Blu-ray
Highly Recommended
4 stars
Overall Grade
4 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
4.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
4 Stars
Supplements
3 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Highly Recommended

Modern Family: The Complete Second Season

Street Date:
September 20th, 2011
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
September 21st, 2011
Movie Release Year:
2010
Studio:
20th Century Fox
Length:
528 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

'Modern Family' just picked up its second Emmy for best comedy series this past awards show. While a lot of people don't put too much stock in the Emmys, this is actually a sign of staying power for the ABC comedy that will be starting its third season this month. Going up against audience-loved juggernauts like 'Glee ,' 'Modern Family ' still manages to win. That's because 'Modern Family' truly is the funniest show on television. It's managed to stay fresh, funny, and original through two seasons. It's taken the best aspects of 'Arrested Development' and 'The Office,' mixed them together, and come up with a sitcom that puts many other TV comedies to shame.

The thing I love so much about 'Modern Family' is that the show knows and understands its characters. Yes, some of them may be stereotypical, like Cam (Eric Stonestreet), for instance, but the writers actually mold any character clichés into strengths. In order to not come across as completely stereotyped, characters are given just enough quirks and eccentricities to wind up being endlessly enjoyable.

Season two lives up to the high bar that was set by season one. Somehow the writers have pumped out 24 more hilarious, all-too-real episodes that are enormously entertaining. Phil (Ty Burrell) is still trying desperately to get his father-in-law Jay (Ed O'Neill) to like him. Phil has gradually become one of my favorite characters. He reminds me of a cross between Michael Scott and John Dorian from 'Scrubs.' He's eternally optimistic, but endlessly trying to be the cool guy on the block. Phil's wife Claire (Julie Bowen) tries her hardest this season to step out of the ever-growing, well-endowed, shadow of her father's new wife Gloria (Sofía Vergara). When Gloria accidentally usurps Claire's power as the school dance coordinator hilarious hijinks ensue. Better yet are the kids. Haley (Sarah Hyland) has really come into her own in this season, especially the episode where the family gives up electronics. Luke (Nolan Gould), my perennial favorite, has more classic situations and lines in this season. He's the dumb but loveable son who is a constant source of laughs whenever he spouts out uninformed information. When Luke is banned from playing Plants vs. Zombies he counters with: "But you learn about plants, and plants are life. Are you against life?" Hard to argue against such impenetrable logic. Cam and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) are met with the ever-increasing hassles that come with raising a baby. When their young daughter Lily starts biting children on the playground, Cam throws together a snappy little song that's sure to help.

Take a bite of an apple, take a bite of a pear
Take a bite of a cookie that you left over there
Here’s one thing that you should never do:
Don’t bite Taylor or Brandon or Sue.
Because people aren’t food
People aren’t food
Your friends will run away if they’re scared of being chewed.
And as a side note:
Private parts are private

It's really hard not to love this show, its characters, and its writing. Everything meshes together so well. It flows just as smoothly as 'Arrested Development' did. Its perfect pacing allows it to tell numerous separate stories fitting in as many jokes as possible. Inside jokes are carried throughout the episodes adding another layer of fun for fans of the show.

Now that we're done with season two and starting up season three, you already know if you're a fan of the show. However, this isn't like other TV shows. You can join in now and still find the series hilarious. You may not catch all the inside jokes, but you'll still be enjoying one of the funniest shows on TV.

There isn't a specific episode of season two that I can point to that felt flat or unoriginal. They all have hidden gems of humor inside of them. This is a show for anyone who loved 'Arrested Development' and would love to have something similar in their lives. Season two is just as good as season one.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

20th Century Fox has released 'Modern Family' on three 50-GB Blu-ray discs. This 3-disc set is housed inside of a standard keepcase with a swinging disc hub that holds discs one and two back to back, while the third disc rests in its own hub inside the back cover. Even though the first season came complete with a slipcover, this one does not (at least with the review copy I got), which is a little annoying if you're looking for your sets to match while sitting on your shelf. The back of the case has this set listed as a Region A release. There is a Season Play option that you can select where it will remember where you left off while you were watching the season and pick right back up in that same spot.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

I could copy and paste my review of season one here, because the visuals in season two are just as fabulous. The 1080p image provided by Fox is clean, clear, and very concise. 'Modern Family' is an understated comedy with real world settings, so there isn't a lot of eye-candy type spectacle going on here, but the picture you get is a perfect definition of high-def.

What I was struck by first and foremost was the immaculate detail contained in every scene. The scenes where characters are driving in their cars are actually the most telling, because you can see little specks of dust and dirt on their windshield. They're so realistic, my wife and I actually thought there was something on the TV. Textures are always visible, you can see the woven threads of the Dunphy's couch, along with the satin sheen of Gloria's many low-cut dresses.

