearing too many midriff-bearing outfits while she’s got her baby bump like the voluptuous Gloria we all know and love.
The episode takes place on the day of Jay’s 65th birthday, and opens with the rigid but warm husband and father declaring that he doesn’t want any surprises on his birthday. Just as Gloria toys with the idea of telling him about the baby, Phil (Ty Burrell) and Shorty (Chazz Palminteri) knock on the door and kidnap Jay for a fishing trip. In true Phil Dunphy fashion, the trip goes completely awry. Though it is probably the least funny plot line of the episode, the leaps (in this case, it’s a literal leap into a lake) that Phil takes to win over his father-in-law’s affection remain entertaining.
Birthday surprises aside, Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) added some drama to the season opener with their lingering grief over an anti-climactic hospital visit that left them without the baby boy whom they were going to adopt at the end of last season. But it is the comedic jewels woven within their plot line that provided the show with its award-winning laughs per some good old fashioned sex jokes.
We learn in the beginning of the episode that Cam and Mitch’s friends tend to go a little overboard with baby gifts. In an effort to get rid of the life-sized stuffed animal elephant and gorilla that was given to them in celebration of the baby they didn’t get to adopt, the two men strap the animals onto the top of their car to drive to the store to donate them. But as they ride around town in their silver Prius, the stuffed animals fall into compromising, blatant sexual positions that, for much of the episode, go unnoticed by Cam and Mitch.
It’s not until Cam lashes out at a kitten adoption agent who wants to make sure they’ll be responsible caretakers that the two realize what’s happening on top of their car. It is simple humor that comes at the right moment. And it paves the way for Mitch and Cam to mend their sadness as well.
Clare Dunphy (Julie Bowen) spends most of the episode trying to keep Haley’s (Sarah Hyland) boyfriend from moving into their house, but every so often stops to bask in the glory of Gloria’s pregnancy weight gain. Instead of an endearing “Congratulations” when Gloria told her she was having a baby, Clare kept it honest. “You’re gonna get fat,” she immediately blurted to Gloria after hearing the news, as if it was an inconceivable idea. Again, another one of those humorously candid moments that the show has down to a science.
Jay almost sheds tears of happiness when he hears the news at the end of the episode. And it’s not too often you see that man show some deep emotion. The end of the episode skips to three months later at the end of summer. Gloria has a belly, Phil has a beard and Cam is speaking in a British accent. And once again, you are left wanting to hug each and every one of them.