September 22nd, 2011
02:31 PM ET
After another great night at the Emmys, it was time for our favorite family to return on Wednesday night, and none too soon.
The season premiere of "Modern Family" was two back-to-back episodes, and though I somewhat preferred the first one over the second, they were both solid, showing once again why it's one of the most consistently funny shows on TV.
In the first episode, they took a trip to a Wyoming dude ranch, where Mitchell had reservations about adopting a boy (and wanted to use this opportunity to find his more manly side). Jay was fending off a ranch hand making passes at Gloria, Alex had a summer romance, Phil was hamming it up as usual (with cowboy skills like "shootin', ropin', pancake eatin'"), and Claire was this close to wishing that Haley's dim boyfriend Dylan would walk off a cliff.
This episode was just as good as the last on location one in Hawaii, but let's take a moment to mourn the fact that Dylan may no longer be in our lives – he took a job on the ranch, to Claire's relief (that ill-advised marriage proposal was the last straw). Poor, dumb Dylan.
My favorite moments, though, had to be Jay's struggles with the horse, to the point where he had to ride on the same horse with Phil in order to rescue his wife from the flirtatious ranch hand. So, Jay gets the first MVP award of the season (plus, much as I love Ty Burrell, I think the Emmy should have gone to Ed O'Neill).
The second episode focused more on the new Lily (who is apparently three now?... but looks five). Now that Mitchell is on board with a boy, she's the one who needs convincing. However, the highlight of all of this was Cam's "low key" announcement involving "Let's Hear it for the Boy" that went horribly awry.
Alex and Haley's scheme to get Luke to live up in the attic was a bit too cliche, family-sitcom-y for my taste, however. That being said, I have to agree with co-creator Steve Levitan's Emmy night shout-out to the consistently great work done by the kids on this show.
Plus, it did give us this line from Luke to Mitchell: "At least [the attic is] big. Grandpa said you used to live in a closet." Not to mention Alex's request to Haley to "L a little less O L."
The script was terrific, in general, in the way that it tied in Claire's need to be right with Jay's towards the very end.
All in all, I'm thrilled for this season, and happy to see that it's still at the top of its game.
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