Alex in "Phil On a Wire"

Alex in "Phil On a Wire"
Alex in "Phil On a Wire"

Monday, December 26, 2016

"Oh No, Not Again(?)" (First Impressions - "Sarge And Pea" - Season 8, Episode 11)

[12/28 UPDATE: Now that promo photos have been added to SpoilerTV's post I'm a little bit more optimistic about this episode - there are some photos with Alex (and Haley) apparently interacting with some other guy.  So there is a little bit of hope that we will get more out of this episode than I originally thought.]

The good news is Alex is mentioned in this episode's press release.

The bad news? We may be looking at a case of déjà vu all over again:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Baby Cried The Day The Circus Came To Town" (First Impressions - “Ringmaster Keifth” - Season 8, Episode 10)

The press release and promotional photos have been released for the first episode of 2017.  The title is not a replacement for one of the other previously named titles ("Sarge & Pea", "Sushi Chefs" and "Do You Believe In Magic").

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

“You've Been Gone Seventeen Days, Seventeen Long Nights”

Well that didn't take long – when this episode started the night of the dance it became almost a certainty that Alex wouldn't be there.   And she wasn't.

And that's that.

At least we found out (via voiceover during the closing production credits) that we only have to wait until January 4th for the next new episode.  Hopefully there's a big story for Alex in it (the press release will probably appear next week).

Sorry, that's all I've got tonight.

“In The Meadow We Can Build A Snow Man”

So much for “safe guesses” - I was more than certain there would be a rerun of last season's “White Christmas” next Wednesday.

Nope – we're getting a repeat of “A Stereotypical Day” (and the beginning of Alex's mono battle) instead. And my TV listings show no other episodes airing through Christmas night. It looks like we're not going to get to hear Alex sing again after all (it looks like it isn't airing in syndication or on USA either).

Which brings us back to this week, and the final new episode of 2016, “Snow Ball”. I did see Christmas decorations in one scene in the promo, so it will be at least an unofficial holiday episode.

But there still was no sign of Alex – so do I have much hope for tonight?

Friday, December 9, 2016

"And Darling You Can Best Believe There's Nothing Up My Sleeve"

How quiet have things been the past week and a half?  The only "news" I've found was one new episode title - "Do You Believe In Magic".   And since that title all but screams Phil (most likely with Claire if anybody), you probably can already guess how little hope I have for a role for Alex in that one.

Well, at least you all know I'm still here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

“I'm So Empty” (“The Alliance” Recap)

I'm not particularly surprised, but I really don't have much to say about tonight's episode, as far as Alex was concerned – I'm not even going to bother page breaking this one.  Basically, she appeared in a few scenes, and that was that – she really didn't even get a chance to add much of anything.

Most disappointingly there was not even a word about how her new job is going in that one coffee shop scene – other than one line Alex was, once again, little more than scenery. Again, hopefully bigger and better things will come later and tonight (using her job and location as merely a prop for other characters' story lines) was an exception and not a regular feature.

At least the episode as a whole was quite good, with the “ha, ha – fooled you – that's exactly what we wanted” ending.

Alex's Line Of The Night: (speaking to Haley at the coffee shop about her boyfriend's teenage daughter) ”You're nervous? I mean, how can this go wrong – she's a teenage girl – that's when you peaked.”

We could have used a few more barbs like that, especially since this might be the last we see of Alex until after the holidays. But that's a rant or two I'll resume in two weeks.

“But There Ain't No Cure For The Summertime Blues”

Yes, that lyric doesn't seem particularly relevant at this time of year (well, here in much of the U.S.A. and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), but I'll explain it later.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"You're As Cold As Ice" (First Impressions - "Snow Ball" - Season 8, Episode 9)

Sometimes being right isn't such a good thing - as evidenced by this press release for "Snow Ball".  More on that in a moment.

It's airing on December 14th, the night the other Wednesday comedies have their Christmas episodes.  So it's in effect a substitute for a Christmas episode, since they only air new ones every odd year (I think it's a safe guess that last year's "White Christmas" will now air on the 21st).

I'm not 100% certain, but I believe the season opener ("A Tale Of Three Cities") is repeating on 12/7 (on their professional press page1  ABC lists the re-air date as 11/7 - I'm assuming that's a typo), which will put the show an episode behind the other Wednesday night shows (and probably means we're only looking at 22 or 23 again this season).

Anyway, getting back to my original premise about being right being a bad thing:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

“It Was Nothing At All” (“Thanksgiving Jamboree” Recap)

OK, maybe it was a little bit more than nothing. But Alex's story with Dwight barely got off the ground.

“Gonna Be A Football Star”

“Thanksgiving Jamboree” is tonight – will Alex's story with Dwight (the football player living with Cam and Mitch) score a touchdown, or does the show fumble the ball (as they often do with Alex)?

