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S06.E02: Do Not Push

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Jay and Gloria can't agree on what kind of anniversary gifts they want to exchange; the Dunphys go with Alex to Caltech for her college tour; Mitch, Cam and Lily take a new family portrait.

 

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They should just send Manny away, he's useless.

Thought this was an improvement over the premiere which isn't saying much.

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The only parts worth watching were the scenes with Alex and young Darling, maybe Alex and Claire. Otherwise, zzzzzzzzz.

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There's a time in everybody's life when they reach that awkward stage. Luke is there now. I was thinking , where is that cute little wise mop top that was so lovable? He was such a good little actor too. With this stage he is in , he can't even act anymore! It seems none of them can. Alex is ridiculous! Actually all the kids are, Lily included, and I loved her! I get so sad when good shows turn to shit.

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Yeah, that wasn't good. I liked last week's ep better.

 

I did like when Manny tells Jay "Happy Anniversary," and Jay responds, "I don't love this tableau."

 

Lily's acting is as fake as her smile.

 

I liked a couple of the snarky lines betw Cam and Mitchell.

 

I don't think there was anything in the experiment bit with Phil, Luke, and Haley that was funny or entertaining, and it was transparent from the beginning that Phil was wrong about what the experiment was. 

 

I didn't find the scenes betw Alex and her new love interest charming or funny. It seemed very forced.

 

I thought Jay's bunny was actually pretty cute.

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Don't remember laughing once, or even really smiling. Nothing funny, nothing clever  and nothing charming

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Dang, Nolan Gould is awkward, why can he suddenly not act?

Jay and Gloria and their obnoxious First World problems (and entitlement and attitude) is getting old. Ugh.

I liked the parts with Claire and Alex at college, and Alex's potential guy.

The social experiment thing was predictable, the only "suspense" was guessing what the button really did.

Lily is going to be a holy hellion when she is a teenager, since she already mouths and sasses her parents, and they are terrified of telling her anything negative, lest it shatters her allegedly fragile psyche. News flash, Cam and Mithcell, Lily has self confidence to spare, I think you can tell her to smile differently for a family portrait.

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I felt like ordering a bunch of trade school brochures to send to Nolan Gould; acting should no longer be a career choice. Jeez, that was downright cringe worthy.

All three of the youngest kids were decent a couple of years ago, so much more natural.

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  The button part was really stupid. You don't put a sign that says: "Don't push." You tape a box over it and then put a sign that says: "Please do not remove, air conditioning not working." For a college full of bright teachers, students and grad students. That really was stupid! Man, Gould has lost his acting abilities, I mean I know he is 15 now but his acting did not improve with age. Manny seems to be just thrown back now and look Joe exists again! I also find it so funny that with 2 tall parents like Phil and Claire how short Alex and Haley are. But hey, can't guess actors growth stages when you cast them. Oh well.

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I felt like ordering a bunch of trade school brochures to send to Nolan Gould; acting should no longer be a career choice. Jeez, that was downright cringe worthy.

 

 

Considering Nolan Gould is a certified genius with an out of this world IQ, I feel fairly certain he'll be just fine if the acting thing doesn't work out. Hell he's probably doubled or tripled what he's already made so far from his years on Modern Family. That said both Luke and Manny are at a very awkward stage where the characters don't really work anymore, at least the way they used to be.

 

Like Manny's precocious mini-adult schtick which already annoyed some back in the early seasons, really doesn't work now that he's older, taller and looks almost 16. And I feel that without that, the writers may not really know what to do with him anymore. Luke's not so bright, slacker vibe can still work but Nolan's delivery which was always a little awkward is more cringe-worthy now that he's no longer chubby cheeked adorable. 

 

While the experiment gag was a little silly since we all knew where it was going and that Phil would be wrong about it being the experiment, I did enjoy Hailey's freakout because it was realistic. Especially with all of the snarky comments Luke and Alex were throwing at her and even Phil and Claire basically being like "yeah you're kind of just always here, hanging around." It makes sense that she'd have a meltdown and feel like a failure especially as she said, with Alex getting ready to head out and she's still be there, living in her parents' basement. I thought Phil's comment to her that she was finding her way and that's what her 20's were for was sweet.

 

News flash, Cam and Mithcell, Lily has self confidence to spare, I think you can tell her to smile differently for a family portrait.

 

 

Honestly, as annoying and bratty as I find Lily, I kind of agreed with Claire. She's a kid, what does it matter if the smile isn't perfect. Just take the damn picture and let it be but it's so Cam and Mitchell to obsess about something like that because Cam is a drama queen and  Mitchell is a stick in the mud.

