Saturday, September 18, 2010

Modern Family: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

Release Date: September 21st, 2010
TV-Rating: TV-PG
Region: A
Disc 1 Episodes:
  • Pilot
  • Run For Your Wife
  • The Bicycle Thief
  • Come Fly with Me
  • The Incident
  • Coal Digger
  • En Garde
  • Great Expectations
Disc 2 Episodes:
  • Fizbo
  • Undeck the Halls
  • Up All Night
  • Not In My House
  • Fifteen Percent
  • Moon Landing
  • My Funky Valentine
  • Fears
Disc 3 Episodes:
  • Truth Be Told
  • Starry Night
  • Game Changer
  • Benched
  • Travels with Scout
  • Airport 2010
  • Hawaii
  • Family Portrait
The Video
Modern Family: The Complete First Season’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation for each of the 24 half-hour episodes. The show looks stunning and expectedly so; the HD broadcasts on television have always looked great.

Modern Family is one of those shows that benefits very much from a high-def release. The release is not a dark and gritty television program like 24 (which I do think looks good, just not as good). Modern Family is bright and crystal clear and on Blu-ray it is only better.

Colors are spectacular and rich, black levels are also nice and inky throughout. The level of detail and clarity is also impressive, this is not a release you could ever confuse for DVD or an HD broadcast. Whether it is the textures of the home environments or the textures of skin, hair and clothing, it all truly shines.

The show also features a welcome layer of grain at times, which isn’t always noticeable. There are a couple of moments in which the grain is a bit distracting (like that of Nurse Jackie on Blu-ray), however this issue is only very present on the pilot episode.

Don’t worry; the intense grain is not a technical issue of the Blu-ray release. The Blu-ray just presents everything true to the source and unfortunately it is a bit distracting during the pilot in which Phil is sitting in the kitchen area for his interview. The ‘issue’ isn’t really an issue, but I figured it was worth mentioning so it isn’t unexpected.

Aside from that minor mention, the high-def presentation is everything I could have dreamed of and more. Right from the video quality seen on the main menu for the first time do you know you are in for one very impressive release.

Some may argue that Modern Family isn’t worth a high-def purchase, especially since it is a comedy and not set on an island like Lost or features amazing explosions like on 24. Those who think this way will hopefully begin to think otherwise once you get a look at Modern Family on Blu-ray.

The entire season from beginning to end is impressive visually and thankfully Fox made this a 3-disc set and not a 2-disc set. Each episode is given a healthy high-def encode and I could not be happier. I had high expectations to begin with, but it is especially nice to see that my high expectations were surpassed. 10/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included for each episode. Optional subtitles include English SDH, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

The show is a comedy, I expected front heavy and what we get on the Blu-ray release is certainly front heavy. The show is extremely dialogue driven, but thankfully the dialogue is all as clear as can be like only a high-def track can provide.

The surround use is minimal, with effects focused more within the front left and right speakers. There are times when the surround use does expand, but it isn’t a common thing. Regardless of where it is placed, everything is easy to understand and well balanced.

The show’s theme song is a different story however; it takes up your entire surround setup and is vivid and loud. I didn’t expect the theme to be so full of life and with such clarity; all while making use of the surround speakers as well.

Overall it is hard to be disappointed by the high-def mixes included. Modern Family doesn’t include musical numbers or car explosions, but it does work with the content it is and makes it shine as much as possible. I can’t say I was amazed, but I couldn’t really expect much more from the mixes included. 8/10.

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc) (42.4 GB):

Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (14:54) (HD)
  • Pilot (0:58) (HD)
  • Run For Your Wife (1:18) (HD)
  • The Bicycle Thief (2:51) (HD)
  • Come Fly with Me (0:51) (HD)
  • The Incident (1:35) (HD)
  • Coal Digger (1:44) (HD)
  • En Garde (2:25) (HD)
  • Great Expectations (4:02) (HD)
Deleted Family Interviews (8:52) (HD)
  • Pilot (4:57) (HD)
  • Run For Your Wife (0:35) (HD)
  • The Bicycle Thief (0:59) (HD)
  • Come Fly with Me (0:48) (HD)
  • Coal Digger (1:28) (HD)
  • En Garde (0:37) (HD)
Disc 2 (Blu-ray Disc) (41.8 GB):

Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (20:46) (HD)
  • Undeck the Halls (6:38) (HD)
  • Up All Night (8:15) (HD)
  • Not In My House (2:31) (HD)
  • Moon Landing (1:03) (HD)
  • My Funky Valentine (1:48) (HD)
  • Fears (1:06) (HD)
Deleted Family Interviews (1:37) (HD)
  • Fizbo (0:25) (HD)
  • My Funky Valentine (0:53) (HD)
  • Fears (0:31) (HD)
Disc 3 (Blu-ray Disc) (42.1 GB):

Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (9:25) (HD)
  • Truth Be Told (1:33) (HD)
  • Starry Night (1:30) (HD)
  • Travels with Scout (6:36) (HD)
Gag Reel (5:41) (HD)
The gag reel is surprisingly unfunny overall.

