Three Dinners

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"Three Dinners"
Modern Family episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 13
Directed by Steven Levitan
Written by Abraham Higginbotham
Steven Levitan
Jeffrey Richman
Production code 5ARG15
Original air date January 22, 2014
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Under Pressure"
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Modern Family (season 5)
List of Modern Family episodes

"Three Dinners" is the thirteenth episode of the fifth season of the American sitcom Modern Family , and the series' 109th overall. It was aired on January 22, 2014. The episode was written by Abraham Higginbotham, Steven Levitan & Jeffrey Richman and directed by Steven Levitan.

<i>Modern Family</i> (season 5) season of television series

On May 10, 2013, Modern Family was renewed for a fifth season. The season premiered on September 23, 2013, and ended on May 21, 2014, with a total of 24 episodes.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

A sitcom, short for situation comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.

Contents

In the episode, Jay's friend Shorty and his wife arrive at the Pritchett house for a dinner where Shorty informs Jay and Gloria that he and his wife decided to move to Costa Rica, leading the two friends to argue. Mitchell and Cameron go out on a romantic dinner to distract themselves from the planning of their upcoming wedding. Phil and Claire go out for a dinner with Haley to discuss her future.

"Three Dinners" received positive reviews from the critics.

Plot

Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria (Sofia Vergara) host Shorty (Chazz Palminteri) and his wife, Darlene (Jennifer Tilly), for a dinner at their house. During the dinner, Shorty tells Jay and Gloria that they are moving to Costa Rica in a couple of weeks. Jay gets upset with the news and he does not know how to react. He tries everything to make Shorty change his mind but the two of them end up fighting with Shorty leaving the house. Gloria tries to make Jay admit that the reason he reacted that way is because he is afraid that Shorty will like Costa Rica and he will not come back. Even though Jay denies it, he later accepts the possibility of "losing" his best friend and gets very emotional when he tells him goodbye.

Ed ONeill American actor

Edward Leonard O'Neill is an American actor and comedian. His roles include Al Bundy on the Fox Network sitcom Married... with Children, for which he was nominated for two Golden Globes; and patriarch Jay Pritchett on the award-winning ABC sitcom Modern Family, a role for which he has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards and won four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Chazz Palminteri American actor, screenwriter and producer

Calogero Lorenzo "Chazz" Palminteri is an American actor, screenwriter, producer and playwright. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated role for Best Supporting Actor in Bullets over Broadway, the 1993 film A Bronx Tale, based on his play of the same name, Special Agent Dave Kujan in The Usual Suspects, Primo Sidone in Analyze This and his recurring role as Shorty in Modern Family.

Jennifer Tilly actress

Jennifer Tilly is an American-Canadian actress, voice actress, and poker player. She is most recognised as Tiffany Valentine in the Child's Play franchise (1998–). Her first notable acting role was on the sitcom Shaping Up (1984), which she followed with her film debut in No Small Affair the same year. She is known for her distinctive voice and comedic timing. Tilly is a World Series of Poker Ladies' Event bracelet winner, the first celebrity to win a World Series tournament. She is the older sister of actress Meg Tilly.

Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet), due to the stressed days they go through the last couple of months with the wedding planning, decide to go on a romantic date at a restaurant to reduce the tension between them. With the subject of the wedding and Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) out of the table, they do not have much to say. Things get more interesting when they start talking to the couple who is sitting next to them, Brandon (Eddie McClintock) and Katie (Leslie Grossman), and Brandon reveals to them that he wants to propose to Katie.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson American actor

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is an American actor. He is best known for portraying Mitchell Pritchett on the sitcom Modern Family (2009–present), which earned him five consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

Eric Stonestreet actor

Eric Allen Stonestreet is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for portraying Cameron Tucker in the ABC mockumentary sitcom Modern Family, for which he received two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series out of three nominations.

Aubrey Frances Anderson-Emmons is an American child actress, known for her role as Lily Tucker-Pritchett on ABC's Modern Family.

Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) decide to take Haley (Sarah Hyland) out for a dinner so they can discuss her future. They worry that she does not know or have any plan about her future, and they decide that it is time to get her to make plans. Haley deduces their intentions and why they asked her out and reveals that she has already become a semi-successful photo blogger. Things then get reversed when she asks them what are their plans for the future when all three of them (Alex (Ariel Winter), Luke (Nolan Gould), and herself) leave the house.

Ty Burrell American actor and comedian

Tyler Gerald Burrell is an American actor and comedian. He originally rose to prominence in several roles on Broadway including Macbeth, and the off-Broadway plays Corners, The Blue Demon, Burn This, and Show People.

Julie Bowen American actress

Julie Bowen Luetkemeyer, known professionally as Julie Bowen, is an American actress and model. She is best known for playing Aunt Gwen on Dawson's Creek (2000), Carol Vessey on Ed (2000–04), Denise Bauer on Boston Legal (2005–07), Sarah Shephard on Lost (2005–07), and Claire Dunphy on the comedy Modern Family. The last earned her six nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2010–2015), winning in 2011 and 2012.

Sarah Hyland American actress

Sarah Jane Hyland is an American actress. Born in Manhattan, Hyland attended the Professional Performing Arts School, followed by small roles in the films Private Parts (1997), Annie (1999), and Blind Date (2007). She is most popularly known for playing the character of Haley Dunphy on the ABC sitcom Modern Family.

Reception

Ratings

In its original American broadcast, "Three Dinners" was watched by 9.59 million; up 0.45 from the previous episode. [1]

Reviews

Joshua Alston of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+ rate saying: "...it’s a solid episode that does nothing to push against the show’s boundaries, but it was brisk and had some solid laughs. [...] In the first three seasons, “Three Dinners” would have been an average episode, but in season five, it’s pretty sterling." [2]

<i>The A.V. Club</i> Online newspaper and entertainment website

The A.V. Club is an online newspaper and entertainment website featuring reviews, interviews, and other articles that examine films, music, television, books, games, and other elements of pop culture media. The A.V. Club was created in 1993 as a supplement to The Onion, despite having a minimal presence on its website in its early years. A 2005 website redesign placed The A.V. Club in a more prominent position, allowing its online identity to grow. Unlike its parent publication, The A.V. Club is not satirical.

Leigh Raines from TV Fanatic rated the episode with 5/5 saying that the show "gave us one [dinner] that was surprising, one with difficult emotions and one that ended up really, really awkward." [3]

Madina Papadopoulos from Paste Magazine rated the episode with 9.2/10 saying: ""Three Dinners" could have been a stage play, and it would have received a standing ovation. [...] this episode proved that sedentary table talk can make you fall out of your chair with laughter." [4]

Jordan Alder from We Got This Covered gave a good review to the episode saying that "it is the finest episode of Modern Family this season and one of the best half-hours in the show’s run. Its structure is simple, its humour more refined and less shrill than typical for the sitcom, and the mix of drama with levity balances out just right" while praising the three writers "[It] feels less like an episode of a comedy series that’s been through 100 episodes, and more like short segments from a comedy play. That’s how sharp the writing is [...] The writers use a night out, paced and structured expertly as the characters examine the pace of their own lives at the current moment. It’s as lovely an episode from Modern Family as we have seen in years." [5]

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References

  1. Bibel, Sara (January 23, 2014). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Arrow' & 'The Middle' Adjusted Up; 'Modern Family' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers.
  2. Alder, Joshua (January 23, 2014). "Three Dinners". The A.V. Club.
  3. Raines, Leigh (January 23, 2014). "Modern Family Review: Dinner for Schmucks". TV Fanatic.
  4. Papadopoulos, Madina (January 23, 2014). "Modern Family Review: "Three Dinners" (Episode 5.13)". Paste Magazine.
  5. Alder, Jordan (January 23, 2014). "Modern Family Review: "Three Dinners" (Season 5, Episode 13)". We Got This Covered.