 

I liked a couple of the snarky lines betw Cam and Mitchell.

 

 

I did have a chuckle when the two were trying to get Lily to notice something was wrong with her smile and Mitchell starts by saying when he looks at the picture he thinks that he could maybe stand up straighter and Cam said he looks at it and thinks he could give less "Ryan Gosling face and more everyman". Mitchell's "you have got to be kidding me with that level of delusion" face was hilarious.

Edited by truthaboutluv
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Glad to see the Caltech campus on the screen.  I used to live near there.

 

I guess if they have Alex go to Caltech it will be a way to keep her on the show into her college years.  (how many more years does this show have?)  Caltech is an insanely difficult school in real life - more of a grind than the Ivy League - but that kind of thing doesn't translate into sitcom ploy points.  If I were writing this show, I'd have her to to UCLA, which may provide more comedy material.

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The "experiment" was Sartre's No Exit - three characters trapped in a room and they don't know why.

I actually liked Manny's acting.

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When I was younger, my parents told me and my siblings to have "real smiles" for the camera. Lily was likely old enough that I think she knew what she was doing ("fake" smiling). I was unaware that was "controlling" -- more like "proper socialization."

 

The puns on this show get me every time. "It's our job to support Haley." "For the rest of your life," and the one between Mitchell and Cam about "not using a tone" (referring to the picture, then Mitchell's attitude).

 

Gloria smashing the bunny was also kind of funny. Though while Jay was taking a pottery class, she was clearly taking a "glue pottery back together" class because that thing looked darn near perfect after having been smashed on a counter!

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Caltech is an insanely difficult school in real life - more of a grind than the Ivy League - but that kind of thing doesn't translate into sitcom ploy points.  If I were writing this show, I'd have her to to UCLA, which may provide more comedy material.

This.  Also CalTech is the employer of Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj.  It is not enough that Modern Family wins the Emmy every year over The Big Bang Theory, not they have to move in on BBT's home turf?   I had always assumed that the Modern Family houses were on the west side of LA so UCLA would be a much more convenient choice for them, is CalTech funding their experiments by allowing Hollywood on their campus?  I can tell you one thing, they have not need to do this as a recruiting tool.

 

Speaking of children and awkward growth spurts, Alex seems to be busting out of her clothes.  Is that why she had a clipboard in front of her chest for most of the episode?  My suggestion is that the powers do an episode centered on Alex dealing with the unwanted attention she much be getting from boys, and Hayley's mentoring support (and possible jealously.) 

Edited by MaryHedwig
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I thought Haley looked gorgeous this episode.  Last week I thought she looked sickly and was hoping Sarah Hyland's kidney issues weren't giving her problems.

 

I enjoyed the family photo scenes.  I have a kid who had the most gorgeous natural smile and then when he hit about 5 years old I got ten straight years of awkward.  It was hard to go from incredibly photogenic to eek, what's that look?  I think Cam and Mitch's parenting seems more natural and connected this season.  Can't stand Lily though...nothing appealing about her personality.

 

I thought Gloria's reaction, once she knew she hurt Jay's feelings, was sincere and adorable.  Then they had to ruin it by shifting the focus back to the expensive gifts.

 

Eh, I stil like the show but Black-ish is what I'll be looking forward to on Wednesdays now.

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I liked the Alex subplot...but not much else. Too stupid, too fragmented, too boring.

 

Mitch and Cam are annoying parents. Why not just say “Hon, your smile looks a little forced. Let’s try it again!”? Also, the person-can’t-smile-for-the camera-and-makes-a-weird-face-instead was done by Friends. Done better. And even then it was pretty dumb and unrealistic.

 

The Jay and Gloria subplot was trite. Maybe it's because I don't really see the point of gift-giving when you tell your partner what you want and they give it to you from the money you both share.

 

I at least got a smile out of the following, mostly due to the delivery:

 

Cam, about Lily: “I’ve been photographing her for years. We have a relationship.”
Mitch: “Really? What’s she like??”

 

Alex to Claire: “Okay you need to calm down. This is a college tour, not Oprah’s Favorite Things.”

Edited by CleoCaesar
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Alex wanted MIT in part to get away from her parents. Now Alex wants Caltech to be near a young man. Either way, what a sad way to choose a college. 

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  The button part was really stupid. You don't put a sign that says: "Don't push." You tape a box over it and then put a sign that says: "Please do not remove, air conditioning not working." For a college full of bright teachers, students and grad students. That really was stupid! 

Not to mention, when was the last time you saw AC that required a push button on the wall to activate it, especially in a large institutional building?

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Alex wanted MIT in part to get away from her parents. Now Alex wants Caltech to be near a young man. Either way, what a sad way to choose a college.

