|Modern Family episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Jason Winer|
|Written by||Christopher Lloyd|
|Original air date||October 21, 2009|
|Season 1 episodes|
The episode was written by co-creator and executive producer of Modern Family, Christopher Lloyd and directed by series main director, Jason Winer. The episode "Coal Digger" received positive reviews from critics and was named in the top 100 best television episodes of 2009 by BuddyTV and received a 3.4/9 in the 18-49 demographic according to Nielsen Media Research.
The whole family is invited for some barbecue and football at Gloria and Jay's house. At school, however, there is an incident between Manny and Luke after Manny called Luke his nephew, making things very awkward for Claire and Gloria.
Cameron is a former college football player and is comfortable with Jay's attitude towards the game. Mitchell does not care for football; in order to be more comfortable, he decides to learn more about the game and the two teams so he can try to enjoy the evening. His attempt to do so fails miserably when he regularly misuses football terms.
After the family gathers at Jay's house, Phil and Jay talk to the boys in order to have them settle their differences. Phil begins to explain the situation, but Jay takes over and simply tells the boys that they are family, and instead of fighting, they should love each other. The boys then go outside and play. While they are outside, Phil convinces Gloria and Claire to address their annoyances with each other. Later, when the boys have had some fun, Manny brings up that Luke constantly insults Gloria, calling her a "coal digger". Phil corrects Luke's pronunciation saying he meant "gold digger". Luke states that he's heard of this term from his mom, having used it through the past year. This makes the situation worse: Gloria leaves the gathering and stays in her room, refusing to join the group. Phil then tries to reason with her, resulting in an awkward situation. Eventually Claire comes to apologize, but Gloria won't accept it unless she can get even. Gloria tells Claire that the only way she can forgive her is to jump into the pool. Claire does, and soon afterward, everyone except Haley jumps in as well.
The episode was written by Christopher Lloyd co-creator of Modern Family, making it his second writing credit for the series and first season after the pilot episode. "Coal Digger" was also directed by Jason Winer, his fifth directing credit for the series after directing all previous episodes. The episode, "Coal Digger" originally aired in the United States on October 21, 2009 on American Broadcasting Company as the fifth episode of the series and first season.
Andrew Borba guest starred in the episode as the principal of Luke and Manny's school who is named Mr. Balaban. The episode is also the first episode featuring their school. Also the following episode "Run for Your Wife" (produced two episodes before "Coal Digger") is the episode with the first day of school.
The episode received mostly positive reviews from critics. BuddyTV named "Coal Digger" the 45th best episode of 2009 saying "Gloria and Claire got into a hilarious feud after it's revealed that Claire used to call her young step-mom a gold digger, wrongly interpreted as "coal digger" by her kids." Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode a 7.7/10 saying it was "Good" and "Coal Digger" proved that even without being packed with hilarity, the young series can still deliver some entertaining television." James Poniewozik of Time said "Modern Family wasn't as disappointing as last night's Glee, and I found plenty of laughs in it, but all the same it was probably the show's weakest outing."
Donna Bowman of A.V. Club gave the episode a A- saying "I say that Phil -- whom I've had my doubts about because of his broad cluelessness -- won me over this episode". Jason Hughes of TV Squad gave the episode a positive review saying "There were so many funny moments in this episode, as there are every episode."
- "Modern Family: Coal Digger Writers, Directors, and Crew". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
- Robert Seidman (2009-10-22). "TV Ratings, Broadcast finals: Glee, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Criminal Minds tick up; Mercy, Old Christine, SVU, Eastwick tick down". Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- "TV's 50 Best Episodes of 2009 [slideshow]". BuddyTV. December 14, 2009.
- Canning, Robert (October 22, 2009). "Modern Family: "Coal Digger" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- Poniewozik, James (October 22, 2009). "The Morning After: I Ain't Sayin' She a Coal Digger". Time. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- Bowman, Donna (October 21, 2009). ""Coal Digger" – Modern Family – TV Club – TV – The A.V. Club". A.V. Club. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- Hughes, Jason (October 22, 2009). "Review: Modern Family - Coal Digger". TV Squad. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- Slezak, Michael (October 22, 2009). "'Modern Family' recap: Snap! Tackle Pop?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
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