Modern Family: "The Old Man & The Tree" (PREVIEW)

Modern Family

The Old Man & The Tree
Regular Air Date: 
Wednesdays @ 9PM ET
Air Date: 
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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Ed O'Neill has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the mentorship of Rorion Gracie.

Currently in its fifth season on ABC, Modern Family has received critical praise and a myriad of awards since its debut. Revolving around Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill, Married With Children) and his large extended family, the program has become extremely popular in part due to diverse characters that nearly all viewers are able to relate to. With the holidays approaching quickly, Modern Family gets into the Yuletide spirit with the Christmas-themed episode "The Old Man & The Tree" set to air this coming Wednesday. Although the episode does contain a few genuine laughs, it doesn't stray too far from typical Modern Family episodes of late and is sadly forgettable

. As is the case with most episodes of Modern Family, "The Old Man & The Tree" opens with just about every family on the show dealing with their own storyline arc. Phil (Ty Burrell, Back To You) is trying to make use of last year's elliptical machine before Claire (Julie Bowen, Boston Legal) banishes it to the garage. After his stepson sets up a fiber-optic tree, Jay begins a mission to bring home a real tree while wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara, The Three Stooges) deals with her mother visiting. Meanwhile, Cam (Eric Stonestree, Identity Thief) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, The Class) are horrified to discover that their adopted daughter misspelled items on her Christmas wish list leaving them little time to save the day.

Having watched every episode of Modern Family since it began, I don't think I'm in the minority when I say that longtime fans of the program have noticed a slight drop-off the past couple of years compared to earlier seasons. Even so, the show remains as one of the most entertaining sitcoms thanks to a great ensemble cast and even better writing. As I previously mentioned, this episode doesn't stray far from the typical Modern Family layout and Christmas serves more as a plot device than as the actual theme of the show. Perhaps I'm too much of a child from yesteryear, but I have fond memories of fun Halloween episodes of Home Improvement and A Garfield Christmas back when holiday specials meant something. Even though "The Old Man & The Tree" isn't a holiday classic, fans of Modern Family will still get a kick out of the situations everyone gets themselves into - particularly Cam and Mitchell on this episode. Recommended.

Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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