Modern family: Why is Claire with Phil?

I like Modern family and I think it’s one of the better sitcoms on the air right now.

One thing that is dawning on me lately is that Claire has nothing but disdain for Phil.

It’s quite clear why Gloria is with Jay (besides the money, I think she also admires some of his qualities), but the writers have not made any case as to why Claire is with Phil: Why she hooked up with him in the first place, why she decided to marry him, and why she continues to stay married to him.

She looks down on him, thinks he is stupid, and in general has never praised any positive qualities that Phil may have, to my recollection.

I missed some of the earlier seasons, so they may have explained all this.

Has there been an explanation that I missed? What do you guys think of this couple?

I can’t remember if they’ve ever explained how/why they got together, but they definitely have indicated why they work as a couple: Claire is tightly wound and Phil helps her loosen up and enjoy life. And as doofus-y as he’s portrayed, he’s clearly pretty darn successful as a realtor so I assume she likes that he’s a goofy guy who can get things done.

The show tends to focus a lot on her exasperation with him, but I think that’s mostly just a case of the writers chasing laughs.

The three main couples on Modern Family are all written, essentially, as classic comic duos. Claire and Phil are a goofy optimist / exasperated straight man pairing.

I think it’s pretty well implied in season one that Claire was like her oldest daughter in her dating-a-singing-goofball-with-a-good-heart days back when, at which point cue pregnancy. (Also, she really seems to enjoy bedding him when he’s in character.)

A sitcom where the wife thinks the husband is stupid and has no positive qualities? That’s a shocker.

Next they’ll be using that premise in commercials.

The episode where they went to get Haley from her college and Phil, who had been very mellow until that point, ends up going off on her and how much she’s wasting the opportunity and her parents’ money and how disappointed he is, showed another side to him, and one that turned Claire on (“I’m going to get that man some waffles!”). And they complement each other excellently; they bicker but you can tell there’s deep love.

Cam and Mitch are the two whose connection is least explicable and lease formed by the writers, imho. Neither of them are likable.

I like 'em, but they spend too much time making amends. One will do something they know is gonna piss the other one off, and then there’s forgiveness and understanding. (Cue violins.) Why not just don’t do that thing in the first place?

As for Phil and Claire, I think he got the short end of the stick. She’d drive me crazy.

I think Claire loves Phil. She often says he balances her- one episode she and Mitch both are wondering how they both ended up with partners so different than themselves and decided they need them. She’ll often say how right he is etc. I think they’re just honest about the faults. He points out hers (always must be right etc) too.

I think Cam and Mitch have a sweet relationship. They tease each other and are honest about each others faults but quickly see the strengths as well.

I was watching just a few minutes ago and they had an exchange that went like this.

Phil “I believe people can change. And I will continue to believe that until the day I die.”
Claire “You realize that contradicts what you just said.”
Phil “See. She used to be very supportive of me.”

I like Cam. He’s got wild humor. Mitchel has dry humor, which is funny but makes him less likable.

Clair has Phil for a beard, and Mitch has Cam for a beard. But it is really pretty clear that when the camera is gone and no one else is around that Clair and Mitch are having the forbidden love that drops jaws to the floor. The whole show makes a lot more sense that way. But poor Phil and Cam, neither really knowing how he is being used and cuckolded.

What’s that mean?

You’re better off not knowing and letting that fan fic go by.

Beards are fake partners to hide a person’s true nature. A gay man, who is closeted, will date women to make it look like he’s straight.

He was implying Claire and Mitch are incestous lovers.

It’s basically Modern Game of Thrones.

So Luke is Joffrey… I can sort of see it.

Manny is Tyrion

Beard though? Wow. I’m getting old.

You’ve come away with a very different view of their relationship than I have.

Actually it’s not a new term. I know it was used on the sitcom Empty Nest in the '80s.

That term isn’t really new. Wikipedia suggests the term might date back to 1960s or earlier. It’s like wearing a false beard to conceal your identity, a mask, a costume.

Phil is hot. Or at least he used to be, before he butchered his eyebrows. They were his best feature.

(Yes, I’ll mention this wherever there’s an opportunity. Perhaps it’ll get back to the powers that be.)