Monday, November 14, 2016

"Everybody Get Together" (First Impressions - "The Alliance" - Season 8, Episode 8)

It's this episode that will air on November 30th and not "Sarge and Pea".  The press release and promo photos can be found here, but there's no sign of Alex this time.  In fact with Haley and Luke getting stories, we have to wonder if she'll even be there at all.  But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

One other episode title has been released - what is listed as Episode 13 (for now - no 11 or 12 yet) is titled "Sushi Chefs".  Now if the title had mentioned coffee that would have perked me up (pun not intended), but raw fish? Yeah, yet another less-than-awe-inspiring title.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

“(It's) Funny How Time Flies” (First Quarter Review)

It seems like just yesterday that Season 8 started, with Alex and her family still on their impromptu vacation in New York. And yet here we are, six episodes done already.

It's too bad this first quarter has been anything but a pleasure trip for Alex.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

“And So It Begins” (“Grab It” Recap)

In and of itself, tonight's Alex story wasn't really that interesting. But, as a single step on a thousand mile journey...

(OK. I doubt the journey's really going to be that long. But at least it's going somewhere.)

“If You Judge A Book By The Cover”

I don't have a lot to say about what happened last night – I know Alex would be mighty ticked off this morning (Ariel certainly was – I'd post her tweet but I want to keep this blog SFW). I've said from the beginning I wasn't thrilled with the prospect of either candidate getting elected so I probably wasn't going to be very happy either way, but I am somewhat shocked Trump pulled it off.

So, with that out of the way, let's get back to Alex's world. “Grab It” airs tonight, and there is a story with Alex in it (the main story is how Claire interprets what Alex is doing with her life, while there is a sub-story about what Haley thinks Alex thinks about what she's doing).

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

"She Blows Them Kisses On The Wind"

The standalone press release and promo photos have been released for "Thanksgiving Jamboree", and, as I expected last week, the release adds no new details to what we knew about this episode (i.e. it's word-for-word what was released last week in ABC's holiday press release).

One of the photos, on the other hand, does show Alex and Dwight sitting down and kissing, which I presume is what Cam will see and about which he will wonder.   I still think more likely than not it will end up being a misunderstanding and not lead to anything big for Alex, but the fact they will be doing more than just holding hands or seemingly making googly eyes for each other does increase the chances of a longer term relationship a little bit.  If so, I just hope Dwight doesn't end up breaking Alex's heart.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

“If There's Something Strange In Your Neighborhood” (“Halloween 4: The Revenge Of Rod Skyhook” Recap)

Who you gonna call - maybe the one character in the cast not to wear a costume?

"They Gathered For The Feast" (First Impressions - "Thanksgiving Jamboree" - Season 8, Episode 7)

ABC confirmed in this holiday programming press release something about which I had heard rumblings for a while - there will be a Thanksgiving episode on November 16th.  The actual press release will probably be out early next week but it probably won't be more detailed, though any photos might be.

As for Alex, there is this one sort of intriguing tidbit:

“The Ghost In You She Don't Fade”

What do you know - it's another "Insomnia Special".

It's almost trick or treat time, boys and girls. Will we be getting candy or rocks in our bags tonight while watching “Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook”?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Is This Anything?" - (First Impressions - "Grab It" - Season 8, Episode 6)

Well, here goes nothing - my first blog post using my new kick-butt computer I bought a month ago.  I'm notorious for being slow and a procrastinator - it's taken me that long to tweak the settings and stuff to the point I'm comfortable using this as my main computer, and I'm still not quite there yet.  As an example I think I finally have the proper cookie set on Firefox on this computer so that I'm not counting my own pageviews (the count you see on the bottom is now off by about 200 - twice I've reloaded all my tabs from the window I use for this blog and the count skyrocketed).  I'm not sure I have the pre-show template copied over so I might still need the old laptop for that post tomorrow.

OK, so if you're still awake after that long-winded paragraph, here's the news about the episode airing in two weeks.  My main source (SpoilerTV) hasn't posted the press release yet, but I found it on this alternate site.  Hopefully when SpoilerTV picks it up there will be promo photos included (if they do it today I'll post the link in tomorrow's pre-show post). [UPDATE: Here's the SpoilerTV link with photos.  It  looks like Alex and Claire end up at some book signing (the book is conveniently titled "Grab It") or something.]

Saturday, October 22, 2016

"But Through Your Kaleidoscope"

So, with Season 7 now well and truly underway on USA Network, I figured it would be a good time to revisit and revise my Alex marathon (not that I think they're doing themed marathons anymore - every time I check it seems they're running episodes sequentially now).

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

“The Sun Will Come Out, Tomorrow(?)”

Yes, I'm early with the pre-show this week, but I'm going to probably be busy tomorrow, so I'm getting it out of the way now.

What's my forecast for “Weathering Heights”?

Monday, October 10, 2016

"A Spooky Little Girl Like You" (First Impressions - "Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook" - Season 8, Episode 5)

The press release and promo photos are out for the biannual Modern Family Halloween episode.  For Alex fans it looks like a mixed (at best) bag, full of tricks but lacking a bit in treats.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

“Don't Speak - I Know Just What You're Sayin'” (“Blindsided” Recap)

Tonight was one of those episodes where it was a good thing everything else was so good, since, from Alex's standpoint there really wasn't much going on. If you missed the first five minutes, you might have thought this was the Alex-less episode I feared might happen – she had two scenes early and that was that.

