Created by: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd
Cast: Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rico Rodriguez, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould
Synopsis: It is hard to write a fresh synopsis for a series such as this one. A comedy of this nature changes little from season to season, with each subsequent episode being its own self-contained story. The fact that there are no major through line stories however is by no means a criticism. This show still has an exceptional hit rate for its humour, whether stories last one or just a couple of episodes.
It is very interesting for me to look back at my reviews for the previous two seasons of Modern Family. Both received five stars, but in hindsight after having seen this season, I feel that the Season 2 actually had a dip in quality, given how fantastic this season was. Seasons 1 and 3 are high quality bookends for a season that was not up to this shows usual standards. I think this is a reflection also, however, of the fact that this comedy is far superior to many others available today.
The show has certainly evolved, while maintaining true to its primary focus. Many episodes do feature at their core some general family oriented message, while piling on the laughs. The interactions within the family have now really evolved too, however. Previously humour was sourced from how different members of the family interacted due to their differences of age, nationality, and sexual orientation. By this season it is not an unfamiliar sight to see the entire extended family at a day by the pool, at breakfast, whatever. This has become a truly cohesive family unit, from which the comedy arises from personality quirks more so than obvious differences between characters. It is a very smart and natural evolution for the show.
Another difference keeping the show fresh is the new Lily. She has been aged a little bit so that she can now talk. This in itself was a very smart move. The young lady is still as cute as a button, but now there is a new element of seeing this child actually fully interact with her parents. It was also worth it for no other reason if not to see the episode that she picked up on the F-word, and was subsequently potty-mouthed flower girl. Absolutely priceless.
Even though there are not often any plots that last longer than an individual episode, there were a few attempts made at a couple of through-line stories, such as Claire’s attempt to run for local council, and Mitchell and Cam’s attempts to adopt a second child. Both stories led to some great moments for the series, especially Claire’s mishaps on election day, yet none of them overtook the whole show. Just like the broken step of the first season, it was always there but never in your face. This seems to give the shoe a lot of room to breathe, and pursue the best comic angle possible with every individual situation, without the show being straight-jacketed by the needs of a bigger scheme.
My Bride and I marathoned these episodes in a very short length of time due to the high entertainment value. This may be a show following a formula, but the writers are smart enough so far to never let it become dull. Kudos!!
5 stars out of 5
Season 3 promo [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSJbbh310Pg]