ABC's Modern Family is nothing if not consistently funny. While other shows have great episodes, almost every week Modern Family has me rolling with laughter. Last night, with the help of a couple of great guest stars, not only did the show deliver, it left me with some unanswered questions, or really, wishes for things I want to see from the series in the future. For example, I am dying for a flashback episode where Jay and DeDe are still married. That's what sets "Princess Party" apart from other fantastic stories.
For February sweeps, the show is bringing back successful characters from last year. Last week, we saw Phil's (Ty Burrell) alter ego Clive Bixby, as well as Claire's (Julie Bowen) Julianna. Last night featured the return of DeDe (Shelley Long), who is Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Claire's mother, and Fizbo, Cam's (Eric Stonestreet) clown character. Fizbo is over the top ridiculous, and not only did Cam pull him out, at first against Mitchell's wishes, for their daughter's birthday party, but he also tried a court jester variation with a cockney accent. Hilarious!
Of course, DeDe was the real draw of the story. Claire struggled to keep it together while welcoming her mother into her home. DeDe brought a surprise - Claire's ex-boyfriend Robbie (Matt Dillon) - whom she had not told that Claire was married with three children. Never mind that, because DeDe was the one soon making out with Robbie, and then bringing him as a date to her granddaughter's birthday. Dillon apparently does sitcom well, coolly delivering some interesting back story on Claire and her family, and pulling off the perfect loser who thinks he's smooth.
DeDe doesn't just stress out Claire. Jay (Ed O'Neill) and his much younger wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara) were not happy to see her, Phil was soon doubting whether he was liked by his mother-in-law, and Mitchell took her stunt as a personal affront, ruining Lily's party. This one woman has the ability to upset everyone in the family at once for completely different reasons, a rare trait, and one always welcome back on the show.