“The Politicians Are Now DJs”

A couple of quick scheduling notes before I start:

There will be no new episode two weeks from tonight (October 19th), as there is a Presidential debate preempting much of everybody's lineups that night. We know whom Alex would likely be backing in that one, although personally that's one case where she and I would have to agree to disagree (not that the alternative is any better, IMO – I'm definitely in the “pox on both houses” camp concerning this election)1.

The Halloween episode airs the following week (the 26th). No details about what role Alex might have in that one yet, but I'm not holding my breath (she's yet to really have a story on Halloween, so maybe she's due).

There is one new episode title – the eighth episode (they've skipped the 7th for now) has the
less-than-awe-inspiring title of  “Sarge & Pea “.

And USA Network starts Season 7 reruns on Friday, although there are some surprising gaps in the early season episodes airing (they start at 9 P.M. with the first two, “Summer Lovin'” and “The Day Alex Left For College”, but then jump to the sixth episode, “The More You Ignore Me” and finish with “Clean Out Your Junk Drawer”, the eighth episode). Alex has roles in all four of them, but they do skip her heartbreaking breakup with Sanjay (no “The Closest Case” yet).

Anyway, getting back to tonight, is there any reason to get excited about tonight's “Blindsided”?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

“She's Losing Her Mind. She's Fallen Behind.” (“A Stereotypical Day” Recap)

So finally, after 241 posts of holding back, I've finally come up with the perfect time to use a line from “Nobody's Home” (my all-time favorite song) for a post title.

And, truth be told, given how badly tonight went for Alex, I probably could have used the entire bridge of that song, but I didn't want a paragraph-long title so I settled for the above two sentences.

Which brings me to what happened tonight. You can probably already guess that this is not going to be pleasant.

“You Feelin' Alright? I'm Not Feelin' Too Good Myself”

Last week was kind of a bummer, as even in New York, Alex was almost non-existent in the season opener. There is more to look forward to tonight, though, in “A Stereotypical Day”, even if Alex would disagree (I doubt she's looking forward to mononucleosis). But just how much?

"It Never Rains In California" (First Impressions - "Weathering Heights" - Season 8, Episode 4)

The press release is out for the fourth episode, along with some promotional photos, some of which look familiar (some of them were also posted with the press release for tonight's "A Stereotypical Day") - since it seemed like there were a lot of photos for tonight's episode I'm guessing they're actually with this one.

Unfortunately none of this has anything to do with Alex - there's no mention of her in the release so we're just going to have to wing it again.

My pre-show post for tonight's show will be up shortly.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"When You Close Your Eyes" (First Impressions - "Blindsided" - Season 8, Episode 3)

The press release is out for what I originally thought was going to be a key episode for Alex (before we found out her mononucleosis story was actually happening next week).

Now? Probably the exact opposite.

"I'm Wide Awake"

I found an interesting article on EW.com today - Modern Family co-creator/executive producer Christopher Lloyd dished out some tidbits about what will happen during season 8, including a couple involving Alex (one we know about, the other...):

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

“I Am The Passenger” (“A Tale Of Three Cities” Recap)

Well that was about as ho-hum a beginning for Alex as you could get. It wasn't terrible, but really, she was just along for the ride again.

“Vacation, All I Ever Wanted”

Welcome to the first pre-show thread of Season 8. For those new to this site, what I do on the morning of each new episode is post my thoughts on what I expect to happen that night. I'm still tweaking the format a little bit (I have a new section to add but it will probably be at least two weeks before I need to use it) but basically it's the same one I used last season.

Then later that night I'll post a recap with my thoughts on how life went for Alex (technically I won't be posting a recap if the episode is Alex-less, but I'll probably say something anyway). The earliest I will ever post this will be at 12:31 Eastern (U.S.) time, so as not to spoil anything for west coast viewers (obviously if you are reading this outside of North America then you do so at your own risk, as I have no clue how long it will be for other countries to air new episodes).

So with that out of the way, what are my thoughts on tonight's season opening “A Tale of Three Cities”?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"There Is No Balance, No Equality"

I'm not sure if I should say "Finally" or "Well that didn't take long", but the press release finally came out for "A Stereotypical Day" just hours after I mentioned it.  Another set of the same photos I mentioned last night can be found at that link as well.

As for Alex, here's the money quote:

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Oh, My God, What's Wrong With My Head?" (First Impressions - "A Stereotypical Day" - Season 8, Episode 2)

Well, there's still no press release out for this episode, but I did find some photos for it from ABC's press website.  You'll have to scroll down a little to get to them, and you can click on them to see them larger (I'm surprised they let an unlogged person do this - much of this site is accessible only to members of the media).

(NOTE: Those who read/reread this posting a few weeks from now may not be able to find them - I'll post a more permanent link when/if I find one).

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"A Change Will Do You Good"(?)

