Alex in "A Stereotypical Day"

Alex in "A Stereotypical Day"
Alex in "A Stereotypical Day"

Monday, December 29, 2014

"Just A Shot In The Dark" (First Impressions - "The BIg Guns" - Season 6, Episode 12)

Another episode shift, as this episode was supposed to be the 14th episode.

Not much for Alex here (if anything? We are due for an Alex-less episode.), but hopefully with the return of the neighbors from Hell it will at least be funny.

And that will be the halfway point for the season.  Hopefully they're saving some big guns for Alex's stories in the second half.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

“It's The Terror Of Knowing What This World Is About...” (1st Favorite Episode Retro Recap)

OK, so it's not as if it's a deep, dark secret which episode of Modern Family is my favorite, since I've mentioned it many times since I started this blog. And if it is, here's a hint - the above lyric comes from a song with the same name (I hated the song, but love this episode):

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"Here In My Car, I Feel Safest Of All"(?) (First Impressions - “The Day We Almost Died” - Season 6, Episode 11)

Go here for the full press release (thankfully SpoilerTV kept the post short this time). This episode was supposed to be the thirteenth episode but got moved up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

“One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others” (2nd Favorite Episode Retro Recap)

So as you've probably guessed by now, this is the one episode of my top five that does not have an Alex story in it. She is in the episode, but only as a side part of two other stories. But that's OK (mostly – more on that in a moment), because the rest of the episode more than makes up for it.

Brought to you by the letters M and C, and by the number 2:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

“Just A Small Town Girl Livin' In A Lonely World” (3rd Favorite Episode Retro Recap)

OK, so a Los Angeles suburb isn't exactly a small town, but since the above lyric starts a song which figures prominently in my third most favorite episode...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

“Sparks Fly...It's Like Electricity” (4th Favorite Episode Retro Recap)

This actually is a rather famous episode of Modern Family, but not for reasons involving Alex. But she does have an interesting little story to tell, and that's what puts it in the top 4:

"You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch"

So ABC pulls a double Scrooge on us - they've taken "The Old Man And The Tree" off tonight's schedule and replaced it with "The Late Show".  Then, to add insult to injury (actually this was scheduled before the switch) they'll be airing the Alex-less "Three Dinners" for Christmas Eve.

Bah, humbug.

Monday, December 15, 2014

“I've Got The Brains, You've Got The Looks” (5th Favorite Episode Retro Recap)

So, with four weeks of downtime before the next new episode, I'd figured one way to fill the gap is post some thoughts on some Modern Family episodes from past seasons. Specifically, my five favorite episodes. Oddly, one of these episodes does not have an Alex-centric story (you'll have to wait to find out which one), but the rest should not be too surprising.  Over the next couple of weeks I plan on posting recaps of these episodes starting with #5 then going through to #1 (if I can keep my initiative the recap of #1 will be posted on Christmas Day.

Anyway, on to #5:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

“Here's To Never Growing Up” (“Haley's 21st Birthday” Recap)

This was probably the easiest song lyric/title I've have to come up with for a blog post title, but sadly not just because of the main story of tonight's episode (and, to a degree, the story in which Alex had a small role). When word got out that Avril Lavigne, my favorite singer, was having health issues which she's decided not to disclose for now (I have no problem with her keeping her health life private, and I'm not going to speculate here, but hopefully it's something fixable) it was pretty much a given that I would be looking for a lyric snippet from one of her songs for my next post. It didn't take long for me to realize that the title of one her songs from last year's album was the obvious choice.

Anyway, getting back to last night's episode:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Things That Make You Go 'Hmmmmm...' "

This tweet from Ariel probably means nothing, but...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

“Upside Down(side)” - “Strangers In The Night”

So, after two months I finally have a reason to do another one of these posts, as we have our first episode with an Alex story since “Do Not Push” way back on October 1st (obviously this doesn't include her brief sleep deprivation story from “Queer Eyes, Full Hearts” since there was no notice of that one coming).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"You're Uninvited" (First Impressions - "Haley's 21st Birthday" - Season 6, Episode 10)

So I partially awake from my turkey coma (even if it is a myth) to find the press release for what is likely the last new episode of 2014 online (again it's in the middle of a long news roundup column - I wish Spoiler TV would just post these separately).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"I'm Standing On The Bridge...I'm Waiting In The Dark"

A few thoughts while we wait for next week's new episode (there's not much new info about that - the promo photos that I saw had nothing to do with Alex's story):

I'm still ticked off that last Friday's USA Network's Modern Family marathon finished with four straight Alex-less episodes. I mean, really?

