Modern Family 5×20 ‘Australia’: Introducing, Crocodile Dunphy. | Gotta Watch It!

Modern Family 5×20 ‘Australia’: Introducing, Crocodile Dunphy.

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With a brief hiatus and large build up, my hopes were high for the Modern Family’s trip to Australia. My own personal philosophy to TV comedies is if you do not laugh with in the first ten minutes of the show, it’s going to be a clunker. Thankfully, my laughter began as soon as Gloria pronounced “Vegemite.” This does mean though, that the episode was not a bumpy ride. Sure, the Dunphy/Pritchett clan have already conquered Disneyland, Las Vegas and Hawaii but, thanks to Phil’s mother leaving a travel stipend, Australia was next on their list of conquests. Like every episode of Modern Family, the Australian episode catered to an unconventional family bonding experience.

Each member of the family had their own mission. Phil, conceived in the land down under, fearlessly braved the challenges that Australia threw at him. While his story had a Brady Bunch tiki idol flair, he still managed to hold his head up high after getting stung by a jellyfish, and punched in the face by a kangaroo. Meanwhile Claire and Jay both had a mission to out bid a rival at Closets, Closets, Closets, Closets. This kept Claire from her husbands side, which was an interesting move as Gloria became Phil’s’ Aussie sidekick. Mitchell and Cam were using an old Kiwi acquaintance too get a taste of the B list celebrity life. Ferguson, the acquaintance, was not only completely eccentric but also, unfunny. The writers had one of the most flamboyant but farm tough characters in Australia and not once was he faced with a wild animal challenge. Would a simple Australian spider sneaking up on Cam joke have been too much to ask?

Alex being down under didn’t tame her as far as schoolwork was concerned. I found myself muttering, “Nobody cares about Harvard Alex. Nobody.” Perhaps it would have been better if she had either funnier lines in this episode or was mixed into Haley and Lilly’s “Don’t get the first thing you see.” story line. It was as if the writers were waving a flag, screaming that a college episode was coming. Of course, the most interesting story line was Manny and Luke’s quest to find boobs on Bondi Beach.

The episode attempted to squeeze in every Australian cliche as possible, from the dingo taking Claire’s work “baby” to the stereotype of every Aussie being a hot surfer model. There was quite a kerfuffle with pulling storylines that made the episode seemed rushed. Why only one episode in Australia ABC? As for the sappy family vacation montage at the end, it was as mentioned, sappy. It was a perfect montage to motivate you to bring your family to the land down under. My favorite line that was not so subtly placed was “Australia is nice to tourists but rough on its own.” This helped alleviate any hesitating tourists about visiting: “Don’t worry about a boxing kangaroo, we have lush sandy beaches and the iconic Sydney Opera House.” Was this the best Modern Family episode? No. It was however, the most entertaining commercial for a travel destination I have seen in awhile.

Danni M.

is an indecisive college student in the midst of discovering this thing called “life”. If you ask her what her favorite TV show is, she will stare at you with a blank expression as her mind explodes from fandom overload.


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