Two more episode titles have been released, and we've had our first schedule change of the season, and it could be an important one.  Or maybe not.

Friday, September 9, 2016

"If I Could Save Time In A Bottle"

First, the little news - the press release for "A Tale of Three Cities" finally came out, but there were no new details about any of the three main stories.  So, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens to Alex in New York.

The one plus side of the release was the note that Elaine Ko wrote it, so if Alex does have a little story hopefully it will be a good one.

But that's not the biggest story of the day:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"Don't Want To Be The Last To Know"

So as far as I know ABC has yet to issue a press release for the season opener, but they did air a commercial for it during last night's first rerun (they fell so far behind they're airing two a week to catch up - last night was "Man Shouldn't Lie" and "Promposal", the final two, "Crazy Train" and "Double Click" air next Wednesday).  It did look like we will see a bit more in depth of the Dunphys' New York trip than I thought, but I'm not sure whether Alex has a story of her own in it.

That's about all I have, strangely enough - no real details yet.

[UPDATE] Here's the commercial from YouTube:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

“Time Keeps On Slipping Into The Future”

Well, it's finally September, so it's time for me to stick my neck out and take some wild guesses on what will happen to Alex in Season 8.

Here are my big questions for this season, and many will look very familiar:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Ooh I'm Looking For Clues"

Episode 2's title has been revealed: "Blindsided".

And that about it - I would have thought we would have heard at least a little bit more about Alex's potential illness (it's possible that the above title could foreshadow something), but things have been quiet so far.

Oh, well, I was hoping to start my third year on this blog with a bang, but, alas...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"I Can't Get Out Of Bed Today"

It looks like we're going to get that "Alex gets mononucleosis" story sooner rather than later, based on an Instagram snap Ariel took earlier today, which I memorialized in this tweet (sorry, you're just going to have to click "Read more" to see it):

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"We're The Kids In America"

As much as I've been harping this off-season about seeing Alex have a story or two (or more) away from the family, here's the one intra-family combination involving her I hope to see more of:



With Andy out of the picture for now, maybe Jay and Gloria could use Alex for babysitting duty?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News"

Could I be updating the sad "Poor Alex" list I just posted a couple of days ago?  If what the first press release synopsis of  Season 8 says about Alex plays out in a certain way, maybe.

Monday, August 1, 2016

“Tell Me What Do You Do When It All Falls Apart?”

OK, it's August – time to pick up the pace just a little bit.

Modern Family had their first table read (a sort of informal rehearsal) of Season 8 last week, and Ariel was there, so I guess we can officially squash the rumor that Alex would be written off the show (for now).

There's no word yet on what role, if any, Alex has in the opener (the tentative title of it is “The Tale Of Three Cities” so it might mean she and her family will still be on their New York trip) or the rest of the season, but I'm sure spoilers for those will come out in due time.

So now that the news is out of the way, let me go ahead and do something I mentioned I would do some time this summer – lists of the top “Poor Alex” moments.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"They Said You Were Leaving(?)"

So I've heard both the rumor and denial from one of her bosses  about Ariel's future (and Alex's) on Modern Family.  All I have to say for now is I hope it isn't true (especially if it's for the financial reason given, which I'd find particularly cruel), but let's see what may or may not happen in the next few days (or at least until the show goes back into production next month to see if she's still there).  If this blows over this will be the last you'll hear about it here.

But if it doesn't...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

“All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”

OK, it may seem strange to you that I'd use a line from a Christmas song for a blog post title in June. However, it is exactly six months until Christmas today, so, I figured, what better day to post my wishlist for Alex for the upcoming Season 8?

Actually, the wishlist is very short, albeit still not very realistic.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"I've Got A Ways To Go"

Yes, I'm still here - as I noted a few weeks ago there just isn't much to talk about for a while.  Heck, they won't even start filming for Season 8 of Modern Family for another 2 months - maybe by then they'll notice Alex came back home?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

“All 7 And We'll Watch Them Fall” (Season 7 Review)

You know that philosophical question about a tree falling making or not making a sound if nobody hears it? Well, here's another one: If a season that wasn't expected to be that great for Alex did pretty much what I expected it to do, could it still be considered a disappointment?

I guess the answer to that would be “Yes”. And Season 7 would be Exhibit A.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

“You're Not The Only One With Mixed Emotions” (“Double Click” Recap)

OK, then. Where should I start? I feel like I should have some sort of emotion after the finale, but I wish I knew what the heck emotion it should be.

"Hey Girl, I Thought We Were The Right Combination"

One piece of possible good news about tonight's episode: Elaine Ko wrote it.  Oddly enough, it's the first time all season she's the writer of an episode that is not Alex-less - the only other two episodes she wrote this season were "She Crazy" and "Thunk In The Trunk".

Can she bring back the magic she brought to "Under Pressure" a couple of years ago?  She's been in a bit of a slump lately (neither of those two episodes were awe-inspiring, and neither was her last episode from last season, "American Skyper") and tonight would be a good time to break out of it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

“Right Now I Feel Invisible To You, Like I'm Not Real“

”Double Click”, the final episode of Season 7 airs tonight, and there is a story about Alex coming home from CalTech for summer, but nobody notices.

