Reigning Emmy-winning comedy Modern Family nabbed 10 nominations in this year’s race, thanks to a wedding, a comic book, a Styx parody, a lice infestation and a very large statue of a subservient, domesticated dog.
Following their statuette shut-out at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, the ABC series’ fifth season is still in the running for four awards, including outstanding comedy series, which it has won four years in a row.
Ahead of Monday’s awards show, relive this season’s five Emmy-nominated episodes.
Lice is not so nice
Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn, especially when it comes to Claire Dunphy in “The Feud.” While the lice-ridden meeting moment has been done plenty of times before (remember Sarah Jessica Parker in I Don’t Know How She Does It?), the episode got Julie Bowen her fifth nomination for dealing with a “parasite infestation” while pitching a client with whom she’s “way past hugs.” Plus, it acknowledged Phil’s invention, The Head-Scratcher (TM).
Initially, Haley (Sarah Hyland) begrudgingly finds herself as her father’s plus-one to his annual realtors’ banquet. While Phil — the “emperor of escrow” who “puts the ‘tude in Tudor” — headlines a performance of his Styx parody “Come Sale Away,” which goes horribly wrong, the “Spring-a-Ding-Fling” episode earned Ty Burrell his fifth nomination (and if he were to win again, he’s our pick to give a great in-character acceptance speech).
Adults-only trip to Vegas
Episode 18 brought the series’ adults to Sin City, resulting in a gambling addiction, a magic-society meeting, a massive dog statue and a bachelor party gone wrong. With appearances by Patton Oswalt, Stephen Merchant and Fred Armisen, the episode nabbed nominations for director Gail Mancuso, editor Ryan Case and art directors Claire Bennett, Sam Kramer and Brian Kasch — while forever changing audiences’ perceptions of connecting hotel rooms.
Spider-Man to the rescue (almost)
In order to pay for their costly nuptials, Mitch offers to sell his beloved $5,000 Spider-Man comic book — “Spider-Man made me feel like it was okay to be different, made me feel tough enough to get through the rough times,” — and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) sacrifices his supposedly-legendary belt buckle. The altruistic “Message Received” episode was the one submitted to earn Jesse Tyler Ferguson his fifth nomination.
Cameron and Mitchell get married
The season opened with the legalization of same-sex marriage in California, and closed with the longtime partners finally tying the knot — and with the oft-doubted support of Mitch’s father, Jay (Ed O’Neill) and the Emmy-nominated presence of Pepper (Nathan Lane). Offscreen, the show’s cast and creators gathered for a packed Television Academy event that included a screening of the two-part finale and a Q&A session. “Comedy comes first,” said Levitan of the episode, which also nabbed a sound mixing nomination for Stephen A. Tibbo, Dean Okrand and Brian R. Harman. “We hope that we entertain people and make them feel something, and if from that people can be a bit more accepting, that’s a wonderful bonus.”