I was really able to relate to this episode, as they addressed male impotence over 40, teen dating, and the age old question I certainly have been asking myself since 1988, "Is it midnight yet?” immediately followed by “What did I miss?"
Jay has decided that the dawn of the New Year is the perfect time to revisit one of his old haunts. A swank local in beautiful Palm Springs will play host to his gorgeous wife, Gloria, his children, Claire and Mitch, along with their partners, Claire’s husband Phil, and Mitchell's partner Cameron.
Are Mitch and Cam partners or are they married? I will have to see if I can find out.
What more perfect way to ring in the New Year, after all, they don’t spend enough time together as it is.
Meanwhile, their children will spend the evening all together in the Dunphy home, chaperoned by Haley, I mean Alex
As what more often than not happens with old haunts, the old hotel of lore isn't really quite how Jay remembers it. It looks more like a motel than a hotel from the outside in the dark, but thankfully, it's not the Bates Hotel so they will all make it through the night. The interior reminds me of the photos I used to see while reading about Marilyn Monroe, of her times spent in the Cal Neva Lodge in Reno with Sinatra and well, we’ll leave it at that. I’ve already made one too many organized crime references in my articles and I should knock it off for at least another month. Hurrah!
The head mistress - is that what she'd be called? Front desk clerk doesn't fit, but she's not a madam if that makes sense – this isn’t the Broadway Show “Best Little …,” besides although she’s drinking wine at the front desk, it’s white, probably a Chardonnay. Now Zinfandel would have really been another story.
I’d hypothesize that she’s the establishment’s owner, but she did mention later in the episode she performs wearing pasties. Hummm!
I'll refer to her as the motel’s social coordinator and be done with it. Yes I wrote m – o – t – e – l. The social coordinator, Lainie Kazan, also played the mother in the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." She looks exactly the same, hasn't aged a bit.
And finally the stage is set.
Luke - Luke brings a girlfriend home and sets Manny up with a blind date. Both Haley and Alex put the brakes on when he doesn't want to keep his bedroom door open so they can "make out" in private.
Both Alex and Haley don't want him to grow up too quickly.
Manny - Debonair, in a tux, he is the perfect host, the perfect date, the perfect Bond guy. He makes mocktails; he is sweet and charming, but when his efforts are not met with the same back, he calls-out his lovely, amber-haired blind date about her behavior, and her manners. He adds, as only Manny can, that she spent the night with broccoli in her teeth.
She, of course, makes an effort when she finds out she's less than perfect and they have a great evening until she refers to Manny as a "friend" and he decides to spend the New Year alone, he didn’t do all of that work to be put into the friend zone. I have a feeling we’ll see her again in future episodes.
Claire - Claire is harboring a secret. Her frisky but clumsy husband hasn't touched her since Thanksgiving so she sets a plan to leave the family dinner early and set out to find a romantic hot spring with Phil. What they find instead is “Nude Year" party. Claire making faces while surrounded by a dozen nudists who want to celebrate at midnight is classic. Poor Claire!
Mitchell - Mitchell, like Claire wants to ring in the New Year in an exciting way. Not out at dinner with his father and his sister. They see enough of each other anyway.
Mitch and Cam make a plan to have Cam play sick so they can sneak off to a hip club.
The hip club is a little too hip, young, and sweat wet (eeewww) so they, just like Goldilocks set out to find the right fit. One too hot, one too well, I won’t get into that, one of course has to be just right.
Until - pucker up butter cup.
Jay - Abandoned by his kids and avoiding a snoring pregnant wife, takes the social coordinator up on a game of poker with her ex-husband (I laughed so hard I almost spit when she said that), a few friends and Billy D. Williams. This of course is the perfect way to start the New Year for Jay and when he’s found by Gloria, believe it or now, it only gets better. Billy D. takes them up in a sky gondola where they eat grapes at midnight, make wishes and look out on the gorgeous city lights and firework display.
And sadly, true confession, I expected Gloria to go into labor but my DVR sometimes cuts off shows before they end because it’s in style to have a few seconds of time to summarize the show. Did I miss something or was the final scene Alex accidentally drinking Haley's spiked drink?
Discuss this and more in Joker's Modern Family Forum.
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