The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2009
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 518 minutes
Genre: TV Comedy
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Julie Bowen, Ed O'Neill, Sophia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ariel Winter, Rico Rodriguez
Directed by: Jason Winer, Michael Spiller, Reginald Hudlin
Music by: Gabriel Mann
Written by: Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 21, 2010
"One big (straight, gay, multi-cultural, traditional) happy family"
Modern Family takes a refreshing and funny view of what it means to raise a family in this hectic day and age. Multi-cultural relationships, adoption, and same-sex marriage are just a few of the timely issues faced by the show's three wildly-diverse broods. No matter the size or shape, family always comes first in this hilariously modern look at life, love, and laughter.
In my house we have watched Modern Family right from the first episode (the pilot) and have been hooked ever since. Similar to other comedy based TV series it is told from a mockumentary viewpoint via interviews and a fly on the wall perspective that closely examines the familial dynamic that surrounds Jay Pritchett, his daughter Claire, son Mitchell and their respective families as a whole. Jay is a sixty something divorcee who recently remarried a much younger (and attractive) woman named Gloria who has a preteen aged son named Manny. Jay's daughter Claire is married to Phil, a real estate agent, and they have three children, Haley, Alex, and Luke. Jay's son Mitchell lives with his life partner Cameron (Cam), is a successful attorney, and along with Cam has recently adopted a Vietnamese baby girl named Lily. Modern Family isn't a conceptually original program in execution but there is no denying that it's wonderfully rounded characters and situational involvement as it pertains to the interactions of the three families is fresh, funny and gratifying.
Ed O'Neil is pitch perfect as Jay, the gruff family patriarch and everyman (you know drinks beer, loves football, sees the world as his oyster) who struggles against the tide of a beautiful new wife from a completely different culture and the inherent complexities of living with a know it all preteen with issues of insecurity. Meanwhile he has two grown children with issues of their own whose behavior has the power to remind him that perhaps he could have been and should be more of a supportive parent. While that sounds great in theory Jay is proof that when it comes to practicing it he has a tough row to hoe, just ask Manny. It's easy to empathize with Mitchell, especially in light of his interesting childhood as a gay son to Jay. He suffers from a bit of an inferiority complex with respect to his relationship with his father and feels that sister Claire is an overly critical perfectionist who looks down her nose at him. He and partner Cameron are a great match. Cam is flamboyant, creative, and athletic (sort of) but lacks planning/organizational skills. Mitchell isn't much for sports, likes to play things close to the vest, and is good at making things come together. Occasionally their attributes and negatives cross over or fail altogether but there is no doubt about their fervent love for one another or their new daughter. Claire would like everyone on the outside looking in to see her as a devoted mother, loving wife to a doting husband and the glue that keeps her family together. In reality Claire strives to overachieve and typically struggles to maintain balance in her household. She has a bit of a turbulent relationship with oldest teenage daughter Haley, doesn't understand middle daughter Alex, and often contends with Luke's acting out/behavioral issues. Husband Phil is generally little help and in most instances functions at a parental level that makes him little more than a fourth child but in a lovable open mouth insert foot sort of way.
Take all of these elements and blend them together in a rotating familial hierarchy that exposes the underbelly of a quirky but loving group of people that can't help but get on one another's nerves from time to time. Everyone takes a turn in the barrel and the results can be uproariously funny and heartwarming. The genuine chemistry among the cast shines through brilliantly. The one on one character interviews which support the episode plotline but can often be related solely to a specific scene are wonderfully integrated and lend a perspective that almost always add to the fun. I like the idea that the show revolves almost entirely around the three families and how well the storylines that do involve outsiders are interwoven while maintaining that cohesiveness. What I think makes Modern Family so endearing how in tune the writing is. In listening to the show's creators/writers they talk about how many of the show's elements are taken from their own familial experiences. In their capable hands entire episodes are derived from a singular home spun moment. Of course there is also fiction based on satire/societal situations, light but evocative drama, and stereotypical narratives that never feel contrived.
I thought about coming up with a best moment from the season list but quite frankly there are too many. To say that I like Modern Family would be an understatement. It features a terrific cast and has an endearing charm that keeps fans tuning in each week for more. Season one is chock full of laugh out loud situations, and heartwarming moments that send a positive message about love, mutual respect and family. Modern Family Season one's 24 episodes are spread over three BD-50 Blu-ray discs with the bulk of the bonus features contained on disc three. Not to be missed Modern Family makes for great family entertainment and is one of the best new shows on television.
Modern Family contains mild thematic material.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Modern Family Season One comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 Mbps.
This video presentation is reminiscent of the show's broadcast high definition quality and looks terrific on Blu-ray. Primary colors are cleanly rendered, lustrous and eye catching. The extensive palette of secondary hues used in the interior settings that comprise the three family homes are vivid and warm. Fleshtones have a copper toned complexional quality that while noticeable never ventures outside of appearing natural. Resolution is excellent as images have crisp definition, revealing subtle delineation, and definitive long range acuity. Blacks are strong and depth of field in low level shots is appreciable. Sharpness fluctuates here and there but fidelity is never in question. This is a faithful and pristinely rendered high definition presentation that won't disappoint.
The multi-channel lossless audio won't test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivers the elements present in the show's soundtrack. Dialogue is tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamics are punchy and bass response is appropriate and provides extension of the main channels that predominantly supports the music. The front channels handle the bulk of the audio and presented a wide two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambient detail that adds depth. I think the mix mates perfectly with the source material and sounds great.
- (HD) Deleted/Extended/Alternate scenes on select episodes
- (HD) Deleted family interviews
- (HD) Gag reel - 5 minutes
- (HD) Real Modern Family moments - 10 minute featurette
- (HD) Before Modern Family - 12 minute featurette
- (HD) Fizbo The Clown - featuring Eric Stonestreet - 4 minutes
- (HD) The making of Modern Family: Family portrait episode - 9 minute featurette
- (HD) Modern Family Hawaii - 5 minute featurette
Modern Family is simply one of the best new shows on prime time. Its endearing charm, intelligently crafted/genuine humor, and rewarding characters are made all the better by a wonderful cache of actors that keep audiences tuning in each week. Its inaugural season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox in a fan friendly offering that features rewarding audio/video quality and an entertaining set of bonus supplements. We are big fans and look forward to the debut of Season two which begins this week. If you haven't yet seen Modern Family I suggest you give it a try. Highly Recommended.
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