As you likely well may know, Modern Family is a mockumentary about three families that are all tied into a man named Jay Pritchett. Claire and Mitchell are Jay’s children along with his baby boy Fulgencio (Joe) Pritchett and Manny Delgado. Jay is in his second marriage to a Colombian woman named Gloria. Claire is married to a man named Phil and they have several children together: Haley, Alex, and Luke. Mitchell is married to Cameron and they have adopted a baby girl named Lily.
So far the seventh season of Modern Family has carried on as usual with its new various subplots taking place within each of the three households. Teenage love-affairs and romance have certainly been in the making, causing a fair amount of drama meanwhile. The kids are growing up and Alex is moving off to college where Luke and Manny visit her to meet a girl. Haley is also having her own romance endeavors and she chooses to be together with Dylan rather than Andy. A few episodes later Dylan moves in with Haley and her family. Little Lily and Joe are both getting older and Jay and Gloria are in search of a good preschool for Joe. Lily is on a soccer team. This seventh season has had some of the stories focused specifically on closets as Claire formulates some new ideas and tells Jay about them.
Generally Modern Family follows a structure and a pattern that is somewhat predictable. At the very least, when you watch an episode of the show you know more or less what to expect and you understand how things will likely play out. There certainly have been occasions where the writers of Modern Family decide to try and break the mold but this is not always successful. Even though you know what to expect, the challenge and the success of Modern Family is determined when the creator’s work together to make the anticipated entertaining and humorous.
According to some critics “The Verdict” could have been funnier and didn’t have very many jokes in it to carry the episode through and keep its audience engaged. It is also being said that recently—or even for some time now—Modern Family has suffered somewhat from lack of original content and tends to in the area of focus. “The Verdict” could have, according to some critics, taken the premise of the episode and chose to reach a deeper and more profound level than it did. Instead of focusing and telling the more philosophical stories, for example Luke’s personal perspective of life, Gloria’s citizenship, or Jay’s evolving parenting style. Rather the episode looks at the weaker and less substantial areas. “The Verdict” primarily centers around the art of teaching and “imparting wisdom” unto others. Of course, things don’t really go quite as planned by the mentors. It has also been said that these teaching moments are nothing new or original and tend to be rooted in what the audience already knows. We already know the characters and the characters themselves behave in a way that is predictable, therefore making the stories predictable and redundant. We know, for example, that Gloria can be slightly controlling and under pressure she tends to breakdown, that Luke has lost his relatability and sense of innocence, and that Phil can be easily manipulated and is gullible. We know these general characteristics of the individuals and thus how they will respond in various situations.
At the end of “The Verdict” those who are attempting to teach end up learning the lesson. Phil learns to distinguish the difference between maturity and bullheadedness, Jay learns about being too hip and cool for preschool versus being a good parent, and even Claire learns something about the three individuals who are all named “Herm” and makes her own disaster with mint chip ice cream cake. While Gloria has to go attend to jury duty Jay must volunteer at Joe’s preschool. Gloria’s having to leave everyone to their own devices leads the adults to learn the lessons—from their children. Gloria has just become a U.S. citizen and having the chance to exercise a legal right as a citizen, by going to jury duty, is very exciting for her.
Jay does what he can to try to help with Joe but his own nature somewhat gets the better of him and leads to come complications. A child at the preschool calls him old and Jay responds in a way that hurts the child’s feelings. He isn’t very interested in school functions and is ready for the day to be over. Joe tells his father that he likes having him around and, moved by the comment, Jay tries to refortify himself to get through the day at school beside his son, but he still seems to fall short. While Jay is taking over Gloria’s place Claire takes over for Jay. Claire soon learns a thing or two about her father—like that his job requires more of him than she had initially imagined. He is the big-time decision maker and everyone always seeks his advice, now Claire is the one people are going to and she is left a little unprepared. Of course she does what she can to make decisions to the best of her ability, but her choices end up resulting in a massive disaster. Alex and Haley have accompanied Claire for a bring-your-daughter-to-work day, but instead of impressing them things end up in ruins. Still, the two girls learn how strong their mother can be and how she can meet challenges and handle situations with all she has.
While Claire is with their daughters Phil takes their son Luke to a school function. At this function Phil is met by someone who claims to know him, but Phil doesn’t remember him—he nevertheless pretends he does and talks to him politely. The stranger asks to borrow some money and Luke claims that the guy is a scammer, but when Phil finally listens to Luke he realizes to his horror that they had actually known one another all along. Mitch and Cam are, meanwhile, having an argument over whether or not to invite their friend Raymond to their party. Raymond had broken up with his boyfriend somewhat recently and his ex ended up with all of their friends, leaving Raymond out in the cold. Mitch wants Raymond to come because he sympathizes with him. Catch Modern Family on ABC when you have a cable television plan.