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'Modern Family' season 6 premiere recap: The honeymoon is over

Season 6 | Episode 1 | “The Long Honeymoon” | Aired Sept 24, 2014

In case you have been in hiding since 2009, a comedy series (that is NOT The Big Bang Theory) has won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for five consecutive years, among many other notable achievements. That very same show premiered its much-anticipated sixth season last night. Ladies and gentlemen, Modern Family is finally back in our lives!

Like many people, I was once very well aware of Modern Family’s critical and commercial success … yet I did not watch a single episode until 2012. My wife happened to catch a repeat and was convinced that it was right up my alley. I was incredibly disappointed that I’d waited so long to watch, especially considering how much I love Ed O’Neill in everything he has ever done. What I am really trying to say is that it is not too late to join the family and enjoy this clever treasure of a show with the rest of us!

If you are trying to avoid spoilers, turn back now!

Unsurprisingly, Modern Family returns with a pretty great episode. All three of the main storylines are fun and share a common theme of each family dealing with the un-ordinary. The writers really juggle the storylines so well on this show, tying them together perfectly by each episode’s end. That is one of my favorite qualities about this show.

Let’s launch this recap off starting in the Dunphy home. Am I alone in thinking that it is kind of strange to see the Brady Bunch–esque lifestyle that the Dunphys are living without Alex (Ariel Winter)? Yikes! Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) sums it up perfectly when he asks Claire (Julie Bowen) if they are high. It is incredibly entertaining to watch everyone so happy (there were even butterflies flying above the breakfast table). It doesn’t take long to realize that the reason for their ecstasy is that Alex was away. The poor middle child always gets the shaft.

Anyway, with Alex away saving the world, Phil (Ty Burrell) actually gets to bedazzle the others with magic while also enjoying a hot streak of the most tasty plums he has ever had (not a single bad one!). Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Luke (Nolan Gould) strangely get along, going as far as playfully calling each other “my lady” and “kind sir.” Claire is not uptight whatsoever and even loves Phil’s magic.

When Alex prematurely arrives home, naturally, all hell breaks loose. Instant fighting, poorly performed magic, a rogue bat flying through the house, fiery books, and a bad plum are just a few of the typical Dunphy antics that return with the youngest daughter. The family tries to get Alex to go back to her humanitarian project with trickery, playing on her ambitious side. When Haley lets it slip that Alex ended their perfect summer, Alex furiously threatens to leave. Claire has the bright idea of placing a wet book in the oven to dry (really?), causing smoke to pour into the kitchen. Alex points it out and stops the ensuing fire. Amidst all the chaos, the Dunphys come to their senses, leading Luke to proclaim that they need at least one adult in the household.

Mitch and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) have been back from their honeymoon for some time, but it seems that Mitch was the only one who actually left it. Cam is going above and beyond with performing the romantics for his new hubby, including a house full of flowers (and bees, according to Lily). So much so, in fact, that Mitch is getting terribly annoyed with it. That is clear from the first shot of the episode. They are one mind, one heart, and one chair during the interview/confession.

Things take a turn for the worse when Cam surprises Mitch by showing up at a work mixer where family was not invited. Cam continues to uncomfortably push the honeymoon behavior in public, embarrassing Mitch so much that he asks Cam to tone it down. Cam leaves immediately after.

Mitch arrives back at home to Cam throwing flowers away while hilariously repeating, “He loves me not …” As Mitch chases Cam through the house in an attempt to apologize, he spots several romantic (and slightly creepy) gestures. Who doesn’t make montages of their significant other sleeping, right? Mitch promises to try to be more romantic and all is back on track for the newlyweds.

Gloria (Sofia Vergara) is upset that Jay (Ed O’Neill) is no longer trying to be attractive for her. He is wearing Mr. Magoo–style glasses and dressing his age, which actually stems from two younger guys laughing at him while he was shopping at Barneys one day to stay current. Jay turns it around on Gloria, stating that he wishes that she would take less time to get ready because he loves her the way she is.

She makes him pay for that quickly by showing how dressed down she can be. She goes as far as wearing ragged clothes, poorly applying lipstick, and donning a fanny pack! That’s right, a fanny pack. That is the last straw for Jay, who admits he loves that she always presents herself so well. They agree to keep trying for each other no matter how old they get.

While I think that the episode as a whole is strong, I love the Colombian subplot. I could not stop laughing every time they said “Hello” to whoever was in front of them. On top of that, Jay and Manny are so bummed when they get stuck talking to them (or looking at them, according to Jay, since he doesn’t know Spanish). The funniest moment by far is when Manny unknowingly opens the refrigerator to the chanting of his name, sparking a bewildered look and a sigh of disbelief. Fantastic.

The ending tag is clever as well. It shows scattered clips from Haley’s blog as the viewers/subscribers numbers climb. She has no idea that she continuously left it on record. It goes from her spilling ice cream on her chest to doing yoga. We even get to see that Claire occasionally tries Haley’s clothes on, and Phil likes stripping in the kitchen.

If I had to put a score on this episode, I’d probably give it a solid four out of five stars. While it isn’t as memorable as some of the past season premieres, it has enough heart, comedy, and Colombians to fully please its fans. Once again, I’m thrilled that Modern Family is back to entertain us.

Favorite Quotes

“I sure do miss when this house wasn’t full of bees.” —Lily

“Oh my God!” —Phil (every time he had a good plum)

“Manny, why you freeze the Colombians?” —Gloria

“Are we almost done with fairy time? I just want to get out of this costume.” —Lily

“You can’t leave us. We’re a danger to ourselves. We’re a family of fire starters, poison eaters, and online prostitutes.” —Phil

“All these years, you’re telling me you can get ready that fast?” —Jay

What did you think of the season 6 premiere? Let us know in the comments! If you happen to see something in my reviews that you like or want more of, please feel free to comment. I love feedback, so I hope to hear from you. Thanks for reading!

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9/8C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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