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S11.E09: The Last Christmas

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Mitchell suspects Cameron has an ulterior motive for keeping everyone happy for Christmas dinner; Claire tries to dodge Jay's job offer to work at his dog bed company; Luke has to deal with the consequences of kissing Manny's ex-girlfriend Sherri.

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Those babies are so cute.

That's all I got.

(Actually, this wasn't terrible compared to some of what they've done this season.)

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That has to be the most unpleasant holiday episodes of a show I have ever seen. They know the show is ending, why not send it out with a sweet holiday episode. Why couldn’t they focus on the fact it’s the first Christmas for the twins and have the family working together to make it extra special and overcoming challenges to their Christmas plans? That would have been a sweet and poignant last Christmas episode. Instead we have an episode filled with arguing, secrets being kept and just unpleasantness all around. Man, I know it’s been a common complaint that the show has gone downhill but the fact that they couldn’t plan a decent final holiday episode just spotlights how they are limping to the finish line.

Edited by MadyGirl1987
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7 hours ago, MadyGirl1987 said:

That has to be the most unpleasant holiday episodes of a show I have ever seen. They know the show is ending, why not send it out with a sweet holiday episode. Why couldn’t they focus on the fact it’s the first Christmas for the twins and have the family working together to make it extra special and overcoming challenges to their Christmas plans? That would have been a sweet and poignant last Christmas episode. Instead we have an episode filled with arguing, secrets being kept and just unpleasantness all around. Man, I know it’s been a common complaint that the show has gone downhill but the fact that they couldn’t plan a decent final holiday episode just spotlights how they are limping to the finish line.

That's exactly it. The writers SHOULD focus on the good things they could do with the twins or the small change in the family. OH NO! God forbid! So, why not just end the series now? Since you have everyone saying they will probably move away from some reason or another. It was not only horrible, but then completely stupid. Plus, you have to love it with "The Last" insert holiday here. I guess we will have episodes such as: "The Last Valentine's" "The Last Mother's Day" ect. Yeah, ABC, you should have ended the show last year. 

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Luke, there are other girls beside Manny's ex-girlfriend. I chuckled a bit at Lilly's statement about it couldn't be anymore gayer in this room when she listened to Manny and Luke's conversation.

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10 hours ago, MadyGirl1987 said:

That has to be the most unpleasant holiday episodes of a show I have ever seen. They know the show is ending, why not send it out with a sweet holiday episode. Why couldn’t they focus on the fact it’s the first Christmas for the twins and have the family working together to make it extra special and overcoming challenges to their Christmas plans? That would have been a sweet and poignant last Christmas episode. Instead we have an episode filled with arguing, secrets being kept and just unpleasantness all around. Man, I know it’s been a common complaint that the show has gone downhill but the fact that they couldn’t plan a decent final holiday episode just spotlights how they are limping to the finish line.

Yes, unpleasant is the word for it.  Apparently they all move away, the family breaks up and it is the last of they will see each other.  That should be a relief for them since the relationships are so contentious.

I am so sick of Cam and his ridiculous attachment to Missouri, which is always presented as all Hillbilly, all the time.  Because we in the middle of the country can't be like the smart sophisticates living in California.  Mitchell and Lily have to give up their lives so Cam can have his "dream".  Cam should have stayed there to begin with.

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When they announced that Manny changed his mind and was arriving, I audibly groaned.

21 minutes ago, Suzn said:

I am so sick of Cam and his ridiculous attachment to Missouri, which is always presented as all Hillbilly, all the time.  Because we in the middle of the country can't be like the smart sophisticates living in California.  Mitchell and Lily have to give up their lives so Cam can have his "dream".  Cam should have stayed there to begin with.

Also, they revealed in a past episode that a big part of the reason Cam left home was because his family didn't think he was worthy of running the farm, because he isn't "farm strong." The way he describes his old life in Missouri is (surprise, surprise) a fantasy.

At the end of the day, he made the decision to make LA his home, and that's where he met Mitchell. It's not like he moved to LA at Mitchell's request. Mitchell is under no obligation to move to north central Missouri just because Cam wants to.

