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'Modern Family' fan recap: Changing our self-image

Season 6 | Episode 20 | “Knock ‘Em Down” | Aired Apr 22, 2015

This week on Modern Family, it’s Cam’s bowling-league finals and he has recruited Jay to fill in on his team, The Britney Spares, for an injured member. Cam needs to do well so that he can beat his bowling archnemesis, Martin (Oliver Platt); but he doesn’t reveal to Jay until they get to the alley that it’s an all-gay team, and that if anyone, especially Martin, figures out that Jay isn’t gay, the team will be disqualified. Jay is convinced that no one will ever believe that he’s gay.

Mitch, Gloria, and Haley are going out clubbing, and they bet Cam and Jay that they can stay out later. Jay is dubious, noting that baby Joe has to tuck Gloria in at night, but they are determined to win.

Meanwhile, Phil is trying to sell the house next door to his own, but no one wants to buy it because of an obscene statue that is on the neighbor’s lawn across the street.

Phil and Claire bond with their annoying neighbors, Amber (Andrea Anders) and Ronnie (Steve Zahn), over their feelings of mutual disgust regarding the sculpture, and accidentally accept a dinner invitation from them.

At the alley, Martin suspects that Jay is straight, but Cam tells him that Jay isn’t acting like himself tonight because he is interested in Martin. Martin is immediately flattered and says that Jay looks like a cross between Kevin Costner and Channing Tatum, and is taken by Jay himself. Jay is angry at Cam for giving him a “boyfriend,” but when he learns how important success and winning a trophy is to Cam, he tells him how much he admires his determination, and agrees to help.

Gloria and Mitch are too tired to go out, but they don’t want to admit it to Haley, even though they accidentally fall asleep when she walks out of the room. So they relent and go to the club, but leave as soon as they get there, fearing that they are too old.

At dinner, Phil and Claire are shocked to find that their neighbors are regulars at the very upscale restaurant at which they’re dining. They also learn that their son is going to Julliard for piano and composing, and that they brought a $100 bottle of wine to dinner—which automatically changes their opinion of Amber and Ronnie.

Martin is still smitten by Jay, but when Jay rejects Martin he falls apart and The Britney Spares start doing increasingly better. Jay brings them to victory! Cam is ecstatic; this is the fifth-happiest moment of his life after adopting Lily, marrying Mitch, winning his high-school football championship, and sitting behind Sarah Jessica Parker in the audience at Wicked.

Phil, Claire, Amber, and Ronnie are hitting it off until Amber and Ronnie suggest tying rope around the statue, connecting it to the back of their truck, ripping it out, and dragging it to a garbage dump. Phil and Claire are appalled at the idea, and say they would never do anything against the law. But during a tense ride home, Claire changes her mind and says that the statue is so repulsive it has to go. Phil is still reluctant and even locks the other three out of the truck when they leave to tie the rope. After suggesting everyone go get some fro-yo and calm down, Phil accidentally puts the truck in reverse and backs into the statue, smashing it to pieces. The four decide to hide in plain sight—drinking wine on the neighbors’ front lawn—and act as though they’ve been there all night. When a cop comes to question them about the statue’s destruction, Phil recognizes him from selling him a condo, and he jumps in and says that he can vouch that they were at the restaurant all evening. After the cop apologizes and leaves, Amber and Ronnie reveal that they are impressed with Phil: He’s not a “Boy Scout” anymore.

Back at the alley, Cam is reveling in his win, but Jay spots a downtrodden Martin. He decides to congratulate him and even admits that he isn’t gay, and that it felt good to “come out” in his own way. Martin tells him how brave it was for Jay to admit the truth, and then shouts that The Britney Spares are disqualified and Martin’s team, The Merry Men, have won. Cam grows serious and tells Jay that he is his new archrival.

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9/8C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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