Modern Family v 30 Rock, Fringe and Smallville return, Bones goes for the funny..

There’s a bit of a theme to today’s reviews – two comedies kick things off, with one of the funniest Modern Family episode showing up a by-the-numbers 30 Rock, meanwhile been-gone-too-long Fringe and Smallville both went other world-y. Meanwhile Bones rested the tedious Brennan/Booth lurve they’ve been on lately and went for a fun romp of an episode.

In many award shows, Modern Family and Glee have gone head to head – usually splitting the wins. However, they really have little in common apart from some comedy. Glee is much more than a sitcom, whereas 30 Rock and Modern Family are more similar and recognisable as well written sitcoms. I am a huge Tina Fey fan, and 30 Rock has been consistently fun for years, however the show is not on top form right now. Tracy Morgan has been off having a kidney transplant while both Tina Fey and co-star Jane Krakowski are pregnant. This week’s episode was especially average, while I think I laughed more at Modern Family than almost any other episode!  Phil’s attempts to drum up business had him repaint the family minivan,  unfortunately leaving pictures of Claire and daughter Hayley on either side expressing a wish to be ‘satisfied’! Lots of laughs ensue.. Also very funny was Cam trying to be Mr Shue with Luke and Manny’s school production, ‘I’m Sondheim-isming them’ was just one of the hilarious moments. The production didn’t go as planned, with the kids holding up cards to spell out ‘we love the world’ missing the L (Luke was stuck up in a harness near the ceiling) so it became ‘we love the word’ and when the school logo – a capital F – fell, we got ‘we love the F word’. LOL! Just so many other brilliantly funny lines in this episode. (After Hayley’s  average SAT scores, Claire: ‘Oh Phil, we produced an average child!’  Phil: ‘Yes! Medium Five’) Modern Family is probably the most consistently funny show around, the cast are great and the scripts are sharp. 30 Rock swings between genius and just not that funny. Still love Tina Fey though!

Fringe’s third season has not been as good for me since Fauxlivia and our Olivia swapped back and I definitely have not been a fan of Anna Torv channelling Leonard Nimoy (although I was impressed with her Spock eyebrow this week – I have tried and tried, wish I could do that!!)

This week, Olivia, Walter and Peter hit the LSD to try to recover Olivia and entered a world of Olivia’s unconscious. Bizarrely,  we got cartoon versions of Bell, Walter and Peter as they tried to find Olivia. Maybe it was just because Leonard Nimoy had retired from acting and would only commit to voice work, who knows, but it was sort of fun. The animation was very simplistic and didn’t look like the actors at all really, but the episode was an improvement if not on a par with the early episodes this season. That ending sets things up for the end of the season too.

Smallville also explored alternate universes as nasty Clark Luthor seen a few episodes back returned. He swapped places with our Clark although I am not sure why. To be honest with only a few episodes of Smallville to go, it was all rather pointless but for the fact we got an appearance by John Schneider as Jonathon Kent, who in the alt world had been driven nuts by losing his farm to Olivier Queen and Martha leaving him. Clark got to interact with his dad while evil Clark seemed to want to kill his dad – yes, another attempt to get Lionel. Like I said, it seemed like a rehash of the last time this alternative world was shown – kinky Clark Luthor has the hots for Tess rather than Lois and is an all round bad guy after being raised by Lionel. Yeah, right. Surely the show has better stories to tell this close to the end.

Mr Nigel Murray was the intern of the week on Bones – possibly my favourite of the rotating squints. He is apparently a recovering alcoholic and had to make reparation to those he hurt while drinking this week – which mainly seemed to be how he told everyone he was sleeping with all the women in the lab! The case was pure X Files – a man apparently killed by a Chupacabra! No silly romance, lot of silly laughs instead, in one of the more enjoyable episodes for a while.