Real Modern Family Moments (10:25) (HD)
Executive Producer/Co-Creator Steve Levitan and his family talk about moments in Modern Family taken directly from their modern family experiences. Other crew members also talk about their stories which were inspiration for some of the show’s best moments.

Before Modern Family (12:54) (HD)
Each cast member talks about their work before Modern Family; this is actually very entertaining and interesting.

Fizbo the Clown (4:13) (HD)
Actor Eric Stonestreet talks about his character ‘Fizbo’ the clown which he created as a child as well as bringing the character to the show.

The Making of Modern Family: “Family Portrait” (9:16) (HD)
This is a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the episode “Family Portrait.”

Modern Family “Hawaii” (5:20) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes at the filming of the episode “Hawaii.”

The extras on this release are fantastic and I found everything enjoyable, aside from the dull gag reel. Fans of the series will certainly enjoy everything to be found on the disc, even the deleted scenes and family interviews are extremely funny.

There could have been more features such as audio commentaries, but in this case the quality of everything is great and presented in high-definition. Having seen some almost barebones TV releases on Blu-ray, the bonus features included are really easy to appreciate. 7.5/10.

The Season
There have been some pretty stellar TV releases on Blu-ray this September. Notable releases such as The Twilight Zone, The Office, The Simpsons. and Glee. They are all great series which I enjoy immensely, however none have as much of my love as my latest TV comedy obsession, Modern Family.

Modern Family is a series which I thankfully started watching from the very first episode. After watching the pilot I remember thinking what a special show this could be if the humor continued to stay as solid and if the characters continued to be as funny.

Modern Family has not only stayed as funny as its pilot episode, it has become what I believe to be one of the funniest TV comedies of the past decade. Sure, I may sound like I am over-hyping this release, but it really is that funny and I know many critics who share the same sentiment as this reviewer.

The show is done from a reality perspective, similar to that of ‘The Office’ and other comedies. The reality perspective may be something viewers are bored of, especially since ‘Parks and Recreation’ follows the same routine as well, however I don’t think any show does it as smoothly as Modern Family.

The cameras follow these three modern families deal with their own unique situations and events. It does feature family and individual character interviews throughout the episode, but it is extremely well done and makes for some very funny and memorable sequences.

What I really love about Modern Family is the memorable humor. The lines are hilarious that you could go over your favorite lines all day with friends or families who have also seen the show. The humor is wacky, but I think everyone will find characters and situations they can relate to, although perhaps on different levels.

The show also includes a marvelous cast which includes Ed O’Neill from Married with Children. Also featured is the smoking hot but hilarious Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet (Who just won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Modern Family).

Modern Family is funny because it is modern and deals with three different situations which I am sure we can all relate to in some way. We have the all-American family which includes a married couple and their three children. We have the older man who is previously divorced and now married to a much younger woman, who happens to have a son from a previous marriage. We also have the gay couple who are now parents to a newly adopted daughter.

The three families are all relate and despite their differences and dislikes about each other, they are always there for each other. The show is extremely humorous in dealing with the story-lines, but each episode ends with some heart and makes this show very family friendly.

I quickly became in love with Modern Family and I cannot tell you how excited I am for season two. Season one is a genius, and I enjoyed every single episode, that is something that is hard to come by. The days approaching this release have been long and busy, but I just had to clear up my entire schedule when Modern Family arrived.

I watched the entire season on Blu-ray in just two days time, and you may find yourself in the same situation if time allows, it is just that funny. The show is easy to watch from beginning to end or even just random episodes.

I would recommend those new to the series to watch the series from beginning to end, there are many jokes which come up throughout the season which make much more sense when you know the background of the comments, etc. There are also jokes which happen earlier than other events which only make them much more humorous when revisiting.

Modern Family is just one of those rare shows that manage to really capture your heart and keep you coming back for more on a weekly basis. The episodes are terrific, the characters are amazing and personally I cannot get enough.

I could just go on and on about how much I love the show, hopefully you will give it a chance (if you haven’t already) and maybe it will capture your heart like it did mine. Modern Family is the comedy every modern family has been waiting for and I cannot recommend it enough. 10/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Modern Family is one of the funniest TV comedies I have ever seen. The Blu-ray release is fantastic in every aspect, featuring stunning video presentations, fitting audio mixes and a quality selection of extras. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘A Must Own.

NOTE: would like to encourage all readers to pick up the Blu-ray release of Modern Family. If you are to purchase Modern Family: The Complete First Season, please remember to buy the Blu-ray release to show Fox Home Entertainment that they should continue to release TV shows on Blu-ray.

We have seen a few shows discontinued on Blu-ray after bad sales and we hope this trend does not continue or we may not see future seasons on Blu-ray. As always, thank you for reading! If you would like to support the site and support the release, please click the link below to order.

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