Modern Family Season Three Premiere
Episodes “Dude Ranch” and “When Good Kids Go Bad”
So here I was all set to roll out my new recap format of “Smile and Tell” for things I really enjoyed about a given episode and “Show and Yell” for things I didn’t like so much, but the first two episodes of Modern Family’s season three would not have worked very well for that system. That’s because I enjoyed both “Dude Ranch” and “When Good Kids Go Bad” so thoroughly from start to finish that I literally would have nothing to put in the Show and Yell category. I could barely keep up capturing all the funny lines and moments packed into this awesome hour of television. Since there was so much funny in this well-deserved EMMY winning comedy, instead I am going to review my top 10 favorite situations from tonight. This is going to be as tough to handle as a ‘horny cowboy.’
And now for my attempt to narrow down the best moments from “Dude Ranch” (I apologize in advance for all the excellent lines that we have to leave behind, like Dylan—Jackson Hole’s newest ranch hand):
- The hilarious and fitting nick names Hank the cowboy gives to the family members, some a little later than others (but it was worth the wait, right Buffalo Phil?). Hollywood Manny asking who he should book his spa treatments with was pretty classic Manny. And Bossy (i.e. Claire) excels at keeping her family and cattle in line. But the real trouble was brewin’ with Hank’s inappropriate passes at his Cactus Flower Gloria. That didn’t sit too well with Old-Timer Jay.
- Everything revolving around Dylan was awesome. From Phil’s eagerness to have Hayley’s boyfriend join the family on the trip (“What if Dylan and I shared a horse?!”) to Dylan mistakenly thinking Claire was coming onto him, Dylan always brings a clueless yet loveable vibe to the family. My only complaint is that we must say goodbye to our favorite musician boyfriend as he and Hayley decide they are not meant to be…also because he is now a ranch hand. “Dylan where are you???”… “Wyoming!!!!”
- Alex freaking out about her first real kiss from a boy—and not a highbrow intellectual like she imagined it would be. No, this kid was a future cast member of Jersey Shore. But yee-haw—this vacation allowed Alex to let down her hair if only for a moment and give into some passion (well the line between anger and passion is very fine indeed).
- Mitchell becoming a man’s man and blowing up stuff with Luke. I loved how Cam and Mitch had ulterior motives for their time at the dude ranch—they needed to better accessorize their scrapbook with manly pictures to appeal to birth moms. I also loved how Luke attempted to use Cam’s scripted speech to get Mitchell to feel better about his macho side, but when that didn’t work Mitchell actually did have fun doing “a boy thing” with Luke by blowing up the birdhouse…which means either Angry Birds or Bye Bye Birdie!
- Gloria singing “She’ll be coming round the mountain!” (well, I use the word singing loosely). Nothing more to say about this other than you need to watch–and listen to–this part over and over and over again.
Once the family returned from the Dude Ranch, it was back to the grind–and the hilarity–at home. Here are my favorite parts of “When Good Kids Go Bad”:
- The odd-couple Dunphy girls are back at their bickering and scheming. I love love love when Alex and Hayley have story lines together because their opposite personalities perfectly balance each other out. They are kind of like a modern day Marcia and Jan Brady, and this is about the time to girls decide they need their own space. Alex put it perfectly when she snarls, “could you L a little less O L?” Neither one can stand to wait one more year or when Hayley leaves for college—because those are two separate things—to get their own living space. But it is even better when the sisters put their minds together to trick, so they think, Luke into moving into the attic a la Greg Brady. Good times.
- Manny sweating it out. This story line was great symmetry to an older episode in which Manny caught Jay in a lie about killing his pet. Apparently a lot of interrogations go down in the Pritchett house. I especially loved Manny sweating it out in the back seat of the car as Jay becomes suspicious that Gloria solved his stealing problem her own way. And kudos to Gloria for opening that girl’s locker with a credit card.
- Let’s hear it for the boys! Leave it to Cam—who announced the arrival of baby Lily in the very first episode with the Lion King soundtrack—to have another musical tribute planned for the announcement that he and Mitch will be adopting a boy. But just as funny were all the moments of insecurity that led up to the announcement because new older Lily didn’t like the idea of there being a baby in the house. First they think it is because Cam coddles Lily too much (cue hysterical flashbacks to Cam wearing Lily like a fanny-pack). But the revelation that Mitchell’s lack of a sharing could be to blame adds even more depth to how perfectly imperfect this family is.
- Claire is right, always. Don’t mess with a determined Claire, who has to prove she is right under any circumstance…to the point where she obtains security footage from the grocery store to prove Phil pushed her into the food that fell on her. If I feel for Claire and would have done the same thing to prove I was right, does that mean I have “the sickness” too?
- “I was RIGHT!” At the end of the day, Mitchell’s problems with sharing and Claire’s obsession to always be right can all get traced back to family patriarch Jay, who can’t resist smoking out Manny’s secret and shouting, “I was right!” Yes, the sickness does begin in childhood.
So, how much did you enjoy the Modern Family premiere? I am so happy to see this season off to such a great start—hey, they have to prove they can still bring it after they cleaned up at the EMMYS this past weekend. And what do you think of new toddler Lily? I will always miss baby Lily for her deadpan and calm looks, but I guess I have to be willing to accept change. Also, I am glad to read that the real little girls who played baby Lily are doing well. You will always hold a special place in my heart.