ABC's Modern Family is unique in that it is a sitcom with a lot of heart, and that it gets the opportunity to show a lot of different family relationships. Families are not simple, and cannot be boiled down to the average twenty-two minute episode. When Modern Family began last year, it was the most realistic group of kin that had been on air in quite awhile, and as the interactions between various character reveal deeper and deeper the connections between them each week, I've grown quite fond of it. It is no wonder almost every single adult actor and actress was up for an Emmy this year.
This week's episode, "Strangers on a Treadmill" was an excellent example of the series at it's best. Phil (Ty Burrell) was invited to speak at a big realtors' convention, and his wife, Claire (Julie Bowen) was worried that he would embarrass himself. While it was never explicitly addressed, I feel that Claire was more worried about being embarrassed to be with him, than worried about him. I do believe she loves him, but she sometimes underestimates him. Anyway, Phil was writing lots of jokes for the event, but Claire thought that none of them were funny. She didn't want to confront Phil herself, because she knew he is sensitive about that sort of thing, and didn't want him to be mad at her.
In the meantime, Claire's brother, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) had his own problems with his partner. Cam (Eric Stonestreet, who actually won the Emmy) had been going to the gym of late, and he wore very tight bicycle shorts on these excursions. Mitch was proud of him for working out, but did not approve of the shorts, which left nothing of Cam's genitals to the imagination. Like Claire, he knew that telling Cam directly would lead to a marital fued, and so he'd been avoiding it. Hence the plan concocted by Mitchell and Claire where they would gently correct each others' significant others' issues.