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1 hour ago, Blakeston said:

When they announced that Manny changed his mind and was arriving, I audibly groaned.

Me, too.  Maybe if there was a better actor playing Manny he would be more believable, but he's just a mope and a downer all the time.  I'm not sure why any girl is attracted to him.

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That was so...unpleasant. Like, so deeply unpleasant. A Manson Family Christmas would probably have more heartwarming moments and holiday cheer. They all should move away, it seems like they hate being in the same room as each other. I was thinking, like others, that they would do a bunch of cute things with the twins for their first Christmas and have some call backs to previous Christmas episodes, but instead we get "snippy snippy jerk faces" for most of the episode until the half assed happy ending. 

Can no one in this family just, like, have a conversation? Like normal people? Everyone is always sneaking around and lying to each other for no other reason than to start pointless drama, when everything could be resolved with a two second conversation! Its not even farcical like on good episodes, its just annoying. Manny and Gloria win for most unlikable jerks of the episode. Claire isnt wrong, Gloria coddles Manny so much, even as an adult, that he has turned into a bratty entitled manchild, and Gloria always enables his worst impulses. And of course Manny shows up to make everything about him and be as dramatic as possible, and of course Gloria acts like any slight against her perfect boy is a crime worthy of being burned alive, because thats all we got now. I mean, Luke shouldn't have started dating the girl that Manny was dating, but its not like Manny and this girl were together for very long (we never even saw her until they were broken up) and Luke already said he was sorry but that they really liked each other (until Manny sabotaged them), and she doesent want to date Manny, so he just seems like he is being super dramatic. 

So did I miss something where Cam moved to LA to be with Mitch? I guess I dont remember, but I assumed that they both lived in LA and met each other at some point before the show started. Cam seems like he really misses Missouri, so I wondered if he would want to move back, and yeah that is a big change, but why are are they all acting like Cam wants to move to literally a farm? There are big cities in Missouri, including a number of college towns and cities, where presumably Cam would be moving to, why are they acting like they will be moving to a town with the population of 12 cows? Yeah I know that most of Hollywood is convinced that the US is made up of New York, LA, maybe Chicago, and then just miles and miles of farmland, but come on! Also, not to nitpick what was obviously a dumb joke, but Mayberry was famously in North Carolina, which is a VERY different state than Missouri, and are not even close to each other. 

What, when I get bored watching a show, I turn to nitpicking. 

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And a few questions for those who watch the show closer than I do:

- Didn't Sherry dump Manny a year ago? From the writing, you would think it happened a lot more recently. I really, really hope the dragging out of this plotline doesn't mean Manny and Sherry will get back together.

- Does Claire still have a job? The Russian porn website scandal should have been enough to bring down the company altogether, so it would make sense for her to be unemployed. But I don't recall hearing any confirmation that it happened. (And if Jay tried to persuade her to give up her high-paying job to join his sinking ship, that was really low of him.)

- Have there been any indications that Cam's football team is particularly good? For him to be a finalist for a college coaching job, after coaching high school football for just a few years, his team would have to be extraordinarily successful.

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14 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

And a few questions for those who watch the show closer than I do:

- Didn't Sherry dump Manny a year ago? From the writing, you would think it happened a lot more recently. I really, really hope the dragging out of this plotline doesn't mean Manny and Sherry will get back together.

- Does Claire still have a job? The Russian porn website scandal should have been enough to bring down the company altogether, so it would make sense for her to be unemployed. But I don't recall hearing any confirmation that it happened. (And if Jay tried to persuade her to give up her high-paying job to join his sinking ship, that was really low of him.)

- Have there been any indications that Cam's football team is particularly good? For him to be a finalist for a college coaching job, after coaching high school football for just a few years, his team would have to be extraordinarily successful.

I wanna say Sherry dumped Manny around the end of last season, but I gotta be honest, it's all an unfunny blur now.

Claire quit the job due to the Russian porn scandal helping her realize she wasn't into it, after fighting to succeed her dad and selling the company, of course.

Yeah, Cam has been shown to have been pretty successful as a coach.