Officially there has been little else revealed about Alex's story – the only tiny clue I've seen came from a series of behind the scenes pictures taken by deadline.com during the filming of this finale.

The key picture is the 11th one in the slideshow (hopefully the link I copied should take you right to it) showing the Dunphy's calendar with Alex's return date circled (May 11th) and standing out quite a bit from everything else planned this month. Obviously the key to the story is this – did they just forget the date, or is Alex home early?

(By the way, based on how often Alex has been home all season, why is her homecoming even a big deal? More on that plot hole when I review the season later this month.)

Anyway, here's what I think about tonight (I'm changing things up here a bit - I'll reveal my anticipation and emotional moment potential levels together, then try to explain them):

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

“I Hate The Way Reality Sets In” (“Crazy Train” Recap)

Those lists of “Poor Alex” moments I plan on writing someday? This one's definitely going on the sad list.

"Strike A Pose"

I guess we can stop worrying (or, at least ease up on it) about Manny hitting on Alex:



“Oooo, This Could Get Messy.”

Oh, boy – things may be about to get awkward.

I finally saw a promo for tonight's “Crazy Train” last night, and Alex appears for about ½ second, grabbing then pulling away (or maybe being yanked by a sudden stopping of the train they're riding) from Manny with a weird expression on her face – I'm not sure if she's happy or repulsed:


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

“Come And Hold Me Silently” (“Promposal” Recap)

Sadly, sometimes it's easy to rush things and get a recap up on time even with 90 less minutes to do so than usual (I rushed home and started watching at 10:30) when there isn't a lot to discuss. This week is a prime example.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

“Dance With Me – I Want To Be Your Partner”

Just a reminder that I have to work tonight so I won't be watching tonight's episode until probably about 11:00 EDT (or later if something gets screwed up)1, so I'm not sure yet when I'll post the recap – if it's going to be delayed much longer than the usual 12:30 or so time that I have been posting (i.e. shortly after the West Coast airing concludes so as not to spoil anything) then I will tweet the approximate posting time to my semi-official Twitter account (@aystad1 - feel free to follow that account if you'd like, or just set up a browser tab searching for that account to keep up to date).

The same thing will hold true for next week, as again I will be working on Wednesday the 11th. I'm still hoping to get the 18th off so I can watch the finale “live” - I'll probably know by the end of this week and I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, let's get back to tonight's “Promposal”. Did seeing Reuben trying to get Alex to be his date for the prom in the promo change my expectations?

Monday, May 2, 2016

"Let Me Repeat That" (Press Release News - "Double Click" - Season 7, Episode 22)

Or, perhaps more accurately, Press Release (Almost) NO News.  Yes there was a press release issued today regarding the Season 7 finale, but the synopsis was identical to the one issued a few weeks ago with the May Sweeps announcement, so no further clarification of Alex's story.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

"Can't We Try Just A Little Bit Harder?" ("Promposal" Promo)

Well, I'll give Reuben a half-point for effort, but, since it appears Alex isn't impressed (I can't blame her really)...



Of course, this probably means she'll be his "pity date" before the night ends.  Hopefully that will be the end of things.

Friday, April 29, 2016

“Please Come To L.A. To Live Forever”

As you probably already know by now (and if you don't, why not?), Ariel has made her big decision about where she's going to college next year:

Monday, April 25, 2016

"Everybody All Aboard - Anybody Wanna Take This Ride?" (First Impressions - "Crazy Train" - Season 7, Episode 21)

A quick word on my schedule first - unfortunately, this working Wednesday nights1 has for now become semi-permanent (ah the joys of working retail), so I will not be home when "Promposal" airs next Wednesday night at 9:00 - I won't get around to watching it until about 11:00 (assuming my DVR doesn't flake out on me, then it might not be until sometime Thursday after it becomes available on iTunes).  So I probably won't have a recap ready at the usual just after 12:30 time, unless I end up not having much to say (which actually has a good chance of happening, given how little I see Alex having to do next week).  I might make a temporary or placeholder post advising when the recap might be ready, but please don't hold me to that.

Anyway, back to my regularly scheduled ranting, as the press release for the penultimate episode of the season is ready.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"We Broke Up For Good Just An Hour Before" (First Impressions - "Promposal" - Season 7 - Episode 20)

Well, we are getting a new episode on May 4th.  But, yet again, no mention of Alex.

[4/19 UPDATE: Promo pictures have been added, but, again (surprise, surprise) no sign of Alex in them either.]

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

“Suitcase And An Old Guitar” (“Man Shouldn't Lie” Recap)

So everything went OK today with my medical procedure, although it left me a bit tired - I actually almost missed tonight's episode when I dozed off around a quarter to 6 and didn't wake up again until about 8:45 (I did have the DVR set just in case I was still a little loopy at 9). No, I wasn't quite as out of it as Alex was in “Hit And Run” after Phil gave her the drowsy medicine, but I'm still glad that's done.

