Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Family Jules: A Childhood Without Tumbling?

Aaaaaaand we're back! It's been a while since the last Family Jules, and you may notice something has changed. I am proud to present to you a new name for these posts: Happy Family Jules. In addition to covering the latest episodes of Modern Family and Cougar Town, I'll be adding Happy Endings into the mix. It will be totally a-mah-zing, I promise.

The premieres for the three comedies are staggered—in fact, Cougar Town won't return until November—but we'll chug along like normal until everyone is on board. Happy Endings will be with us next week, so for today let's look at the best moments from the super-sized premiere for the two-time Outstanding Comedy Series winner, Modern Family.

Modern Family
Season 3, Episode 1: "Dude Ranch"
The Pritchett/Delgado/Dunphy/Tucker clan (plus Dylan) travel to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a vacation in the wilderness. Jay is upset that the cowboy guide is hitting on (a louder than usual) Gloria, Mitchell is worried he's not butch enough to raise a boy, Claire freaks out when Dylan proposes to Haley at the bonfire and Phil tries desperately to impress Jay with his cowboy skills. Meanwhile, Alex gets an unexpected first kiss and Luke is on a mission to blow something up with a firecracker.
"You might say we’re buying domestic." - Cam, who shouldn't talk about adopting from America like that in public.

"It’s just when you say 'Phil is my son-in-law,' it sounds like 'Phyllis, my son-in-law.'" - Phil, who practiced shooting, roping and pancake eating during his cowboy prep.

"It was supposed to be special; someone with a high GPA and bright future, not a Mario brother!" - Alex, who was perfectly happy reading Freakonomics by the pool before she got kissed.

"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." - Mitchell, who rebelled and blew up the bird feeder.

"I rode a horse for the first time today / wasn’t surprised when it went neigh." - Dylan, who has a fan in his room that sounds like crying.
Season 3, Episode 2: "When Good Kids Go Bad"
Claire goes out of her way (again) to prove that she is right about something, Cam and Mitchell try to figure out why Lily doesn't want a younger sibling, Luke moves up to the attic and Manny gets in trouble for stealing a locket at school.
"You think that all Colombians are criminals because the Colombian necktie is a symbol of violence all over the world?" - Gloria, who is very good at breaking into school lockers.

"There are very few parenting issues where I come out on top. I'm distant, I work too much, my french braiding is sloppy. Finally something that's not my fault!" - Mitchell, who doesn't like anyone eating his chicken or using his pillow or writing with his pen.

"Grandpa said you used to live in a closet." - Luke justifying his move to the attic to Mitchell.

"She looks like she was dipped in glue and dragged through a flea market." - Cam, who announced the news that he and Mitchell are going to adopt a boy by playing "Let's Here It for the Boy."

"A childhood without tumbling? You knew this and did nothing?" - Phil, who doesn't know what sunk the Titanic.
If we're being honest, I was underwhelmed by the Season 3 opener for Modern Family. Many of the jokes—especially in "Dude Ranch"—felt played out and stale, and Claire's story in both episodes pushed the "naggy mom" schtick to a place where she just came off as a bad person instead of a comedic character. My expectations could be a little high after the show swept the Emmys last weekend, but even still I'm hopeful that the show will be back in its prime soon.

What did you think of the season premiere? Are you sad we left Dylan in Wyoming? Do you like the new Lily? And what was your favorite line?
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