Edited by jmonique
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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

Yeah I know that most of Hollywood is convinced that the US is made up of New York, LA, maybe Chicago, and then just miles and miles of farmland, but come on! Also, not to nitpick what was obviously a dumb joke, but Mayberry was famously in North Carolina, which is a VERY different state than Missouri, and are not even close to each other.

Right? I’m a city girl, born in Chicago and grew up in Minneapolis, but I hate how anything not NYC, LA, or sometimes Chicago is portrayed as Hicksville. Even growing up in Minneapolis, with a major University, museums and cultural institutions, I can’t tell you how often I would get “Oh, yah, U betcha!” when telling people where I was from. 

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2 minutes ago, meatball77 said:

Their last Christmas together?

Are they moving to a reality without airplanes?  They can all meet for Christmas next year. . . .

 

Travel back home for the holidays? I've never heard of such a thing.

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The promos were more heartwarming than that episode. They should have left it at the commercials.

Dylan was the best adult, he barely spoke.

So Cam lies to Mitch about the reason about going home for the holidays, secretly has a job interview that would have them uproot their lives and move to Missouri and Mitch has no reaction other that "sure I'll go?" Lily has no reaction at all either? Cam didn't think that warranted a chat with your husband first?

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People get extra emotional at Christmas? Is that true? In my experience, people generally get more relaxed at Christmas and overall are in a better mood. Emotional? But really.

If these people would just communicate and act like adults, there wouldn’t be many issues. How does Cam think Mitch will feel when Cam pursued his dream and then never tells Mitch until there is essentially no option but to move? Ugh to all of them. 

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2 hours ago, Artsda said:

Lily has no reaction at all either?

What lazy writing.  All Lily did the whole episode was walk past different people and deliver one liners.  Have these writers ever been in the presence of a real teenage girl?

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14 hours ago, Ottis said:

In my experience, people generally get more relaxed at Christmas and overall are in a better mood. Emotional? But really.

Oh lord I wish I grew up in that sort of family. Holiday stress definitely led to heightened emotions in my household. Still does whenever everyone gets together, well that and my grandmother’s very boozy eggnog reciepe.

I hate when they do away with past characterizations for a small sarcastic remark in this case Phil being mean to Claire about not putting effort into holidays even though we have 10 years and multiple holidays that disprove this and seemed too mean for Phil. 

Edited by biakbiak
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13 hours ago, Suzn said:

Mitchell and Lily have to give up their lives so Cam can have his "dream". 

I'm confused, because Cam told Mitchell about the recruiter for the University of North Central Missouri in episode 6, which is why Mitchell dressed as a chicken in order to stop the mocking dolphin mascot.  I'm aware that Mitchell didn't know that Cam actually had an upcoming interview, but why did he act as though he had never heard of the Missouri job at all?

There is no way Lily would be cool with moving to Missouri, unless she is being tortured in school and wants a fresh start.

Also, Manny slept in Gloria's bed until he was 13?  After she was married to Jay?

Finally, if Haley and Dylan move to France, Dylan wouldn't be able to practice nursing; perhaps he'd stay home with the kids.

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On 12/11/2019 at 8:28 PM, ams1001 said:

(Actually, this wasn't terrible compared to some of what they've done this season.)

I guess, judging from the comments, we're in the minority. I thought it was one of the better episodes of the last couple of years. I know many of you wanted a nice Christmas episode, but without the conflicts it would've been boring and sappy. When this show is sappy it's the worst.

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The problem is that these actors are growing tired of the roles. I love Ed O'Neil, but he is definitely phoning it in. This is going to be his 2nd longest show he was in, besides Maried With...Children. Thought that was interesting.

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1 hour ago, Robert Lynch said:

The problem is that these actors are growing tired of the roles. I love Ed O'Neil, but he is definitely phoning it in. This is going to be his 2nd longest show he was in, besides Maried With...Children. Thought that was interesting.

Funny about MWC was that all the actors were shocked when they show was cancelled and the fact they found out on the radio. The studio didn't tell them first. They said they figured it happen soon, but still wanted to give it their all. With Modern Family, the stories are tired, the characters are shells of their former selves and the writers honestly don't care about anything more than paycheck. 

