Modern Family (Season 3)

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ABC’s Modern Family is a show about three families, their relationships, the family dynamics and experiences that is depicted in a mockumentary style.  It follows the families of Jay Pritchett, his daughter Claire Dunphy and his son Mitchell Pritchett who live in a suburban community of Los Angeles, California.

Modern Family

The show challenges the idea of the “traditional” family with its May-December romance and a loving gay couple.  It may be the “modern” family but we see a lot of stories and experiences that we can relate to.  From father-son and father-daughter relationships, sibling fights and rivalries, raising teenagers, taking care of a baby, work and career…  These stories are presented in a humorous manner but told with a lot of heart.

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For me, I love, love, love, love Modern Family!  The cast is just brilliant!  I can’t pick who my fave character is… There’s Cam who collects antique fountain pens, quite adept at Japanese flower arrangement—ikebana— and was a starting offensive lineman at the University of Illinois; the mild-mannered yet uptight Mitchell with his funny sarcastic lines; then there’s Gloria who has a mean aim with a gun and ordered a box of baby Jesus for Jay; or Phil who thinks he’s a “cool dad” because he knows all the dance steps to High School Musical 2.  Not only are the actors talented but they work so well together.  Their chemistry is just amazing.  I love how Cam’s bubbly outgoing personality counters Mitchell’s uptightness and worrying ways.  How Claire’s naggy and overbearing ways is balanced by Phil’s calmness and laid-back tendencies.  Gloria’s passion and vivaciousness brightens Jay’s staid and calms demeanor.

And then there’s the genius writing… it’s sharp, smart, witty, funny, hilarious without trying too hard… they are able to capture the perfect mix of humor and great warmth… I could go on and on about how great this show is.  They have 11 Emmy’s (including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series twice, so that’s one every season) to prove that, yes, this show is that good..

The Characters

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The show revolves around three families that are interrelated through Jay Pritchett and his children, Claire Dunphy and Mitchell Pritchett

Delgado-Pritchett Family

Jay Pritchett is the no-nonsense patriarch of the family, who after splitting with his longtime wife, re-married a much younger Colombian woman named Gloria Delgado.  Gloria is voluptuous, vivacious and has a passion for life that has rubbed off on her young son from her previous marriage, Manny.  Manny is a romantic preteen who acts and thinks well beyond his years, marching to the beat of his own drum, usually in a burgundy dinner jacket.

Pritchett-Dunphy Family

Jay has a daughter from his first marriage named Claire.  Claire is a homemaker mom married to real estate agent Phil Dunphy who is the enthusiastic, “tries too hard”, self-professed cool dad to their three kids.  Their kids are:  Haley the eldest who is the stereotypical eye-rolling teenager, Alex the overachieving smart middle child and the youngest, Luke, who is somewhat offbeat and dim-witted.

Tucker-Pritchett Family

Claire has a close but sometimes a little competitive relationship with her younger brother, Mitchell who is a lawyer.  He has embraced a major life change when he and his free-spirit partner of five years, Cameron Tucker, adopted their Vietnamese baby, Lily Tucker-Pritchett. They’re learning all the parenting ropes as they go.

Season 2 Recap

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Season 2 ended with Jay’s birthday where he wanted nothing more than to go fishing on a lake.  But the family thought he wanted a big celebration and planned a perfect evening.  Things don’t go as planned and ended up with Jay trying to rescue various family members from the scrapes they got themselves in.  In the end Manny saves it (somewhat) by bringing everyone out to the pool so Jay can pretend to go fishing, which was what he wanted all along.  In the end, it’s all about the family being together celebrating.

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Although I would have preferred the previous episode (See You Next Fall) where Alex graduated to have been the Season Finale, it seemed more fitting… and even the title fits.  On the upside, I liked the video montage they kids made, it flashed parts of the different episodes throughout that season, sort of like a recap for the finale.

Season 2 also ended with Cam and Mitchell talking about adopting another kid.  Phil and Claire realize that their kids are growing up so fast, especially with Alex’ graduation from Middle School where she was the valedictorian.  The Delgado-Pritchett household gets a new dog.