Now, was it a good thing I woke up or not? Eh. Alex's story wasn't particularly big, but it was cute.

“Why Must I Chase The Cat?”

Given that tonight's “Man Shouldn't Lie” involves Alex, Sanjay and a dog (to varying degrees), I'd figured a line from “Atomic Dog” seemed fitting for the pre-show:

Monday, April 11, 2016

“I Found A Light In The Tunnel At The End”

Well, for the first time in ages, something interesting may finally happen with Alex – click here to check out the sneak preview (the first third of it is the interesting part) for this coming Wednesday's episode.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

“It Happened To Me Again. Third Time (Un)Lucky.”

So, for those of you who wonder why I'm such a pessimist, I give you this morning's pre-show post as Exhibit No. 69,105, in which I didn't think an Alex-less episode was likely, as why being optimistic usually comes back to bite me in the, um, you know.

OK, I did trail off my last comment with a “but...”, and did use the word "medium" for the chance level, so it wasn't like I didn't see tonight coming.

And while my prediction of six Alex-less episodes almost certainly won't happen (with only four left she'd have to go missing in the next three, since she'll be in the finale, I think), in one sense I'm actually closer than I thought. I just needed to change the wording of my prediction a bit.

Instead of asking how many episodes Alex would not be in, if I had asked how many she would be in, the answer before the start of the season would have been 18 (the expected 24 episodes minus the 6 predicted Alex-less ones). Well, with the season down to 22 episodes, and with 3 Alex-less ones so far, that means at most she'll be in 19. And if either a) we get one more Alex-less episode (and there is still a possibility for that to happen next week, albeit far slimmer than this one), or b) we get stuck with a repeat on May 4th too (also unlikely, but...) then there's your 18.

(Of course, just to make me look like a fool again, watch both a) and b) happen, or a) twice.)

Having said all of that, when Claire mentioned how Alex was a good child (while all the other kids were in various degrees of trouble), did anyone else expect the ending being Alex coming in doing something totally unAlex-like (e.g. bringing home a boy while dressed more like Haley, or even more weird than that)?  On the other hand, that not being the ending really wasn't a bad thing given how often I've worried about Alex being due to actually get hit by one of those “bullets” she's been dodging the past two seasons.

On the bright side, this was the best of the three Alex-less episodes this season (so far?), although that doesn't really say much given the competition (“She Crazy” was bad, “Thunk In The Trunk” was better but still dull).  It was still quite funny, though.

Hmmm, for a non-recap I sure ended up saying a lot...

"There's A (Pity?) Party Goin' On Right Here"

It's been confirmed (via ABC's schedule grids) that there will be repeats on April 20th and April 27th ("The More You Ignore Me" and "Phil's Sexy, Sexy House").  Which means barring something crazy happening 22 will be the "magic" number.  It's a good thing we already know Season 8 is coming or I'd be sweating bullets the next few weeks  (remember how I felt that only having 22 episodes this season might have put the show's future in doubt?)

Monday, April 4, 2016

"So Tell Me, Do You See Me?" (End Of Season First Thoughts)

ABC issued their press release outlining their programming highlights for May sweeps today.  Barring an unlikely last minute switch, Modern Family will have their season finale on May 18th after all.  I know I was hoping it would happen the following week to give us a better chance of seeing 24 episodes, but, of course, I should have known as soon as I said something that wouldn't happen.  I'll get back to the scheduling possibilities shortly.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

“And All We Had Was A Moment” (Third Quarter Review)

The good news about the third quarter of Season 7? It didn't take nearly as long as the second quarter - it played out over just seven weeks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

“But In The End, It Doesn't Even Matter” (“Express Yourself” Recap)

Basically, just like last week, there isn't much to say about tonight's episode as far as Alex goes – she was basically doing her usual Alex thing, taking little jabs at the things Phil and Claire were saying about the quick Paris trip they planned (not that there's anything wrong with that – this blog wouldn't even exist if I didn't enjoy her sarcastic barbs).

But there was one line early on which rang more than a bit sad on a much larger scale:

"Don't Go For Second Best, Baby"

Yeah, right, as if tonight's "Express Yourself" has any chance to be even close to being the second best this season.  But the above lyric from Madonna's song of the same name is the closest I could find to fit for a post title, so...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

“Precious Little” (“The Cover-Up” Recap[?])

Well, obviously there's not a lot to say about tonight, except I'm surprised that it took this long for an episode where Alex just gets in a couple of quick on the phone/on Skype scenes while at school. I was figuring there would be a lot more nights like tonight this season.

Oh, and why didn't Alex step in and help Jay find out who was trolling him? Surely she'd be smart enough to handle it – why have one of her fellow students do it?

It still beats an Alex-less episode, albeit barely. We may or may not have a comparison to check this theory out next week.

Alex's (Just About Only?) Line Of The Night: ”Yeah, I think I can find a few (computer nerds to help Jay locate his troll).”

