Editor: Please welcome guest author Daniel Staten who will take on the dangerous duty of reviewing ABC’s popular sit-com The Middle.

The Middle follows the Heck family. They’re an all-American, middle-class family with everyday common struggles. The show is back for season three on ABC’s Wednesday night comedy lineup. This season’s opener features a cameo by Ray Romano that reunites him with Heck family matriarch Frankie, played by Patricia Heaton.

It’s the first day of school for Axl, Sue and Brick and as Frankie and Mike usher their kids off to class, Frankie begins to reminisce about the family’s summer bonding experience, or as most of us know it, vacation. After seeing neighborhood families travel to the beach, Wisconsin, and conveniently, Walt Disney World, Frankie decides that the Heck family needs a “quick and cheap” vacation to call their own. Mike, in his gruff and earnest way suggests the family go camping. In spite of the kid’s collective groans, they pack up the car and head out.

Ed: Please welcome back Adam Britten. I promise to get him a full user account for the next recap.

After taking another short hiatus, Modern Family returned last night for “The Musical Man.”  This episode introduced us to Jay’s brother Donnie, played by Jonathan Banks. Their storyline revolved around the fact that Donnie and Jay have some distance between them due to poor communication.  The only times they talk, they are either picking on each other or making a joke. (Too similar to the relationship between Phil and his dad, if you ask me.)

Speaking of Phil, he’s taken the initiative to increase his “brand awareness” as a Realtor by wrapping the Dunphy’s minivan with an advertisement, complete with a picture of the whole family.  (Claire and Haley actually end up on opposite sides of the car, with the rest of the family on the back – this is where it gets funny.)  As Claire and Haley are driving through town, several cars honk while passing by.  Claire dismisses it, not realizing that the text near the picture is….suggestive.  Phil’s phone is ringing off the hook, and of course he thinks that people are calling to look at a house, and later finds out what’s going on when people start asking for “the hot blonde.”  Claire, who has been upset that her better years might be behind her, has her confidence boosted by the fact that she received more calls than Haley.

Meanwhile, Cameron is deeply invested in turning a middle school concert into a full-blown spectacle.  He has been named interim musical director of Franklin Middle School, and he decides to finally give their show some “flare” and a theme.  The show has been rebranded as “a musical trip around the world” and Cameron is prepared to teach the entire set before the performance that night.  Of course, disaster ensues during the production.  Luke is stuck hanging in a harness above the stage, even while saying the line “learning about the world was fun, but I’m glad to have my feet back on the ground.”  Cameron directed the children to hold up letter cards which would spell out “WE LOVE THE WORLD.” Luke’s absence combined with Franklin’s insignia being lowered into just the right spot caused the children to actually spell out “WE LOVE THE F WORD.”

Back to Jay’s brother, who we find out has cancer.  This causes Jay to treat him differently, which upsets Donnie.  The brothers agree to resume their normal relationship, which is sealed by Jay punching Donnie in the stomach.

Yes, this episode was funny. Generally, every episode of Modern Family has that quality. However, I do not think this episode was as good as the previous episode, or the ones before that.  What did you think of “The Musical Man?”

Adam Britten is a student social media strategist and marketing major at Syracuse University.  Read about him more at www.AdamBritten.com or @AdamBritten.

Don’t miss the memorable quotes below the cut:

Ed: I’d like to welcome guest author Adam Britten who reviews the most recent episode of ABC’s hit show Modern Family:

Every time that Modern Family takes a few weeks off, I feel like I’m missing something. The family was back this week, and they were back with another bang. One of the best parts of this episode is that it brought out a lot of previously unseen character pairings that were very pleasant. Nathan Lane returns to add some flair to Boys’ Night, delivering the kind of quality I’ve grown to expect from the series.

Mitchell and Cameron are going out for an evening with their friends, and Haley offers to babysit Lily. She’s bored because she’s grounded. While the guys are out, Cameron calls Haley because he’s seen a guy walk through the living room. (He saw it on his phone, but through the open laptop on the counter. I love how Modern Family throws in tech-inspired things like that.) Of course, it’s Dylan. Haley throws a fit saying that Cameron was accusing her of something, and she makes Dylan leave. But he leaves behind his shoes. Busted.