Odd that ABC skipped the season opener ("The Long Honeymoon") for tonight's re-run, going straight to "Do Not Push".  Since they both featured Alex-centric stories I don't read much into it.

I wonder if we're going to see Alex get jealous of Haley having a new job.  It's possible - Alex has been studying hard for years (and lately paying a price for it) trying to get into a great school and ultimately a great job, and now Haley, whose study habits have been, to put it kindly, not quite as committed, lands what seems to be her dream job?  I'd be at least a little bit ticked off if I were Alex (but from a personal standpoint, I'm glad for Haley that she found a job doing something she likes and I hope she's successful at it).

That's it for now.  Have a happy Thanksgiving, and don't eat as much turkey as the Dunphys did.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“You Mean You Forgot Cranberries Too?“ (“Three Turkeys” Recap)

OK, that's actually from a Christmas song, but since my family has rarely done turkey on both holidays (we're like the Whos and prefer a Christmas roast beast), and there's no Christmas episode to recap this year anyway, I figured I'd use it now.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Yes, This Is Just Fiction, But...

I am really starting to worry for Alex.

It's been a few days since “Queer Eyes, Full Hearts” first aired, and I'm still shaken and depressed how Alex's short story played out. We've see her stress out about her studies before, not just in “Under Pressure”, but even earlier than that, with these being the three most obvious examples:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

“Can't Walk, Can't Talk. Can't Eat, Can't Sleep” (“Queer Eyes, Full Hearts” Recap)

Has about 60 seconds of airtime for one character in an episode ever been more heartbreaking than what we saw from Alex tonight, being reduced to near-zombie status from all her studying? Usually when I watch an episode and say “Poor Alex” it's usually with at least a wry smile on my face (like her follies in “When A Tree Falls”). Not this time – I'm saying it with complete sadness as to her plight.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Under Pressure" - Quick Thoughts On The Edited For USA/Syndicated Version

Well, that could have been worse.

Six Eps. None The Richer? (1st Quarter Review)

So with this week's airing of “Halloween 3: AwesomeLand” we've officially reached the quarter-way mark of Season 6. So what has happened with Alex so far?

Essentially, not much, at least on screen.

Monday, November 3, 2014

“Cursed Missed Opportunities” (First Impressions - “Three Turkeys” - Season 6, Episode 8)

The press release can be found here.  As expected, this is a Thanksgiving-themed episode.

So they've moved this episode up, too (to 8 days before Thanksgiving). I'm guessing now that Thanksgiving Eve will be a repeat from last season (last year they also aired a repeat on Thanksgiving Night)* and “Strangers In The Night” will air December 3rd.

*UPDATE: ABC released their schedule for the rest of their month (click here to see details) - they have a couple of repeats from last season scheduled for Tuesdays 11/18 ("Three Dinners") and 11/25 ("The Late Show") at 8:30 to fill in for the cancelled Manhattan Love Story.  They did not reveal which episode airs Thanksgiving Eve, but I still think it will be a repeat.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

“It's Close To Midnight...”

(OK, it's actually already past Midnight, but this is Halloween week, hence the “Thriller” lyric – I already have a Halloween-ish lyric from another song picked out for this coming week's episode recap.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

“Won't You Be Our Neighbor” Recap

Sorry, no clever song lyric tonight – I could have gone with a vague reference to the new neighbor's occupation but I just did not want to go there...

When Life Gives You A Randomizer Package...

...make a new MS Paint-enhanced blog picture - life will be all like "Whaaaaaattt"?

OK, so I'm bored, and there's not much to talk about concerning Alex right now (even Ariel's gone off the grid for a while, or so she said in her last tweet 2 days ago).  I figured, why not spice up the Nerd Herd from ToeJam And Earl and make them out to be heroes instead of villains for a change?   We all know they'd be among the ones that Haley's fans would be working for today...

Unless I think of something else, I'll be back tomorrow morning with what is likely to be yet another short recap (of tonight's episode).   And that's if the heavy rain we're supposed to get up here in New England doesn't cause rain fade around 9:00...