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"The Times Are Tough Now, Just Getting Tougher"

I was thinking of just copying and pasting most of my comments from my pre-show thoughts from two weeks ago, since really there's little difference in my expectations from then and now.  Well, maybe just one difference - I'm a little more optimistic about one thing about "The Cover-Up" than I was about "I Don't Know How She Does It":

Monday, March 14, 2016

"It's Just Another (Un)Manic Monday"

We're really in a dead zone right now - two probably lackluster (at best) episodes in the next two weeks, then another repeat ("The Verdict") to follow on March 30th.  And there's been no word on any titles or airdates beyond that yet.

There were promo pictures posted for those next two episodes, but, again, no Alex - in fact, she has not been seen in a promo picture since the Christmas episode.

Barring something crazy I'll be back on Wednesday with the pre-show thoughts for "The Cover-Up".  I know it will be difficult, but please try to contain your excitement until then.

Monday, March 7, 2016

"The Clock Is Always Ticking" (First Impressions - "Express Yourself" - Season 7, Episode 17)

I don't know if this is the episode that was earlier listed as "The Party" (which is not in SpoilerTV's list any more), but it might not be since the closest anything comes to a party story in the press release is some Haley and Andy shenanigans.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

“Dirty Little Secrets, Dirty Little Lies“ (“I Don't Know How She Does It” Recap)

So it turns out that brief scene that I posted from Twitter earlier with Alex was actually partially in the promo commercial as well – had I been keeping a watch for it I would have known two days ago that Alex would be there. That's what I get for having so little belief in this episode that I couldn't bring myself to look for the promo commercial.

So, yeah, I dropped the ball again (surprise, surprise) – what can I say – I've always been clumsy. Luckily for me I'm not about to fire myself...

"'Cause These Are The Breaks" (Late Update About Tonight)

That 25% chance of an Alex-less episode? Forgettaboutit:

 I'm still not optimistic about tonight being particularly interesting though.

"No Time For The Motivation"

It's about 8:30 in the morning, it's my day off, yet I feel like I have a million things to do, yet I'm not sure how much of a fig (no, not the Fig whom Alex met on Christmas vacation) I give about it.  The biggest reason for this antipathy?  Tonight's "I Don't Know How She Does It" looks so uninspiring from an Alex standpoint that it broke my "whatever" meter.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

“Like A Rollin' Thunder Chasing The Wind” (“The Storm” Recap)

Well, no rain fade, so I was able to see the whole show.

Frankie Says "Relax"

OK, actually not Frankie, but Chloe:



It doesn't really spoil anything (I have no idea if this is from the actual broadcast or from rehearsal) but it should put to rest the tiny fear I had that Alex wouldn't be in the show tonight.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

“It's Like Rain On Your Wedding Day”

It looks like irony (or is it coincidence? Ever since that song came out I have no idea.) is going to rear its ugly head again, just like last season when I got sick hours before “The Cold” aired.

This time though the irony here is that it looks like up here in the Northeast U.S.A. we'll be dealing with a nasty storm today and tonight, and, lo and behold, tonight's episode is titled “The Storm” (of course we all knew that already). While it looks like only rain here that could still cause a problem – the heaviest may be hitting right in the 9:00 hour, which could mean I could lose my satellite signal during the episode due to rain fade. Or, to hammer home the irony point, maybe the power in my house could go out.

I do have backups (on demand capability plus an iTunes season pass) so I won't miss the episode entirely, but if I need to use them any recap will be delayed. I'll let you know if that happens.

So, getting back to discussing the episode itself,  after two episodes which for various reasons weren't quite what I hoped for, will there be a rebound tonight?

Monday, February 22, 2016

"I Don't Care If Monday's Blue"

A quick scheduling note to start: "The Cover-Up" is back on the schedule as episode #16, and SpoilerTV lists it as airing on March 16th (as of now).

The bad news is this means no new episode on March 9th.  The worse news is barring a preemption it's almost certain that the Alex-less "She Crazy" will repeat that night.

And, speaking of Alex-less episodes:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

“The Joker Ain't The Only Fool“

Well, nobody ever said a wild card guaranteed anyone a winning hand, especially if they don't give you any chips with which to play.

I'm guessing that one of the ladies at that luncheon was the mysterious “college dean” listed in the press release. Not that it matters.

I wish tonight being Alex-less episode #15 meant something good was coming next week. It's possible – lately Alex has had something big happen just before or just after an episode where she goes missing (e.g. “Under Pressure” before “Three Dinners”, “Spring Break” after “Closet? You'll Love It!”). And there's still Maisie in it. But it's far from a lock, especially since there's no role mentioned for Alex.

And, of course, neither is it a lock that this will be the last Alex-less episode of the season.

"How Long Has It Been? It Seems Like A Mighty Long Time."

"Thunk In The Trunk" - not exactly the most awe-inspiring or enthusiasm-generating title I've seen.  Well, it is what it is, so let's peer into my not so crystal ball and see what I think will come of it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

"I'm Not Your Superwoman" (First Impressions - "I Don’t Know How She Does It" - Season 7, Episode 15)

The press release came out for this one a little bit early (maybe to get ahead of the holiday on Monday). "The Cover Up" is no longer listed on SpoilerTV's episode database, but I'm not sure if this is a new title for it or if that episode got pushed back and will reappear later.  A couple of the plots in the release make it possible that it's just a change in title.

