Introducing Movieline's Modern Family Family Member of the Week: 'The Old Wagon'


Nice try with your ensemble format, Modern Family, but your cast is still subject to cutthroat ranking systems. Sawwy. Movieline is initiating a weekly competition for Modern Family's rascal-y relatives: the "Family Member of the Week" tally. We'll select a grand champion from every show and rank the runners-up afterward. Because declaring losers is fun, see. So who's the top Pritchett/Delgado/Tucker in this week's roundup? Buckle up in your Pinto and click through to find out.


Family Member of the Week: Claire Dunphy

More than any other family member this week, the harried Claire Dunphy took us on an emotional journey -- one that concluded with (what else) idling down a hill and almost off a cliff. That's a mother we understand, lambs. At episode's start, she declared the Dunphy station wagon a lost cause, a giant scrap metal finger-trap that her daughter shouldn't tempt fate with. But nostalgia got the best of our Claire, and she quickly devolved into a world of tears at the prospect of selling it to idiots who didn't know better. At the episode's climax, when the old wagon started rolling down a hill and Phil jumped on the hood like Super Grover, her fretful query, "What's the plan, Phil?" made the episode. In fact, "What's the Plan, Phil?" is the obvious title for the first Modern Family spinoff series.

2nd Place: Phil Dunphy: In case you weren't paying attention, Phil leaped onto a car that was rolling down a hill. He also built a time machine out of a cardboard sign, the station wagon, some imagination, and a collapsed wormhole lingering in the time-space continuum. A solid second-place effort.

3rd Place: Gloria Delgado-Pritchett: Manny's new girlfriend was a prissy little tramp from the start, and for that he does not rank this week. However, Gloria's Colombian indignity hit on enough agony to earn a bronze medal: And you know what, Manny's girlfriend? Putting salt in chocolate milk is just weird. I don't care how good it tastes. Gloria was right to pretend it was crappy. Team Colombian Cleavage 'til the end.

4th Place: Mitchell Pritchett: I expected more from Mitchell's foray into manly carpentry, but he trapped himself in the magic castle he made for Lily enough times to warrant a sizable homo snicker from me. Reminds me of that time Carla kept locking Rebecca in the vent on Cheers -- except Jesse Tyler Ferguson was doing the work of both Rhea Perlman and Kirstie Alley, which is a death-defying feat and worthy of a fourth-place finish.

5th Place: Jay Pritchett: For this line about building a bookshelf with the delusional Mitchell, Jay makes the countdown. "That was my Vietnam. And I was in Vietnam." Jane Fonda, you are exonerated via hilarity.

Unranked: Dunphy kids, Cameron Tucker (I know, I'm sorry too), Manny's horrible girlfriend, Lily, Carla Tortelli, Colombian nationalists


  • Desk_hack says:

    Since I love the show, I love this new feature, Louis. But Cam wins every week. "I don't think I'd be a very inspirational disabled person." C'mon!

  • Chris says:

    Phil Dunphey - you give me the courage to be a Dad. Not since Homer Simpson has there been a TV dad who can be counted on every episode, every scene to have such heart and hilarity. This show IS the greatest ensemble cast since Cheers but, in my mind, it's still the Phil Dunphey Show. Claire did utter the greatest existential question of the new millennium ("What's the plan Phil") but it was Phil's act first and, well, never think of the consequences act that makes him one of the only real and admirable men on Modern television.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    I also love the show and this new feature. But Claire once again showed why she was the most annoying character: she easily could have jumped in the slow moving car and hit the brakes, or even happily let the car (and the clinging to the past) go, but instead chose to blame Phil in a shrill whine. Ugh. The only redeeming moment was the lovely postscript when the kids imitated her at the end, which at least made her smile.

  • zooeyglass1999 says:

    "It was delicious"