Emmy episode analysis: Ty Burrell (‘Modern Family’) flies high at ‘The Party’

After choosing “The Party” as his episode submission for voters, can Comedy Supporting Actor nominee Ty Burrell win his third Emmy for “Modern Family?” The actor received his seventh consecutive nomination for playing Phil Dunphy on this ABC comedy, a goofy, good-natured real estate agent and father of three.

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All the adults are out for the evening, leaving Luke (Nolan Gould) and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) in charge of babysitting Lucy (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons). While waiting in line to see the latest sci-fi popcorn flick, squeaky-clean Phil and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) decide to indulge in some pot gummies. Yet no sooner is the weed taking effect then they’re summoned back to the house when a fire alarm goes off, leading Claire (Julie Bowen) to believe the kids are up to no good. Stoned out of their minds, Phil and Mitchell search for clues of party, desperately trying to hide their own inebriation. The jig is up when one of the party-goers falls from a second story window, and Phil asserts that although the boys deserve to be punished, the parents are far from perfect themselves.

Can Burrell win for this episode? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

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This episode shows us a different side of Phil Dunphy: one buzzed beyond belief. It’s a side that easily could have led to stoner cliches, yet in Burrell’s expert hands, it reminds voters of the extraordinary comedic chops he’s displayed over the shows seven seasons.

Burrell has proven to be the emotional center of “Modern Family.” As witnessed in his final speech, he’s able to expertly balance comedy and pathos. It’s worked for him in the past, so why shouldn’t it work this time?

Emmy voters love repeats, and Burrell has won twice for this role, once in 2011 and again in 2014. Perhaps he’s due for a third?

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The bloom has faded from the “Modern Family” rose. This five-time winner for Best Comedy Series, which in its prime saw all six of its main cast members nominated, is down to just four overall bids, with Burrell the lone acting contender. This could certainly hurt his chances.

Speaking of repeats, last year’s winner, Tony Hale (“Veep”) is back and ready for more, and with “Veep” once again expected to snag Best Comedy Series, it’s likely Hale will get carried along for the ride.

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