None of the plots involve Alex, though, and with nobody in particular listed as a possible guest character for her to deal with (e.g. no Sanjay or Maisie) it looks like at best her role will be minimal, and at worst non-existent - while the release says generically that the kids are happy with Claire being able to keep up with both work and home duties, that does not necessarily include Alex, unless she has indeed returned home for good (and even if that's the case it's always possible she may be out of the episode anyway).  That question may or may not get clarified before this episode airs.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

“Reunited And It Feels So Good” (“Clean For A Day” Recap)

Well, I ended up crying after all – it just didn't have anything to do with Alex. Darn it, Phil – why didn't you just take out the battery? Chickie did not deserve to die. (Side note: they just made my Easter season at work even more difficult, at least when people start buying the plush toys that make sounds.)

Anyway, back to Alex:

"You Just Gotta Ignite The Light And Let It Shine”

It's finally time to kick off the second half of Season 7, and unlike that snoozer of a football game a few nights ago (except for the wiener dog commercial), tonight's “Clean For A Day” looks like it will not lack for excitement.

So, will there be fireworks? I think so.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"You Oughta Be In Pictures"

Promo pictures are up for "The Storm".  Neither Alex nor Maisie are in any of them.

Monday, February 8, 2016

"She's Drifting Out To Sea" (First Impressions - "The Storm" - Season 7, Episode 14)

Hey, it's a (very belated) Festivus Miracle! Three new Modern Family episodes in a row!

And this highly anticipated episode (with the return of Alex's roommate Maisie) has been moved up into February sweeps!

(Wait for it, here comes the "But...")

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

“Don't Take Me Half The Way” (Second Quarter Recap)

So, we're 11 episodes down (actually we've been 11 down for quite a while now), and 11 to 13 to go (more than likely only 11 – that's why I'm doing this now instead of after next week's episode) in Alex's freshman year at CalTech (a/k/a Season 7). While the second quarter of the season didn't have nearly as much emotion as the first quarter, it still had its moments.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"When I'm Telling A Story And You Find It Boring" (First Impressions - "Thunk In The Trunk" - Season 7, Episode 13)

The press release for the February 17th episode is here, but don't get too excited.
Alex is not mentioned in it (none of the kids are, except for Manny), but there is one intriguing note in it - there is a "College Dean" listed in the guest characters list.  Before I saw that I had a feeling that Alex might not even be in this one (that still isn't totally out of the question - since it doesn't mention if the dean is from CalTech it could conceivably involve Manny and/or Luke and their getting ready to plan for college after next year).
I'm probably going to get to that long-overdue review of the second quarter tomorrow and then I'll elaborate further on why I thought that, and why I think the upcoming quarter will almost certainly have at least one Alex-less episode (if not more).

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"In A Moment, Everything Can Change" (First Impressions - "Clean For A Day" - Season 7, Episode 12)

I'd like to say that my post from this morning was a brilliant attempt at reverse psychology, that by expressing my fear about Modern Family not having an episode on February 10th it would cause the opposite to happen.

I'd also like to say I was as rich as Donald Trump,  but that too would be bovine fertilizer.  Call it yet another example of my total lack of patience instead.

Anyway, cancel the panic alerts (for now), as there will be an episode on the 10th after all, as indicated by this (long awaited) press release and promo pictures.

"Longer Than There've Been Fishes In The Ocean"

OK, this is starting to get more than a little bit troubling – press releases for the rest of the Wednesday comedies have been issued for February 10th episodes, but nothing for Modern Family.

Seriously? Another (insert NSFW word here) repeat while everyone else gets new episodes?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

“Who I Am, Do I Fit In?” (“Spread Your Wings” Recap)

Well this one certainly had just about everything for Alex.

One very, very funny line in a funny first scene, a couple of emotional scenes with Phil, then a heartwarming finish (yes, seeing Alex jump into a pool wearing what presumably was her senior prom dress was heartwarming).

“So Fathers, Be Good To Your Daughters”

I found a sneak preview to tonight's “Spread Your Wings” on Twitter which looks interesting:
So what else do I think about tonight?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

“Actions Speak Louder Than Words” (Doubts About The Show's Future?)

Just a heads-up: if you don't want to read one of my more pessimistic rants (and that's saying something), don't click on “Read more” (or read past this opening paragraph). Especially since this post has only a minimal amount to do about Alex directly  - it's more about Modern Family in general.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Do You Sleep Anymore?"

Why am I posting the pre-show 18 hours ahead of time? One word: insomnia.

OK, with that out of the way, welcome to the first post of 2016.  How many more will follow - who knows?  I may have some thoughts on that over the weekend (words of warning - they may not be pretty).  For now, though, let's see what I see for the first new episode in almost a month, "Playdates":