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I liked Claire's roll out of the window while Jay was distracted. Too bad she wasn't on the second floor to give it some "Gravitas", they could have showed her sticking the landing in the backyard and raising her arms like an Olympic gymnast.

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I thought that there would be some reveal that showed that the family members weren't actually being nasty to each other.  That Gloria wasn't really secretly bailing on Phil and threatening her niece to cover it up.  That Claire wasn't really running away from her father just because he wanted to work with her.  That Cam wasn't really lying and hiding a live-changing event from his husband and daughter.

But there was no reveal.  For a holiday episode, there was virtually no warmth or affection.  Unpleasant really is the word for this episode.

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There is quite a bit of competition for most odious character, but for me, Cam wins.  He is just a despicable self-centered big baby.  It would seem like so much work to deal with him every day.  I don't understand why Mitchell would be expected to give up his job and Lily give up her school and friends for Cam to go back to Missouri.  Honestly, I don't understand Cam's fixation with Missouri anyway.  Why did he ever leave if he is that attached?

I've mentioned this before, but I do want to bitch some more about the portrayal of the middle of the country as nothing but Hicksville.  There have been times Cam dressed for the flight to Missouri in bib overalls and a straw hat.  Seriously?  What the living fuck!  As far as that goes, I don't find these California people the height of sophistication and knowledge - at all.

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First cable television got rid of "Parenthood" which was a great show and now this.  They are obviously a liberal, anti-Christian network. They cater to New York and California customers, not the masses.  I am waiting for some other station to come to the rescue of "Modern Family."  They may consider bringing back the cast of "Parenthood" too.  They would have a lot of customers.

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I think we can chalk up Cam's "farm boy" persona as being pure performance art. He'd never be able to fit in with the LA gays, so he's adopted this ridiculous persona because he thinks it makes him seem manly and unique.

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Re the recruiter at the high school, I thought he was there to scout for players. It didn't occur to me that he was looking for a coach. I can easily believe Mitchell had the same assumption.

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21 hours ago, Suzn said:

 Honestly, I don't understand Cam's fixation with Missouri anyway.  Why did he ever leave if he is that attached?

I've mentioned this before, but I do want to bitch some more about the portrayal of the middle of the country as nothing but Hicksville.  There have been times Cam dressed for the flight to Missouri in bib overalls and a straw hat.  Seriously?  What the living fuck!  As far as that goes, I don't find these California people the height of sophistication and knowledge - at all.

Oh I know. I've been to Missouri several times over  the years. In fact I was just there last March. People are not like that in any shape or form. Yes, you get various accents due to the borders, but really. They are as normal as anyone else in the Midwest. Their taxes are just lower. 

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On 12/12/2019 at 11:04 AM, tennisgurl said:

That was so...unpleasant. Like, so deeply unpleasant. A Manson Family Christmas would probably have more heartwarming moments and holiday cheer. They all should move away, it seems like they hate being in the same room as each other. I was thinking, like others, that they would do a bunch of cute things with the twins for their first Christmas and have some call backs to previous Christmas episodes, but instead we get "snippy snippy jerk faces" for most of the episode until the half assed happy ending. 

Can no one in this family just, like, have a conversation? Like normal people? Everyone is always sneaking around and lying to each other for no other reason than to start pointless drama, when everything could be resolved with a two second conversation! Its not even farcical like on good episodes, its just annoying. Manny and Gloria win for most unlikable jerks of the episode. Claire isnt wrong, Gloria coddles Manny so much, even as an adult, that he has turned into a bratty entitled manchild, and Gloria always enables his worst impulses. And of course Manny shows up to make everything about him and be as dramatic as possible, and of course Gloria acts like any slight against her perfect boy is a crime worthy of being burned alive, because thats all we got now. I mean, Luke shouldn't have started dating the girl that Manny was dating, but its not like Manny and this girl were together for very long (we never even saw her until they were broken up) and Luke already said he was sorry but that they really liked each other (until Manny sabotaged them), and she doesent want to date Manny, so he just seems like he is being super dramatic. 

