One of Modern Family
’s biggest feats since it became one of television’s most beloved and awarded comedies is how the writing team has been able to set up at least three storylines per episode. Since each episode must feature all components of the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan – especially since all of the actors get a hefty paycheque per episode – the 22 minutes must fit in a bunch of plots, each with its own beginning, middle and end. Usually, the show’s strongest episodes revolve around one main family event, whether it is a dinner or birthday celebration. The more subplots and storylines that the show’s writers stuff into an episode, the fewer credible character-driven moments there are.
Larry’s Wife, the third episode of season five, has six storylines compressed into around 22 minutes of television and it is a mess from start to finish. The subplots include two from Jay and Gloria’s family,