I was thinking the same thing.  What's also sad is that we have no clue what she's even interested in studying. 

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Dang, Nolan Gould is awkward, why can he suddenly not act?

Jay and Gloria and their obnoxious First World problems (and entitlement and attitude) is getting old. Ugh.

I liked the parts with Claire and Alex at college, and Alex's potential guy.

The social experiment thing was predictable, the only "suspense" was guessing what the button really did.

Lily is going to be a holy hellion when she is a teenager, since she already mouths and sasses her parents, and they are terrified of telling her anything negative, lest it shatters her allegedly fragile psyche. News flash, Cam and Mithcell, Lily has self confidence to spare, I think you can tell her to smile differently for a family portrait.

Oh my GOd, yes about Lilly. I actually don't mind her on the show, I think her comments and actions most of the time are completely believable given the environment she grows up in. However, my God, what a comment on how far we have come in terms of parenting, for some at least, that we think are kids are so fragile that a simple comment such as "You look great Lilly, but you need to please tone down the smile a bit sweety" would somehow shatter her entire ego? Wow. ANd did Cam SERIOUSLY just LIKE the temper tantrum she threw, was proud of that behavior? I don't get that, thats not funny. Its sad.

Also I actually like Manny better now that he is older. I find him more realistic. I was never big on his "older and wiser than his age" persona in the early years. I never found it as interesting as most fans.

I was thinking the same thing.  What's also sad is that we have no clue what she's even interested in studying.

The boy (forgot his name) did mention that some such major was better at Caltech than MIT, so I assumed thats what ALex was interested in and that factored into her decision as well. But yes, it seemed to be mainly over a boy.

But hey, they built a whole series around the premise in the 90s (Felicity) Time to rehash that idea

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Also CalTech is the employer of Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj.  It is not enough that Modern Family wins the Emmy every year over The Big Bang Theory, not they have to move in on BBT's home turf?  I had always assumed that the Modern Family houses were on the west side of LA so UCLA would be a much more convenient choice for them, is CalTech funding their experiments but allowing Hollywood on their campus?  I can tell you one thing, they have not need to do this as a recruiting tool.

 

 

I don't know if it is a significant income source for Caltech, but they have TV shows filmed there all the time. Numb3rs was filmed there a few times, too, when my wife was working at Caltech. It may be a very difficult school, but it's an absolutely awesome place to work at, I can tell you that. I myself used to work at a company with close ties to Caltech - it was founded by the "one of our five Nobel laureates, who is currently teaching there."  In fact, he got his Nobel prize while I was working there and we all had a great party to celebrate. Ah, nostalgia...

 

Speaking of children and awkward growth spurts, Alex seems to be busting out of her clothes.  Is that why she had a clipboard in front of her chest for most of the episode?  My suggestion is that the powers do an episode centered on Alex dealing with the unwanted attention she much be getting from boys, and Hayley's mentoring support (and possible jealously.)

 

 

Shoot, the first time I read this, I took the word "support" completely the wrong way. Was thinking "Haley looks great, why would she be jealous of Alex's new-found need for support? Oh wait, it's not that kind of support... "

 

Now that he is a teenager and not a goofy little boy, it’s becoming clear that Nolan Gould could use some speech therapy and acting lessons. If he's such an alleged genius, you would think he could figure out how to naturally deliver his lines.

 

 

Well, to be fair, not every problem has a solution. Even a genius cannot figure out a solution where none exists.

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Being a "watch guy", it might have gotten my attention more than it would have another viewer's, but it seemed like a bit of a commercial when Jay was expounding on the virtues of the wristwatch.  Panerai actually makes a black matte, ceramic wristwatch with a 10-day power reserve.  It seems like he could have gone into the features without mentioning the brand unless there was a product placement fee involved.  If it was a plug, it was more discreet than most.

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Lily is going to be a holy hellion when she is a teenager, since she already mouths and sasses her parents, and they are terrified of telling her anything negative, lest it shatters her allegedly fragile psyche. News flash, Cam and Mithcell, Lily has self confidence to spare, I think you can tell her to smile differently for a family portrait.

 

They did, though - and she behaved like a manipulative brat in desperate need of therapy. (In other words, she's taking after Cameron.)

 

I was afraid they'd phrase their request in a really stupid way, by saying something like, "There's a problem with the way you smile." But Mitchell didn't actually handle it that badly - he basically said, "Your usual smile is so pretty, why not do that?"

 

Unfortunately for him, she reacted in the most ridiculous manner possible. I don't think there's anything he could have said to her that would have inspired a sane reaction, because she was determined to be offended, and to use the opportunity to make them feel as guilty as possible. She reminded me of Laganja Estranja from RuPaul's Drag Race.