So did I miss something where Cam moved to LA to be with Mitch? I guess I dont remember, but I assumed that they both lived in LA and met each other at some point before the show started. Cam seems like he really misses Missouri, so I wondered if he would want to move back, and yeah that is a big change, but why are are they all acting like Cam wants to move to literally a farm? There are big cities in Missouri, including a number of college towns and cities, where presumably Cam would be moving to, why are they acting like they will be moving to a town with the population of 12 cows? Yeah I know that most of Hollywood is convinced that the US is made up of New York, LA, maybe Chicago, and then just miles and miles of farmland, but come on! Also, not to nitpick what was obviously a dumb joke, but Mayberry was famously in North Carolina, which is a VERY 

What, when I get bored watching a show, I turn to nitpicking. 

Nitpickers 'R Us!

First, I FLOVE Cam and Mayberry and all the characters there,  but I couldn't live there. 

I grew up in Nebraska and have driven to Missouri many times. Once in a great while I would see  traditional farmer guy in overalls in both places somewhere in public, but not often. But before WiFi, the radio stations were 99% farm reports, country, and Christian. Thank God for cds and audiobooks on tape. I couldn't live there anymore either.  

I Flove Cam. I just like him.  He's funny and honest about his background. Farmstrong!. I find Mitch pretentious. 

One highlight for me on this show was Gloria telling Phil that she cannot pretend not to hear/understand his double ententres anymore, in reference to something abt wanting her pushing against him when he comes up with silly ideas.  Yay, MeToo! 

 I like Gloria's chutzpah and toughness. But Manny is her albatross. Blech. And yes, she has totally spoiled him by defending EVERYTHING he does. I have a sister who did  that to her kid....he's in prison now.....seriously. 

I wonder,  would we be so hard on Manny, despite the actor's pisspoor acting, if the character was portrayed by a better actor? 

Or frankly, better looking in a likable way--not young Hollywood actor handsome, but engaging, sympathetic, sweet?

An Eddie Redmayne or Thomas Middleditch type? Or maybe young Brits are my type. 🙂

Or is it all just crap acting? 

Edited by Tosia
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I am so sick of Cam and his ridiculous attachment to Missouri, which is always presented as all Hillbilly, all the time. 

I am sure TPTB don't give Eric Stonestreet any flexibility when it comes to Cam's fixation on Missouri's rural quaintness.  However, ES knows better.  He spends a lot of time in Kansas City, and is actually one of the new part-owners of the Kansas City Royals major league baseball team.  However, ES actually came from Tonganoxie, which is near KC but in Kansas.  Kansas and Missouri residents have been sniping at each other since the Border Wars in the 1850s.  Maybe ES is just poking fun at Missourians because of his Kansas roots.

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43 minutes ago, UncleChuck said:

I am sure TPTB don't give Eric Stonestreet any flexibility when it comes to Cam's fixation on Missouri's rural quaintness.  However, ES knows better.  He spends a lot of time in Kansas City, and is actually one of the new part-owners of the Kansas City Royals major league baseball team.  However, ES actually came from Tonganoxie, which is near KC but in Kansas.  Kansas and Missouri residents have been sniping at each other since the Border Wars in the 1850s.  Maybe ES is just poking fun at Missourians because of his Kansas roots.

Yes, I know ES is a local boy.  I live in Kansas City, Kansas and work in Kansas City, Missouri and know both states, both the cities and the farms.  I simply don't see Cam's characterization of farm boy as even bordering on realistic.  If they wanted negative realism, they would emphasize the fundamentalists who would happily burn Cam and Mitchell at the stake for the sin of gayness.  Obviously, that wouldn't be any fun.  I'm just sick of the portrayal of everyone in Missouri being hicks.

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3 hours ago, Tosia said:

I wonder,  would we be so hard on Manny, despite the actor's pisspoor acting, if the character was portrayed by a better actor? 

Or frankly, better looking in a likable way--not young Hollywood actor handsome, but engaging, sympathetic, sweet?

I don't think so - the impression I got was Manny as a child was mature in many ways as a byproduct of being "the man" of the house, whose mother worked multiple jobs to provide.

