Modern Family: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray Review
The amount of wins may be finally dwindling, but Modern Family: The Complete Fourth Season managed to win it’s fourth straight Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. While Modern Family continues to be an award winning program, I’m afraid the quality has finally started to slip. The first three seasons were among the best on television. However, the only saving grace for the fourth season is that it’s arguably just slightly better than the rather weak competition currently on television.
By now you probably know the families behind Modern Family. In the fourth season, Jay and Gloria are expecting a baby, which overwhelms most of the storylines. Jay (Ed O’Neill) feeling to old, Gloria (Sofía Vergara) in denial about her looking pregnant and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) concerned his parents aren’t ready to be parents. Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) takes his new job as a music teacher a bit too seriously, while he and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) both adjust to Lilly (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) heading off to preschool. Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) take their oldest daughter Haley (Sarah Hyland) to college, while Alex (Ariel Winter) and Luke (Nolan Gould) deal with the typical social issues of being a year older in high school.
Unfortunately, many of the episodes have fallen into the trap of old sitcom standby. Meaning, miscommunication and misunderstanding seem to be the basis for most of the jokes. It’s a tired technique especially when it means loved ones not telling each other the truth. Whenever comedy relies on lies getting out of hand you know it’s in trouble especially when it comes to spouses, which always comes off as unreal and probably unforgivable in real life situations rather than light “awe shuck” moments.
With that said, Modern Family still manages to pull out the occasional gem episode. “Schooled,” “Party Crashers,” and “Fulgencio” are among the seasons best. They contain genuine moments that are able to induce tears with their combination of being sweet and humorous while still being completely relatable. For me, The Dunphy’s usually contain the strongest storyline with Phil getting the most laughs. But everyone has their moments and the writers are able truly able to find clever parodies (see GODFATHER) and find humor in untapped family moments.
My wife and I have been big supporters of the ABC primetime comedy series since it started (click the link to read Modern Family: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review and Modern Family: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review and Modern Family: The Complete Third Season Review), but this fourth season has finally began to lose its footing. I’m afraid the team behind the hit show has finally run out of personal situations to draw from and are dangerously close to creating caricatures from old sitcom scenarios. Modern Family still has its moments that makes it all worth while and is still one of the better family shows on television.
Video: (MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p 1.78:1) The detailed sets and locations look clear and bright providing an overall excellent picture.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio is also in top notch television form.
Deleted and Alternate Scenes (3:56): A few mildly funny scenes
Deleted and Alternate Scenes (:40): Just one deleted scene here.
Commentary on Party Crasher with Danny Zuker and Bill Wrubel: I’m not sure why it took until season 4 to finally do a commentary but they give a decent look inside the episode.
Commentary on Fulgencio with Bill Wrubel and Danny Zuker: Execuive producers once again give a fair insight to the episode.
An Addition to the Family (6:30): Sofia Vergara and Rico Rodriguez discuss the dynamic of adding another baby to the mix. This is basically just a bunch of clips of from the show that dealt with Gloria’s pregnancy.
Deleted and Alternate Scenes (2:19): A few mildly funny scenes.
A Day With Eric (11:57): As a big fan of Eric Stonestreet, who happens to share my alma mater, I found his laid back behind the scenes video diary very interesting and quite enjoyable.
Commentary on Career Day with Steven Levitan, Brad Walsh and Paul Corrigan: The producer and writers talk about how their own personal experiences influenced the episode.
Commentary on Goodnight, Gracie with Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman: The director and writer talk about the process of dealing with a death in the family.
Goodnight, Gracie Director’s Cut (23:52):
A Modern Guide to Parenting (4:40): This gives advice about being a good parent spliced with scenes from the show of wacky parenting.
A Modern Family Writers (13:14): Some of the writers and producers talk about scenes or elements in the show that came from their personal lives.
Gag Reel (10:26): These actors are clearly very close and their fun is contagious.