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Alex wanted MIT in part to get away from her parents. Now Alex wants Caltech to be near a young man. Either way, what a sad way to choose a college. 

I thought she changed her mind, because as the boy said, she realised she was choosing her college based on where her parents lived. I could swear that was the light bulb moment. And they were speaking about Caltech having the better applied physics department, so I figured that's what her major would be. 

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I think my favorite part of the episode was when Gloria breaks open the bunny thinking there's a gift inside, as silly as that was. And then her hysterical panic after she finds out she hurt Jay's feelings. 

 

The Phil, Haley, Luke experiment bit was predictable, but I thought the pep talk Phil gave Haley was really nice. Not everyone knows what they want to do with their life when they leave high school so Haley's not alone in being a little lost, and maybe now they'll finally move her out of the bratty teenage phase and have her actually exploring her future as an adult. 

 

I found it hard to believe that Claire would actually want Alex to stick around and attend a nearby college after trying to force her out of the house last week to preserve the family's perfect summer. It may have been established in the last episode that the Dunphys needs Alex in the house to keep them all safe and out of trouble, but it still didn't seem like any of them actually wanted her around. So I didn't blame Alex for wanting to choose a college far away from her family initially. If I was her, come graduation, I'd pack my bags and wish them all good luck.

Edited by Everleigh
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Alex and the other geek were adorable. He called her pretty. Her grin on he friended me was so cute!

The actress who plays lily is not cute and cannot act.

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Now that he is a teenager and not a goofy little boy, it’s becoming clear that Nolan Gould could use some speech therapy and acting lessons. If he's such an alleged genius, you would think he could figure out how to naturally deliver his lines.

Agreed, I think he's quite bad. And his mumbling & talking out of the side of his mouth is getting worse, I can barely understand a word he says.

 

Speaking of children and awkward growth spurts, Alex seems to be busting out of her clothes.  Is that why she had a clipboard in front of her chest for most of the episode?  My suggestion is that the powers do an episode centered on Alex dealing with the unwanted attention she much be getting from boys, and Hayley's mentoring support (and possible jealously.)

I think what would be more realistic would be Alex getting attention from boys, Alex being her default condescending bitch self, the boys basically telling her to fuck off, then Alex coming to an ah-ha moment regarding her horrid personality.

Edited by ByTor

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I found it hard to believe that Claire would actually want Alex to stick around and attend a nearby college after trying to force her out of the house last week to preserve the family's perfect summer. It may have been established in the last episode that the Dunphys needs Alex in the house to keep them all safe and out of trouble, but it still didn't seem like any of them actually wanted her around. So I didn't blame Alex for wanting to choose a college far away from her family initially. If I was her, come graduation, I'd pack my bags and wish them all good luck.

 

Exactly.

 

I'm not sure what the problem with CalTech's location was for Alex. It's a 45-minute drive away. You're still going away to college. It's not like she would be living at home, and no one would force her to come home every weekend.

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I'm not sure what the problem with CalTech's location was for Alex. It's a 45-minute drive away. You're still going away to college. It's not like she would be living at home, and no one would force her to come home every weekend.

 

I would guess that she would be more concerned that Phil and Claire would be stopping by her dorm room all the time. 

 

Speaking of dorm rooms - I thought it was odd that the tour guide said that they were going to visit the dorms next so the parents had to say good-bye now.  I understand that they needed Claire to have to say good-bye (symbolism, foreshadowing, ...) but why wouldn't parents be able to see the dorm rooms? 

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Just to give students time away from the parental units -- it was just random that it was the residence halls.  And usually the parents would have their own session with the visitor team.  You get different questions from each group when they are separated! 

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It didn't strike me as odd at all that it was the dorms that they didn't want the parents touring. My school did the same thing, not because of anything salacious but because tours are an annoying inconvenience if you happen to be in your dorm at the time of them, even if your room isn't being shown (a bunch of people in the hallway walking slowly, is annoying when you are running late for class and want to take a shower even though its 1) so cutting the herd of people who are traipsing through makes sense.

 

Plus. students asked questions of students that they saw that they might not ask in front of their parents.

Edited by biakbiak
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Questions from parents and students when they are not together:

 

Parents:  "You will let us know if there are any incidents with my child, correct?  And do the grades get sent to us, *who are paying the tuition*?"

 

Potential students:  "You won't be reporting on me to my parents, right?  And they won't see my grades unless I show them, right?"

 

And in Alex's case, being in the student-only group helped her realize that maybe Caltech is the right place for her, which she would have had trouble seeing with Helicopter Claire hovering nearby. 

