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Modern Family centres around three families that are interrelated through Jay Pritchett, a granddad and patriarch married to a much younger woman, Gloria. Jay’s daughter Claire is a homemaker married to estate agent and self-professed ‘cool dad’ Phil, while his son Mitchell is a gay lawyer who has an adopted Vietnamese daughter Lily with partner Cameron...
The third season of Modern Family has a number of story arcs running through it. These include Cameron and Mitchell attempting to adopt another child; Claire running for town councilor; and Haley trying to get into college.
The show has a mockumentary slant to it, where occasionally we'll see some of the family members discussing their concerns to camera. It's a format that works incredibly well, without feeling forced. One of the most impressive aspects of the show is just how good the child actors are - easily holding their own against the adults.
Highlights this season (although to be fair there isn't one bad episode in this collection) include:
Treehouse, in which Phil tries a little father/son bonding with Luke by building him a treehouse, badly. To help Haley with her essay on "obstacles", Claire comes up with an ingenious solution. And Cameron picks up a hot woman in a bar to prove he is attractive to both sexes.
Express Christmas: When the families realise that they won't be together on Christmas Day, in fact the only day they'll be together is today - 16 December - they decide to have an "express Christmas" that evening.
Little Bo Bleep, sees Cameron and Mitchell being invited to a tacky wedding. Lily is to be a flower girl, but her sudden interest in swearing might be a problem on the big day.
Send out the Clowns: An old clown buddy of Cameron dies and at the funeral Cameron and his old double act clown partner decide to give their act another go. Meanwhile Manny has become extremely popular with the school's cool kid. Jay thinks it's because the kid thinks he's a cool dad, but it soon becomes obvious that Gloria is the real reason the kid is popping round.
The Last Wait: When Luke's senior citizen neighbour, and friend, Walt dies, Claire is concerned that Luke isn't bothered by his passing. Meanwhile, Cameron's dad is paying a visit.
Disneyland, sees the families visiting Disneyland for the day. Finally Luke is tall enough to ride the big rides, but Phil discovers he no longer has the stomach for roller coasters.
Extras on disc one include Deleted and Alternate Scenes (5 min, 08 sec); Destination Wyoming (9 min, 21 sec behind the scenes look at the opening episode of season three); A Day on the Set with Ty (5 min, 25 sec look at a day on set with the actor who plays Phil); and Adventures of the Modern Family Kids (3 min, 27 sec featurette which follows the kids as they take part in some off-set activities while in Wyoming).
On disc two we get Deleted and Alternate Scenes (9 min, 19 sec); A Modern Family Christmas (5 min, 46 sec behind the scenes look at the Express Christmas episode); Driving Lessons (2 min, 49 sec behind the scenes look at the scene in which Luke and Manny drive Jay's car to impress a girl Manny likes); and Ed O'Neill gets a Star (16 min, 06 sec look at the ceremony for O'Neill's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame).
Finally, the extras on disc three include Deleted and Alternate Scenes (7 min, 22 sec); Modern Family Goes to Disneyland Resort (3 min, 05 sec behind the scenes look at the episode Disneyland); and Gag Reel (8 min, 32 sec outtakes - much better than the usual gag reels we're used to on DVD releases).
The third season of Modern Family keeps hitting the ball out of the park. There's still plenty of life left in the series, and I'm looking forward to catching up with the family once again in season four.