(11/1/2014) Update: Since I've since changed the front page picture, here it is:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Seasons Change"

Or, more accurately, are added: USA Network finally starts airing Season 5 episodes tonight.  From 8-10 they are showing the first four episodes from last year.

Of these, "First Days" (the second episode) is the most important, as it gives us a foreshadowing of what later causes Alex's meltdown in "Under Pressure".

More random thoughts to come probably tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

“You Treat Me Like I'm Invisible” (“The Cold” Recap)

Given that I've got my own cold to deal with, maybe it's just as well there's not much to talk about this week – after being in the spotlight the first two weeks Alex pretty much was reduced to the role of scenery (for a while, I thought we were only going to see her for that 2 second flashback at Yosemite). At least it appears she was smart enough not to get sick like just about everyone else (Luke and Lily apparently also dodged the bullet, but they at least had something to do).

Oh, wait – I forgot she did get the plague from her own trip.

Alex's Line Of The Week: Actually, I don't have one this week – what little she did get to say (about the Haley and Andy “reunion”) didn't stand out.

Friday, October 3, 2014

"Killing Time, Just Watching The Grass Grow" (First Impressions - "The Cold" - Season 6 Episode 3)

Well, back to reality - after 2 episodes with Alex as the Dunphy focus, it shifts to Phil and probably Haley (Andy's first appearance of the season is this week).

Unless Alex freaks out about missing school time, or it turns out that her humanitarian trip ends up being the cause of the family illness (instead of something Phil did at the wedding), I don't expect much this time.

Yup, that's about it for today.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

“East End Boys And West End Girls” (“Do Not Push” Recap)

I hope this doesn't become a trend, but for the second week in a row what started out as a strong storyline for Alex kind of fizzled out in the last segment, although I suppose from the moment she made it quite clear to Claire that she wanted to leave after graduation we knew it would end with her backing off at liitle bit. At least by Alex not totally caving (Jason did mention maybe seeing her back in Boston) they've left some tension as to where she ends up, although the odds she stays close to home appear to have increased.

Monday, September 29, 2014

“Upside/Down(side)” - “Do Not Push”

Even though this is the second (consecutive!) episode with a somewhat Alex-centric story, it's basically the first time we get to see how her senior year unfolds, as she attends her first college tour at Cal Tech (along with the rest of the family). So what am I hoping for/hoping not to see this week?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

“Cruel Summer” (“The Long Honeymoon” Recap)

Well, that was a mixed bag.

“Upside Down(side)” - “The Long Honeymoon”

Basically what these “Upside/Down(side)” posts will be are what I think will be the best case and worst case scenarios of how certain episodes play out. Usually, we can expect what actually happens to fall somewhere in the middle.

I will not be doing this every episode for a simple reason – most of the episodes will not have press releases/spoilers that give any indication what role (if any) Alex has in them, and the upside/downside scenarios are obvious:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

“You've Got To Keep Your Mind Wide Open” (First Impressions: “Do Not Push” - Season 6, Episode 2)

Well ABC finally released details about the second episode, and I tried to post a link to the SpoilerTV article that contains it (it's part of a lenghty daily news report) but I can't seem to get the "a href" tag to work today*.

Anyway, it looks like the dance of where Alex ends up starts next week:

”And, the Dunphys head to Caltech for Alex's college tour and while Claire is busy convincing her to choose this school and stay close to home, Phil, Luke and Haley branch off to participate in a psyche experiment.”

So Caltech is in play, for now, but given she wants to go east, would Alex try to do something crazy to get herself removed from consideration before she even applies? Of course, with the rest of the Dunphys off probably doing something wacky on campus, she might not need to...

Normally, I'd really be excited about this episode's potential, but I have a sneaking suspicion the other half of the Dunphy story might overwhelm Alex and Claire's half. We'll find out in 8 days.

*EDIT: OK, let's try this.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"There's not much going on today..."

I'm really surprised we've not had any details about "Do Not Push", the second episode of the season (no press releases that I know of, and while the episode shows up in my DirecTV box guide there's still no plot descriptions listed).  Not that I have a high expectation for it (other than the fact it should be the back to school episode so Alex should have something to do) since there's already an Alex story for "The Long Honeymoon" and I doubt they'll give Alex big stories in back-to-back episodes (for now, anyway).

