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Episode 2 - The Kiss

6 March 2012

This was a decent episode but it felt like too much was going on at once to let the stories settle properly. I liked how all the adult's subplots ended up focussing on Jay and his lack of affection and gratitude. It was an unexpected but very logical turn of events.

Fans have questioned for a long time why Mitchell and Cameron are never seen kissing and here we got a dual explanation in terms of Mitchell being uptight about affection and then the deeper explanation for why coming from Jay. Gloria took this opportunity to scold Jay for his general lack of PDAs and even Phil was allowed to complain about his treatment. It also allowed Jay the chance to throw back Clare's accusations onto her finally confirming to her children that her claims to have been a good girl were so much hot air.

But the episode felt cluttered. Leading up to this scene we had the Gloria's dead grandmother story which led to Jay being mocked and Manny and Luke running scared from the printer. That was a clever link to Phil's story who went to great lengths to finally prove useful to Jay and avoid the smell of paint. These stories could have been jettisoned in favour of greater focus on the actual kissing plots.

Which leads us to Alex who got a rare story to herself. Although the results of her story were typically sweet (as she develops her first relationship) the execution was not good. Alex ended up confused and standing on a boy's doorstep asking him to kiss her. The idea that bookworm Alex will be clueless with boys is fine but the rushed nature of the episode didn't really build up adequately to this moment. Then there is the issue of the camera in their faces. Two just turned teenagers discussing kissing on camera seemed very weird. Yes it's an accepted part of the show and largely it works but in this particular situation it seemed bizarrely inappropriate. A longer shot might have achieved the same effect where a close shot seemed incongruous.

Still overall this was another pleasing morality play and Jay's affection for Manny at the end was a pleasing touch and Cam and Mitch's kiss was nicely understated.



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