The show is bursting with loads of color, whether it be the garish shirts Cam wears or his Fizbo the Clown outfit. The colors are fresh and vivid. Skin tones are always right on. I didn't notice any technical anomalies. Even the many vertically striped shirts that Cam wears are free from aliasing – which is much more than I can say about the limited bandwidth TV broadcast. This is a step up from the cable signal in every single way.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

Like so many handheld camera comedies, the audio design is specifically front-heavy. That's just the way it is. 'Modern Family' doesn't call for a lot of audio pyrotechnics to keep us interested. That said, the nuances that this mix picks up far and away make up for the lack of action going on.

Dialogue is always clear. This isn't just a matter of hearing every conversation, but every hushed sarcastic whisper from characters as they comment on what's happening under their breath. Often the best jokes are said in voices that aren't supposed to be heard by the rest of the characters. It's important that the audio mix make those clear and intelligible. If they weren't it'd be hard to hear almost any of the hilarious jokes Luke makes.

LFE is light, but does kick in during the boisterous theme song. It also gets a bit of play during the earthquake episode as cabinets fall over and the ground shakes with a low rumble. Surrounds have a good amount of ambience, and pick up Gloria's voice perfectly as she yells "Jay!" through their cavernous, echo-filled modern house. The mix on season two is every bit as nuanced and well-rounded as season one.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

Disc 1

  • Deleted Family Interviewsn (HD, 4 min.) – These are on every disc. Here you get to see interviews with the characters that didn't make it into the final episode cuts. Sometimes they're extended from interviews you saw, other times they're entirely new. Good thing is that they're often funny, and show the actors' abilities to ad-lib their scenes.

  • Deleted/Extended Scenes (HD, 10 min.) – There are also extended/deleted scenes on every disc. Although it's a little hard to place where each scene would go, since they're all clumped together, they're still well-written finished pieces that add even more to the show. I can always have more Phil.

  • "Strangers on a Treadmill" Table Read (HD, 37 min.) – The fourth episode in the season is put on display in front of a live audience. The entire cast sits up on stage acting out and reading the script for the episode. It's pretty fun to see what good actors they really are, able to switch on their characters at a moment's notice. Especially the kids.

  • Mitch's Flash Mob (HD, 3 min.) – Behind-the-scenes footage of the flash mob that the show created in "Our Children, Ourselves."

Disc 2

  • Deleted Family Interviews (HD, 5 min.) – Some more great interviews that were deleted from the show. They're definitely worth a watch.

  • Deleted/Extended Scenes (HD, 11 min.) – More deleted scenes. Highlights include Mitchell getting ribbed by Cam and Cam's mother and an extended scene of Phil throwing away his girly sweatshirt and then going back to pick it out of the trash.

  • "Imagine Me Naked" Music Video (HD, 4 min.) – Reid Ewing, who plays Haley's boyfriend Dylan, gives his best Aldous Snow impression by performing his song "Imagine Me Naked" in music video form.

Disc 3

  • Deleted Family Interviews (HD, 2 min.) – A few more interviews that weren't included in the final cuts.

  • Deleted/Extended Scenes (HD, 1 min.) – A short deleted scene with Clair and Phil.

  • Gag Reel (HD, 8 min.) – As far as gag reels go this is actually pretty funny, minus all the filler footage from the show stuck in to pad out the running time for some reason.

  • 'Modern Family' Holidays (HD, 13 min.) – Cast and crew interviews about the different holidays highlighted on the show and why they decided to showcase them. They talk about the Mother's Day episode, Valentine's Day, and Halloween. Get ready for the reemergence of one Clive Bixby!

  • Waiting for Oprah (HD, 4 min.) – Behind-the-scenes footage of a crew from 'Oprah' that came to film the 'Modern Family' crew before they were on 'Oprah.'

  • Chatting with Steve Levitan (HD, 4 min.) – Levitan talks about the show in general and how the storylines that they use are regularly ripped straight out of the lives of the creators and writers.

  • At Home with 'Modern Family' (HD, 6 min.) – Production designer Richard Berg takes us on a tour of the three home sets from the show. He lets us in on a few intimate details of the sets and points out that Gloria and Jay's house in the pilot is completely different from the set that was built after the show was picked up.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.

Final Thoughts

'Modern Family' is one of the best shows on TV, period. It's definitely the best comedy and should be watched by everyone. At least that's how I feel. It's a sitcom that knows comedy. The actors have fantastic timing, and every one of the episodes has something to laugh at. There's never an episode that feels flat or boring, like they just breezed through it without putting a lot of thought into it. What can I say. I love this show and all I can do is highly recommend that you watch it immediately.

Technical Specs

  • 3 BD-50 Blu-ray Discs

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • TBA

Supplements

  • "Strangers on a Treadmill" Table Read
  • At Home with Modern Family
  • Deleted and extended scenes
  • Deleted family interviews
  • Gag reel
  • Modern Family Holidays
  • Waiting for Oprah
  • Mitch's Flash Mob
  • "Imagine Me Naked" Music Video
  • Chatting with Steve Levitan

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