TV Club: Modern Family: “Knock ‘Em Down”

I joke a lot about various sitcom plots being Three’s Company-worthy, but one of Modern Family’s escapades this episode actually was straight out of that silly ’70s sitcom. Jay has to pretend to be gay for Cam’s bowling team, the Britney Spares. Fortunately, Ed O’Neill, whose Jay is newly shaken by a bad I.D. photo at Costco, gives this farcical plotline its necessary weight. He has wonderful chemistry with guest star Oliver Platt, another one of Cam’s arch-rivals who sweetly nurses a crush on Jay. Somewhere between Kevin Costner and Channing Tatum, how could he not?

The expected route would be for Jay to get all indignant and refuse to play along (“You tricked me into coming here, you made me gay, now I have a boyfriend!”). Instead, Jay respects Cam’s competitive streak. He also has some really warm scenes with Platt …

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