Phil deserves better than just reminiscing about his glory days and accidentally insulting Claire, and I think “Arrested” gave him that much-need extra legroom. Also, as a rule, it’s kind of hard to mess up reference to Legally Blonde, so this joke was just a bend-and-snap for me.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Our Nominee: Phil Dunphy (Modern Family)
Qualifications: He knows a thing or two about selling real estate, even in this tough market, and knows all of the in-the-box tactics needed to close a deal. Put him in charge of getting new housing built for families of all incomes, and we guarantee he’ll have fun ways to welcome people to their homes with parties and holiday flair.
One third of “Open House of Horrors” was a lot of fun — and, of course, it was the parts that featured Phil and Claire. Ty Burell and Julie Bowen have mastered Modern Family’s physical comedy, and when they weren’t doing the same shtick where Phil accidentally gives Claire a backhanded compliment (we get it, show) they were on fire.
I’m a complete sucker for brother-and-sister moments between Mitchell and Claire, and their secret meeting under the table was sweet, believable and productive. The surrogate storyline was a little choppy — especially in its pacing — but the drunken dinner conversation highlighted how comically talented Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell (watching his face throughout this scene was amazing), Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet are.