 

Like the sign says, Claire, "Do Not Push!".

Edited by jjj
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I'm not sure what was up with Nolan Gould in this episode.  Maybe he just thought his lines (and the storyline) were so stupid, he just couldn't give it any more than that.  I did kinda enjoy the bit with Lily's picture smile.  I'm ashamed to admit, I went through the same thing when I was 6.  As a flower girl in my brother's and sister's weddings.  Ruined so many pictures.  I think I was told not to.  I still did it until I grew out of it. 

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The bad smile storyline was very real for me. My oldest nephew is 19 now, but he went through a bad smile phase when he was about 5-7. We actually had a name for it, the beaver smile. It was horrible, only happened when he saw a camera, and god help you if you told him about it. Any mention of it just brought a fight, ending in his tears, every time. And of course he had 2 younger brothers, including a newborn during those years so lots of pictures had to be taken. Bad times were had by all. 

 

Nolan Gould forgot how to act last season, when they came back and he was about a foot taller and barely recognizable. It's like he is uncomfortable in his own skin and with being an actor. The kid is hella smart and maybe he doesn't want to act anymore? He's a bit more natural when I've seen little bits of him goofing around with the kid who plays Manny on talk shows or red carpets, but he really doesn't seem to want to be on TV anymore and it shows. 

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Nolan Gould forgot how to act last season, when they came back and he was about a foot taller and barely recognizable. It's like he is uncomfortable in his own skin and with being an actor. The kid is hella smart and maybe he doesn't want to act anymore? He's a bit more natural when I've seen little bits of him goofing around with the kid who plays Manny on talk shows or red carpets, but he really doesn't seem to want to be on TV anymore and it shows.

Didn't Joseph Gordon-Levitt go through the same thing, on Third Rock from the Sun? First few seasons, he was so natural and relaxed. Then he hits puberty and becomes hyper-self-conscious, which affects his acting.
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Child actors, like animals, are always a danger.

 

Can act  (and know how to do it without being obnoxious and screen-stealing)-- Haley and Alex 

 

Used to be able to but is at that awful puberty time of life -- Luke

 

Can only put on over the top performances that remind me of school plays -- Manny and Lily

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Just catching up on last week, but I liked the Alex/new love interest/college parts.  I don't think it's too far out there that a teenager might choose schools partly based on proximity to her family.  While of course Alex would live 45 minutes away from her family if she went to Cal Tech, that's also an easy drive for Claire to make on any given day.  It's close enough where her parents could just pop up unannounced.  Obviously that isn't remotely a concern if Alex were to go to school further away.  Not that I think she should be choosing schools solely based on that factor.  But of course I assume they will have Alex go to Cal Tech for obvious reasons.

 

The rest of it?  I definitely think Nolan is one of those people that will leave the acting business after Modern Family is over.  He's been getting progressively worse season by season.  My biggest thing with him is understanding any words that come out of his mouth.

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Ok so it's not just me. NG is soooooo bad. Like middle school play, reading off a cue card bad. The kind of bad where I am reminded every single second he is on screen that he is an a actor trying to act. Plus, he mumbles/has a weird way of talking.

I vote Luke goes to boarding school off screen. Unfortunately, IMO the child actors really are bringing the show down. Manny and Haley are the only ones that I don't mind.

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I really enjoy Manny and Lily. I like the other kids well enough. I don't hate them. I agree that Nolan does seem to mumble sometimes, or rather, I have a little trouble understanding him at times.

Edited by ari333

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What happened to Jay and Gloria's nanny who caught Haley's interest?  He had a girlfriend in another state who either was imaginary or leading him on.  I thought in last season's finale that things looked promising for a coupling of Haley and the nanny.  (I have one more episode to catch up, but so far he hasn't appeared this season).

Edited by Beach Party

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I like the other kids well enough. I don't hate them.

 

 

That's where I am. All the kids have enough good will built up with me from past seasons that I can't hate any of them. I can see the flaws and awkwardness of some of them as they've aged, sure. But they've all brought me so much pleasure over the years that I have to cut them slack. I make allowances.

 

In general, while not a classic, this episode was a big improvement over the season opener.

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Didn't Joseph Gordon-Levitt go through the same thing, on Third Rock from the Sun? First few seasons, he was so natural and relaxed. Then he hits puberty and becomes hyper-self-conscious, which affects his acting.

 

Yeah, this. I think it's like the Chinese cheating for all those decades and having underage girls on their Olympic gymnastics teams. Younger kids are fearless. Older kids get more self conscious, more aware of the outcome if they screw up. 

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