College Student Manny is an affected, entitled douche bag.

SIDENOTE: I'm all for body positivity, but Alex's cleave was crazy on display for a Christmas dinner.

Edited by jmonique
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17 hours ago, possibilities said:

Re the recruiter at the high school, I thought he was there to scout for players. It didn't occur to me that he was looking for a coach. I can easily believe Mitchell had the same assumption.

Cam told Mitchell he was the one being scouted. 

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5 hours ago, biakbiak said:

Cam told Mitchell he was the one being scouted. 

I didn't remember that. But if that's so, then it's not like Mitch wasn't warned that Cam might get the job offer, and him saying he'd move isn't out of no where. Clearly they'd discussed it and Mitchell was on board if he was trying to help during the recruiter's visit.

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On 12/14/2019 at 9:59 AM, Tosia said:

I Flove Cam. I just like him.  He's funny and honest about his background. Farmstrong!.

When has Cam been honest about anything? The character is constantly lying and posturing to preserve his fragile ego.

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What was so clever about the Sonny & Cher ad that Gloria designed for her & Phil? Sounded dated to me to be charitable. 

I live in Kansas, & Missouri does have some whack-a-doo religious areas especially in the bootheel if I'm remembering correctly. But KS does also (thanks, Fred Phelps).

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On 12/12/2019 at 7:18 AM, Suzn said:

Yes, unpleasant is the word for it.  Apparently they all move away, the family breaks up and it is the last of they will see each other.  That should be a relief for them since the relationships are so contentious.

On 12/12/2019 at 4:21 PM, meatball77 said:

Their last Christmas together?

Are they moving to a reality without airplanes?  They can all meet for Christmas next year. . . .

I had the same reaction. I fly home every year for Christmas. It's not a huge deal. Not everyone lives five minutes away from all of their siblings, children, nieces/nephews, aunts/uncles, and grandparents. The way these people constantly bicker and lie to each other, you'd think they would welcome moving somewhere new.

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On 12/12/2019 at 8:10 PM, Artsda said:

So Cam lies to Mitch about the reason about going home for the holidays, secretly has a job interview that would have them uproot their lives and move to Missouri and Mitch has no reaction other that "sure I'll go?" Lily has no reaction at all either? Cam didn't think that warranted a chat with your husband first?

I know this has been discussed a lot, but it was just so odd I had to chime in. They don't fly someone out unless they are a finalist for a job. I could understand maybe not saying anything after an initial phone call but there is a good chance he will be offered the job (one that starts in January!). It's just stupid to not discuss that. And I really hope they have a Lily plot where she doesn't want to go. No 13 year old wants to move to another state especially mid-school year.

On 12/13/2019 at 10:25 AM, mikem said:

I thought that there would be some reveal that showed that the family members weren't actually being nasty to each other

I thought this too. MF is always at its best when it is farsical so I was expecting some twists and got none. I wanted it revealed that Gloria was spying for Phil (which would have made her stank attitude towards Alex less terrible). I guess there was the thing with Jay needing the help with his company but overall, meh.

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This episode came off more as a parody like the old Saturday Night Live would have done of the show. There was nothing funny, except maybe Claire falling out of the window.

Manny...ugh. Every character seemed to be just reading their lines, going through the motions. In all of these years, no growth at all. And what's with the over the top cleavage on all the women?

TPTB must realize boobs are the only thing interesting on the show. The writing and acting sure aren't.

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On 12/13/2019 at 10:25 AM, mikem said:

I thought that there would be some reveal that showed that the family members weren't actually being nasty to each other.  That Gloria wasn't really secretly bailing on Phil and threatening her niece to cover it up.  That Claire wasn't really running away from her father just because he wanted to work with her.  That Cam wasn't really lying and hiding a live-changing event from his husband and daughter.

But there was no reveal.  For a holiday episode, there was virtually no warmth or affection.  Unpleasant really is the word for this episode.

Seriously!

Gloria has often had a little "psycho killer moment," but this was over the top especially with her threatening Alex.

Everyone was just so horrible to each other. What a disappointment. 

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