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Game Changer (Modern Family episode)

The 19th episode of Modern Family of Season 1.

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"It's like Steve Jobs and God got together to say, ‘We love you, Phil'".

  • Apr 2, 2010
Um, best nod to a current event ever?  While most TV shows have a Valentine's Day special, or a Halloween special when they do themed episode specials, what did Modern Family do one on?  The release of the hotly anticipated iPad (coming out tomorrow!).  Which just so happens to come out on one of my favorite TV dad Phil Dunphy's birthday, to which he proclaims, "It’s like Steve Jobs and God got together to say, ‘We love you, Phil!’”.

Sure, the chess plot of the Delgado-Pritchetts was funny (especially Manny!), and the nosy neighbors/eavesdropping of the crossed baby monitors drama of the Tucker-Pritchett clan was hilarious, too, but what really takes the cake in this episode?  The Dunphy family's quest to get Phil an iPad for his birthday.  They really stole the show by playing out Phil's fondness for new gadgets, as well as the hype of the iPad, and the ridiculousness of Apple fanpeeps.

Hip, technophile Phil had planned on waking up at 5 AM, waiting in line at 6 AM, and being back home by 10 AM with his birthday iPad.  Despite asking Phil "What's so great about that do-hickey anyhow?" (to which he responded “It’s a movie theater, a library and a music store all rolled into one awesome pad”), the ever-loving Claire said that she would pick it for him.  ....Of course, she dropped the ball on that one.  Again.  When she tells him that he'll get one next week, he freaks out and says, "Next week?  That's like the worst thing you could say to an early adopter".  Oh, how I love Phil.

After going off the deep end and escaping to celebrate his birthday on his own in "a place where birthdays still mean something" (the batting cages with a bunch of 10 year kids), his family comes through for him:

My favorite scene in the episode has got to be when Phil is gently stroking the screen of his iPad with all his fingers as if scrolling down a page while he's on the couch, in the dark, and whispering to it softly, "I love you..." in a very creepy way.

Many viewers speculated that Apple had approached Modern Family to do some product placement and that they paid them a lot of money to do so, but the creator of the show subsequently said that no money exchanged hands at all and that it was actually Modern Family who approached Apple about this hilarious storyline.  This is hands down one of my favorite Modern Family episodes.  Ever.  The Modern Family and Phil Dunphy-loving, Apple fangirl, and tech geek in me rejoices.  If you didn't get to catch this episode, you can watch it on Hulu.

Is anyone going to wait in line for the iPad tomorrow? 

And more importantly, who's ready for the first day of the rest of their lives? ;)

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May 10, 2010
I must admit that I love this show.
April 06, 2010
I need to devote more time in my TV series but usually I just see a movie instead. Great review as always though, Lady D.
April 06, 2010
Thanks, Woo! I didn't watch TV for the longest time, but now I'm getting back in the loop through watching TV on the internet :P
April 05, 2010
Great review, even though I disagree. This is the ONLY episode of this show that I haven't liked. I **hate** when product placement turns to infomercial. (Remember my critique of "500 Days of Summer"?)
April 05, 2010
I thought you just didn't like this because you were an iPhone ;) Kidding, my iFanatic friend said the same thing. And yes, I remember your critique of product placement in 500 Days of Summer. ...I just so happened to love that scene and think it was cute as heck :x Thanks for your comment, JD! :)
April 03, 2010
I had just watched the first 5 episodes and this one with the link you provided! Thanks! Phil is such a baby :D It'd be interesting to see who the early adopters here for iPad! I'm only heading there if iPad does what it did when Phil blew off the candles, LOL...
April 04, 2010
Glad you like it! Yes, Phil's a total baby :P And you better get that lawn chair ready to camp out in front of the Apple store because that iPhone application is very real and called Birthday A La Carte ;D
April 04, 2010
Good thing I still have another 6 months to go before I need to blow out the candles, LOL...
April 04, 2010
Or you could be like me... I blow out candles every month! My friends and I celebrate my one month birthday, two month birthday, quarter birthday... half birthday, etc. I'm totally for serious! :D By the way, if you were curious, the candles in that app get blown out by blowing into the microphone of the iPhone/iPad. So friggin' cool!
April 04, 2010
Yes, you're telling me! I don't want to grow old that quickly!!! LOL... Yep, iPhone is creating lots of jobs. Someone offered to pay me to write about Chinese Festivals! Talk about being cool!!! :D
April 02, 2010
great review Debbie!! your title is perfect! i loved this episode. Great info on how it all came together... i think everyone who saw this was wondering how they got such a timely product placement and especially since it was the highly anticipated iPad. Very cool. My fav line was Manny when we entered the house and says, "Is that Claire's baked brie i smell?" soooooo Manny. love that kid.
April 03, 2010
Thanks, J.R.! I loved that line from Manny, too! It was right up there to when he whooped Jay at chess in 30 seconds, continued reading his newspaper, and stuck out his wrist for his new watch.
April 04, 2010
How about when his mom told him he needed to get ready to go and he asked "do I have time for a steam?" Classic.
April 05, 2010
That steam line was one of the best EVER. one of my favorite things about the show is how fast and subtle some of the funniest moments are ... you could almost miss that line, it was so quiet and quick. smart comedy = win : )
April 02, 2010
I never watch this show...but that ipad sure is causing a stir...
April 02, 2010
You should catch it on Hulu. It's hilarious! And yes, that iPad is causing a stir. I'm not crazy enough to wait in line in the rain tomorrow though :P
More Modern Family: Game Changer reviews
Quick Tip by . January 04, 2011
posted in Modern Family Fans
Jay is befuddled by the chess genius in Manny. Cameron learns of an affair going on in the neighborhood via Lily's baby monitor and Phil goes on a downward spiral after Claire fails to get him an iPad for his birthday and then Claire goes on a quest to get one. Phil was never better then in this episode.
Quick Tip by . April 09, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
Great episode. It captured exactly how I feel about the ipad.
Quick Tip by . April 04, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
After the iPad and Universal remote episodes, I feel a close bond with Phil (as I write my post from my iPad)
Quick Tip by . April 03, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
the only episode that I haven't like. seemed more like an iPad informercial
About the reviewer
devora ()
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When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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About this tv show


iPad release day falls on Phil's birthday, giving Claire an opportunity to finally score an ideal gift for her technophile husband. Manny and Gloria humor Jay—a sore loser at board games—by supressing their superior chess skils. Mitchell questions his ability to protect his family, while crossed baby monitor signals compel Cameron to secretly intervene in the love life of a neighboring couple.
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