‘Modern Family’ Season 3, Episode 1, Premiere: TV Recap

The "City Slickers" sets and costumes may have been reused 20 years later for the season premiere of "Modern Family," which was set on — yup — a dude ranch. It’s called recycling, people.

Last season, a similar three-family vacation in Hawaii didn’t go so smoothly. Jay stared down his own mortality. Haley got horribly drunk. Mitchell and Cameron had a serious philosophical disagreement about the nature of vacation (manic sightseeing vs. zen). And they lost Lily. Luke and Manny shared a room and bickered like Oscar and Felix. It all ended completely normally, with a beach-side wedding ceremony for Claire and Phil, set to the dulcet tones of an island-infused rendition of "Eye of the Tiger." So what could go wrong on this vacation? Well, a lot.

This time, a dude ranch was a fitting scene for tonight’s hour-long episode, which centered around the theme of not feeling enough like a man.

Phil is forever feeling emasculated by his man’s man father-in-law, and this time he tries to prove his mettle by riding horses and skeet shooting. Even on the plane, Phil was wearing a cowboy hat. (So did Cameron, who also donned a fringe-accented leather jacket.) Phil confessed that leading up to the vacation, he practiced shooting, roping and pancake eating — all the core cowboy skills. Read More...



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