The only thing I can take from the promo commercial for the premiere is that the story probably won't have a particularly serious tone (OK, there's only one scene shown and it involves a typical "Clumsy Phil" moment so there is still margin for error in that prediction).

Oh, and I'm developing a bad case of writer's block trying to come up with that "Under Pressure" post I keep saying I'm getting to.

On the bright side, this mini-update does give me a chance to quote a line from an Avril Lavigne song ("He Wasn't") in the title (and it won't be the last time...).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


OK, so this post won't be about the question of Life, The Universe, And Everything (and those mice would surely have been better off picking Alex's brain instead of Arthur Dent's), but I will make some guesses as to answers to some of the questions about Alex's upcoming year. So let's do this:

1. Will Alex graduate from high school?

OK, on the surface, this is very much a question with a “Duh!” answer – she's in at least the top two in her class – how does she not graduate? Well, of course I think she will, so my answer is Yes. On the other hand...

If this were real life, I'd have about 99.999% confidence in my “Yes” answer. However, since this is fiction, I have to downgrade my confidence to a mere 99%. There is always the chance of something happening for the sake of suspense (especially in the next-to-last or last episode of the season), such as a surprise failure in a critical final exam (like what nearly happened to Richie, Ralph and Potsie on Happy Days), or maybe Alex gets implicated in a cheating scandal.

I think one of these scenarios could crop up near the end, but I think it will all get straightened out (Alex gets to take a “last-chance” make-up exam and/or gets to clear her name of any accusations).

2. Will Alex be valedictorian?

This one's more of a toss-up. Right now, just as in junior high, it's basically a two horse race between Alex and Sanjay Patel, her constant rival. Alex won out four years ago, thanks to an ill-timed robot incident that befell Sanjay. I'm pretty sure she can't count on that happening again.

Still, I think the answer to this one will probably be Yes as well, since I think we're going to see some sort of closure to what happened in “See You Next Fall”, where Alex was talked out of giving a scathing valedictorian speech by Haley. Since she's going to be separated from most of her classmates after senior year, this time she may feel even stronger about taking some parting shots, since there's less chance of ending up a “social piranha” (Haley's words, not mine :) ). I think someone will talk her out of it (Mitch, being the smartest of the rest of the family, reminding her about potential networking issues down the line is my best guess), leading to what I hope would be a more serious but still positive speech than the last time.

One alternative scenario could crop up where she is not valedictorian but still gives a speech: She runs for and gets elected Senior President. Of course, given her lack of popularity with her classmates this would be difficult if she attempted it.

3. Where does Alex end up going to college?

Obviously, this is the biggest question of the season, and the one with the most implication for what the show does with Alex next year and beyond (barring of course the 1% possibility of question 1 being “no” kicking this can down the road to Season 7).

As I pointed out a week or so ago, Alex is considering going to an eastern school, and her parents are not going to be happy about her going far away from home. If Phil and Claire can talk her into staying close to home, there are schools in Southern California (e.g. Cal Tech) that have the academic prestige that Alex wants. A compromise option would probably be Stanford up north – I once calculated it would be about a 5 ½ hour drive from there to the Dunphy house (at normal freeway speeds – given it's Alex doing the driving it would probably take longer). Alex would probably not want to do that on a weekly basis but monthly might make this palatable to both her and her parents.

Right now, my guess is that Alex goes to a local college, since that keeps her on the show on a weekly basis. If she goes east, she''ll probably be written out of the show, except for an occasional holiday appearance. If she goes north to Stanford, we probably see her at home about once a month or so, with the potential for the remaining episodes for them to go a similar Skype-like route that they used during Haley's brief stint in college in Season 4. That scenario would also keep open the possibility of an episode or two with an on-campus story for Alex (well, I suppose they could do both of these as well if she goes east, but I think that unlikely – they could also conceivably use her campus life as a spin-off show, but while I'd love to see such a show that's even less likely).

4. Will Alex get a steady boyfriend this year?

Sadly, I think No. There's already going to be Haley and Andy's on again/off again relationship, and Manny's going to be getting a steady girlfriend this year (and may just drag Luke into getting one as well). It would probably be overkill for Alex to join this party this year, but hopefully she'll at least get a date or two (including hopefully one to senior prom, and hopefully this time they make more of a story out of it than they did with “Baby On Board” - but that's a rant for another day).

