I bet you thought because I hadn’t posted in a while that I was disappointed in Modern Family‘s episode last week, titled “Up All Night.” No way! It was awesome! Awesome, I tell you! And Benjamin Bratt was fantastic!
As with anything Ben Bratt-related, I’m always concerned about how the reviews will be, because there are a lot of people out there (Tom Shales, I’m looking at you) who don’t like him. Well, if the reaction on the Television Without Pity forum is any indication, he was a smash hit. The fans there loved the episode, many saying it was the best one to date. And they loved Ben’s portrayal of Javier, Manny’s father and Gloria’s ex. And so did I. (Shocking, I know.) And I loved him even more on repeat viewings.
“Did you catch them with your bare hands?” “No. I bought them with my bare hands!”
Our impression of Javier to date has been, from Gloria’s descriptions, some kind of a larger-than-life super man; all negated by being Manny’s no-show dad. And he truly was larger than life. From his huge grin and open arms upon first appearing (with a [possibly stolen] speed boat in tow), to disarming and charming Jay, to throwing a few baseballs around Dodger Stadium at 2 a.m. But we all knew what was coming as soon as he’d made plans for drinks with Jay. (And I loved how Manny was the one to comfort Jay with the no-show.)
What a great role it was for Ben Bratt. The actor himself is very charming himself, and a bit larger than life for us long-time fans. He gave Javier some wonderful little moments; his wincing when Jay said he “used to,” and his glance down at Manny just before the stadium lights came on (which I’m sure came from being a devoted father himself).
I still have the episode on my DVR, where it will most likely stay until the it’s repeated this summer.
And can I just add that Mitchell and Cameron rock my world.