Plot: What’s it about?
Jay (Ed O’Neill) has recently married a beautiful woman named Gloria (Sofia Vergara), who happens to be quite younger than himself. She also has a young son named Manny, so Jay’s household has changed more than a little. At the same time, his daughter Claire (Julie Bowen) has her own house full of her own family, with her husband Phil (Ty Burrell) and their three children. But this family doesn’t end there, as Jay’s son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his partner Cam (Eric Stonestreet) have just adopted a young baby girl, Lily. As each family unit deals with the in-house issues that never seem to stop coming, they also have to face the larger concerns that impact all of them. As they all cope with life’s ups and downs, will their unique bond as family be enough to help them overcome?
Modern Family hit prime time television like an atomic bomb, becoming a smash sensation with both critics and viewers. This rare turn of events is unusual enough, but for a sitcom, almost impossible. But Modern Family is indeed the proof that the sitcom can still be both popular and skillfully crafted. This series is able to weave together so many threads of humor, each episode is just loaded with laughs from start to finish. The writing is intelligent, but never afraid to give us a silly moment or even poke fun at itself. The blend of genuine emotion and sarcasm is pitch perfect, a testament to the minds behind the scenes. The cast is spot on as well, with my own favorites being Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell. All three families provide ample entertainment, but the Dunphys always manage to steal the show for me. I had so much fun with this first season and given the show’s immense appeal across the board, this release is beyond highly recommended.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The show looked incredible in high definition when broadcast, but it looks even better here. The detail level is excellent, with even the most subtle of touches visible. The “documentary” visual approach does lead some visual quirks, but these are rare and are part of the show’s visual design. I found colors to be vivid and natural, while contrast is almost always dead on. The show looks fantastic here and fans are sure to be ecstatic.
Audio: How does it sound?
This show isn’t about high impact audio, but the DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack still sounds great. The focus is right where it should be, on the dialogue. The vocals are clear and crisp at all times, even under the breath comments are easy to hear. The surrounds don’t get used much, but some episodes do call for a slight punch-up at times. All in all, not a dynamic audio presence, but the show sounds terrific. This release also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As far as extras, each disc has a nice selection of deleted and extended scenes, which are fun to watch. You can also watch some brief featurettes, a gag reel, and some deleted family interviews.