5. But what about just getting a friend or two (either gender) – will that happen?

Unless she befriends Sanjay, probably not. I just don't see this happening either.

That's all for now – if a press release comes out for the second episode (“Do Not Push”) today I'll probably comment later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Are You Happy Now?" (First Impressions: "The Long Honeymoon" - Season 6, Episode 1)

ABC sent out their press release with the synopsis for Modern Family's season opener (generally, they release it about 2 weeks prior to airing, and a website called "Spoiler TV" usually posts it right away - this episode's is located here).

Wow! It looks like things are getting real for Alex right away:

"This summer has been exceptionally blissful in the Dunphy house, Alex is away on a humanitarian trip and the rest of the family is getting along swimmingly, but when Alex comes home, there is an immediate shift in mood."

While this story may or may not have long-term implications with regards to how Alex's studies go this year, it has the potential to be a big start to her season. At the very least, my anticipation level for the opener just went up about ten-fold.

Obviously I'll have more to say as we get closer to the opener in just over two weeks.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Life Imitating Art?

Ariel tweeted this photo today which looks more like something out of Alex's notebook - YIKES!

(Actually she sent a second tweet in which she said she was in pre-calc/trig class so Alex already went through that, probably 2-3 years ago, but still...)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

“'Cause I'm The King Of Wishful Thinking...”

So we know that this sixth season of Modern Family has the potential to be huge for Alex, between her senior year of high school and just where she will end up going to college (not to mention her continuing struggles to get a boyfriend, or any friend for that matter...). But just how deep of a storyline will her senior year be?

Right now I know of one spoiler: In a TV Guide article at , it is revealed that Alex is hoping to go east (presumably Ivy League) for college, and Phil and Claire won't be happy about it. Neither is a surprise - we know from “Australia” that Alex was already working on her application to Harvard, and in both “See You Next Fall” and “Schooled” we've seen Phil and Claire be clingy when it comes to their kids leaving home when they grow up. What we don't know is will this be just a single episode story (as most of Alex's stories end up being), or will this play out for a longer term? Hopefully it's the latter.

I really, really, REALLY hope that Alex's senior year becomes a focal story of the season. I'm not particularly optimistic of this, given that the series has never really given Alex an ongoing (multiple-episode) story (admittedly, the same could be said of the other kids on the show). On the other hand, this means she's overdue for one...

So what else do I want to see this season? First of all, while obviously Modern Family will continue to mainly be a sitcom, I want Alex's senior year stories to take a more serious tone like was done with her in “Under Pressure”. That's not to say I don't want to see Alex rifle off her usual repertoire of snarky and sarcastic comments when she's in someone else's story – I just want them to keep it real when she is the focus. And I want tears in my eyes/a lump in my throat at least once or twice.

The closest they have come to a continuing Alex story is her dynamic with her academic rival, Sanjay, but we've never seen him on-screen. I'd like to see a more extended story about this rivalry. Who knows – maybe Sanjay could be that elusive steady boyfriend that Alex has hardly ever had? Or, more likely, we might see one throw the other under the bus in their battle for valedictorian.

I'll probably think of more things later in the week – I really shouldn't do this while watching Sunday Ticket.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"I guess there's your answer..."

OK, so for about 99.9999% of us, I'd say the answer to the blog title is no.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about what's going on here.

As you've probably guessed, this blog is going to be about the wise (and wise-cracking) young kid of Modern Family, Alex Dunphy. Most of the posts will be thoughts on the upcoming episodes (before and after airing) as they pertain to Alex, although there will be posts looking back to previous episodes (e.g. at some point I am so going to make a ton of comments about “Under Pressure”, the best single episode of a television series I've seen in at least 20 years, if not longer), and I'll have some other deep (and not-so-deep) thoughts about Alex sprinkled in from time to time (these may not all be pretty – there are times when Alex gets the short end of the stick both within the family and the show itself, and there will be some ranting about them).

Generally I'll keep comments about Ariel Winter, the highly talented actress who plays Alex, limited to how she portrays Alex (impeccably 99.9% of the time) – this will not be a blog discussing what Ariel does outside Modern Family unless there is a highly compelling reason to do so.

So, 3 weeks to go until Opening Night – over the weekend I'll post some of my thoughts as to what I hope Alex will be up to in Season 6.