Season 3

Modern Family TV Show Images (6) Cam and Mitchell pursue the adoption of a second child but this time it might not be an international baby.  They will show the whole adopting process as their 1st time only showed them taking home the baby.  They want to adopt a baby boy, although, Mitchell worries at first if he’s “macho” enough to do all the father/son type things.  Cam fears that Lily has become so close to him that she might not tolerate a new child in the house so he’s trying to sort of break himself of the Lily habit in one episode.  Series creator and show runner Steven Levitan has said that the adoption may not go as planned, Cam and Mithcell will go through a lot of ups and downs this season with a surprise ending that they won’t to reveal yet.  I’m guessing they might end up adopting an older kid.  Lily will be more prominent this season.   She’ll be almost 3, so she’ll be going to preschool and socializing more, Season 3 will definitely explore more with Lily.

Alex is now in high school with Haley.  That nice, genuine moment of peace they had in Alex’s graduation will be short-lived.  Haley is none too happy that they are now attending the same school.  They’ll find themselves in the same math class and “hating it.”  But they ultimately love each other and will help each other out.  The shared math class will become their mutual advantage.

Claire butts heads with a city councilman.  Maybe she’ll run against him?

We might be seeing again the absentee father, Javier Delgado, Manny’s Dad and Gloria’s 1st husband as Jay questions the stepdad-birth dad boundaries when it comes to Manny.  There will be some sort of competition between Jay and Javier for Manny.

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The family dynamics get shaken up during their Christmas outing where we’ll discover new dimensions within the family members.  Gloria will be paired off with Luke, Phil with Manny and Mitchell with Alex.

Season 3 Premiere

September 21, 2011 (WEDNESDAY), 9/8c on ABC

Season 3 Promo

Because one is just not enough…

Spoilers

  • David Cross (Arrested Development‘s) has a recurring role of a city councilman who goes toe-to-toe with Claire.
  • Leslie Mann (Knocked Up/40 Year Old Virgin) will guest star as a female bar-goer who flirts with Cam as part of a silly bet between Cam and Mitchell to see if Cam can both pass for a straight man and score the digits of a good looking lady.
  • Chazz Palminteri (The Usual Suspects) who played Jay’s friend whom Mitchell incorrectly pegged as gay in Season 1 will reprise his role who is now dating a vivacious brunette vixen, to be played by Jennifer Tilly.  Maybe he’s gonna ask Jay for some advice in dating a hot younger woman?
  • Gilles Marini (Brothers & Sisters) will guest star as Cam and Mitchell’s friend who they thought was gay but when he ends up with Claire, it’s revealed that he is, in fact, very, very straight.
  • Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon) will play the Dunphy’s neighbor who idolizes Phil.

Trivia

  • Eric Stonestreet who plays the flamboyantly gay Cam is actually straight in real life.  He has also created an auguste clown character named Fizbo when he was age eleven who he has brought to life in two episodes.
  • Nolan Gould who plays the somewhat dimwitted Luke Dunphy is actually an active Mensa member who loves to read.
  • Running gag in the show is the loose step in the stairs of the Dunphy house, every time Phil trips on it, he keeps saying he’s gonna fix it.
  • Another running gag is how Phil’s mom is never seen.  Kinda like in Frasier where the mom, Maris, was never shown.
  • A new kid was cast to play Lily in Season 3 as they needed a more “talkative” Lily with her starting pre-school and socializing more.  4-year-old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons will replace Jaden and Ella Hiller who has played Lily in Season 1 and 2.  Personally, I love the “stoic” and quiet Lily.  Her lack of reaction to her dads’ silliness and antics makes the scenes funnier and adds to the charm and quirkiness of the scenes.

Starring

  • Ariel Winter as Alex Dunphy
  • Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker
  • Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy
  • Sofía Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
  • Sarah Hyland as Haley Dunphy
  • Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett
  • Aubrey Anderson-Emmons as Lily Tucker- Pritchett
  • Nolan Gould as Luke Dunphy
  • Rico Rodriguez as Manny Delgado
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett
  • Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy

Official Site

http://abc.go.com/shows/modern-family