Modern Family Season Premiere Review: Cowboying Up

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As if the five Emmys and Sofia Vergara's gown didn't get you excited enough for the season three premiere of Modern Family, we got to travel with the family to Wyoming this week!

In "Dude Ranch", the Pritchett-Dunphy clan headed to Jackson Hole to get their cowboy on. There couldn't have been a more perfect setting for Phil to prove his manliness to Jay and for Mitchell to find some manliness of his own.

Modern Family Season 3 Premiere Pic

Now that Mitchell and Cam have officially decided to adopted a baby boy, Mitchell wanted to butch up a little bit so he could teach all the things to his son that he dad taught to Claire. I think Mitchell sold himself a little bit short here. After all, he's not the parent making glittered and animated scrapbooks for the adoption agency. So what if he can't play sports?

I almost forgot about the Phil/Dylan bromance until Phil popped his head into the campaign for Dylan to come on vacation. Claire may not like him, but, hey, Dylan said if Phil was out of the picture, he would gladly share her bed and help raise the children. How creepily sweet is that?

Well... it didn't help Dylan's case that he tried to propose to 17-year-old Hayley a few hours later. I was very amused, albeit not surprised, that Claire was the one who flipped out during the proposal and not Phil. Usually it's the father who is ready to throw down.

Then again, we all know it's Claire who wears the pants in the Dunphy family. Just like we know that Dylan would obviously use a trash bag as his luggage.

I would've given the premiere five stars if it weren't for how annoying the kid, who romanced Alex, was. What was with his Lucky Luciano wannabe accent? Granted, it wasn't as painful as Gloria's screaming, but Gloria gets a free pass because she's Gloria and she showed that horny cowboy who was boss.

By the way, did you all notice how much Alex enjoyed that kiss? Better watch out Dunphy family, Alex is about to be a freshman in high school and her hormones are raging!! Looks like Hayley might not be daughter one to worry about so much anymore.

And, with that, a look at the best Modern Family jokes from a fun opener?

Mitchell: I realized if I was gonna raise a boy, I was gonna have to butch up my life. I wanted to be able to teach all the things to my son that my dad taught... Claire. | permalink
Phil: Which one's "bossy?"
Cowboy: That's my nickname for your wife.
Phil: Haha awesome. | permalink
Mitchell: What's so great about destroying stuff?
Luke: It stuff into chunks of flying stuff! | permalink
Dylan: Just for the record Mrs. Dunphy, if Haley wasn't my girlfriend and Mr. Dunphy was out of the picture, I would be honored to share your bed and raise Luke, Alex and Hayley as my own. | permalink
Phil: I've been practicing like crazy all of my cowboy skills, shootin', ropin', pancake eatin'. Why? Because sometimes I feel like Jay doesn't respect me as a man. | permalink


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (69 Votes)

I think the episode was amazing, and that the old Lily was very boring an unresponsive, not in a funny way


I'm withholding my disappointment for now. The show has been so consistently great that I think it deserves a chance to get on its feet. The new Lily may grow on us - you never know. (And you'd DEFINITELY not know, if we had to judge her by this episode). I also liked the fact that the characters were consistent. We knew Mitchell tended to overly-mother Lilly last season - and that forms the basis for one of the problems they encountered in this episode. Brilliant.


Very dissapounted in the new Lilly. But I knew I would be since I loved the old Lilly as much as all the other characters. I am quite disappointed that they believed she was replaceable. She was part of the magic chemistry and now it is way off kilter in the Tucker-Pritchet scenes. Still love the show, but Jay and the Dunphys and the kids (except Lilly) are starting to out shine Gloria and the Tucker-Pritchets which is the opposite of the first season and much of the second. Unfortunately, the new Lilly seems to do nothing to remedy that. Quite the opposite.


This was a very disapointing premiere. I can't believe I waited in anticipation for this. I used to love the show and laughed hysterically each episode. The well written humor of past seems to have gone away for now replaced with slapstick antics via Lily and Gloria. These two get very tiring fast. Gloria is best administered in small doses and Lily is best a silent character. At least if the humor doesn't make me dizzy, the constant movement of the camera certainly will.


Absolutely wrong about the Alex's love interest kid. He is an incredible actor, believed every word he said. In my opinion, the Alex portion with her new boy was the most genuine part of the episode.


Very dull episodes. I completely agree the new Lily was terribly annoying. I thought this show was genius the first year (especially when Ty Burrell hit his stride, he evolved brilliantly). It was uneven, but still good last year. I'll watch a few more episodes, but this was not a promising start to the third season.


Personally, I enjoyed this episode. I got shocked with the change in the kid playing Lily though. Not too fond of her cause she doesn't come out as cute anymore but I think they changed her so that Lily's character could be included in dialogues now. They could've paced that transition more smoothly though. Gloria's humor might be the same premise they've been using since the beginning but we have to admit that it doesn't really get old. Sofia Vergara pulls it off and produces a lot of laughs with it.


very disappointing premier, the new lily is beyond annoying, they should have left it alone. 1st lily was one of the best parts of the show. The way she stared at all their antics in silence was hysterical.


Yeah... GLORIA DOES NOT GET A FREE PASS! I would love to know why this show keeps falling back on the extremely unfunny and overused 'Gloria is loud and doesn't pronounce words correctly' premise. It got tired after the first episode and they try to shove it down our throats almost every episode. It's not funny and they need to stop. I seriously considered switching channels after the first five minutes because it got so bad.


Great episode, but it saddens me that we may never see Dylan again.

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Modern Family Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Look I'm the horse whisperer but something is making this one skittish!

Gloria [screaming]

Cam: You hate her sparkly outfit, don't you?
Mitchell: No I told you it was fine, I just didn't like you wearing a matching one.