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DVD Review Modern Family: The Complete Sixth Season DVD Review (1 Viewer)

Matt Hough

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Modern Family: The Complete Sixth Season DVD Review

Six seasons into its run and the five-time Emmy winner for Best Comedy Series Modern Family has another hilariously entertaining season. Is it as good as the earlier seasons were? It’s debatable, and most prognosticators are not giving the show great odds of winning yet another Emmy for season six, but that said, there are no duds among this season’s episodes, and with the children growing older and their having different types of situations to propel stories much different from their younger years, the show is exploring new areas for comedy each year and doing a fine job with it. As for the adults, time has only enriched the multi-faceted relationships they enjoy (and provoke) among themselves.



Studio: Fox

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 480P/MPEG-2

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: English 2.0 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Rating: Not Rated

Run Time: 9 Hr. 16 Min.

Package Includes: DVD

Amaray case with leaf

Disc Type: DVD-9 (dual layer)

Region: 1

Release Date: 09/22/2015

MSRP: $39.98




The Production Rating: 4/5

After all these years, the actors continue to play together like a well-oiled machine, and any combination of them together seems to work superbly so whether siblings Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Claire (Julie Bowen) and their significant others Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Phil (Ty Burrell) are paired with the kids’ father Jay (Ed O’Neill) and his soon-to-be-a-citizen wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara) or the show’s very talented array of younger actors playing their various offspring: budding stylist Haley (Sarah Hyland), brilliant super-student Alex (Ariel Winter), less-dim-bulb-than-he-appears Luke (Nolan Gould), suavely nerdy Manny (Rico Rodriguez), and deadpan line deliverer Lily (Aubrey Eammons-Anderson), the results are likely to be uproarious with an expectedly generous amount of heart sewn into each episode (especially true for one of the season’s highlights: the season finale which finds Phil stranded away from Alex’s graduation party and represented by a robot Phil interacting with members of his troubled family: Mitch who’s lost his job, Cam who suspects Mitch is cheating on him, Hayley who’s spent the entire season in relationship limbo, and Claire who is stymied in finding the perfect graduation gift for Alex.

 

Apart from the absolute hilarity of the stories and performances each week, these actors bring a smile to the face by just facing the camera. Yes, the show uses one of those faux documentary style templates with the characters often talking straight to the camera and with a crew around filming the families as they conduct their daily lives. So whether Phil is trying to surprise Jay with a new deluxe grill for his birthday or forces super serious student Alex into taking her Senior Ditch Day to explore some old haunts of his (where Phil and Luke enact a comedy of errors for Hayley and Alex who then bond over her upcoming Cal Tech college experience, whether Cam and Mitch finally buy that upstairs condo for themselves or make a final decision on adopting another baby, the documentary cameras pick it all up with the casts’ candid confessions always adding to the fun. The stories concentrate much more time with the rapidly maturing children this year. Hayley spends the season attracted to manny-turned-real estate apprentice Andy Bailey (Adam DeVine) (and he with her in turn but neither fully expressing how each feels toward the other apart from a beautifully executed hospital scene), while Alex undergoes the trauma of college visitations, acceptance and rejection letters, awards’ day, the final announcement of valedictorian, and her graduation. Luke proves himself to be more skilled at things than he’d ever shown before while taking baby steps away from his grown up kid/father Phil who considers him his closest pal. The always special holiday episodes this season concentrate on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Valentine’s Day (yes, Clive and Julianna make guest appearances). And in the season’s best and most creative episode, told completely through a computer screen, Claire attempts to keep tabs on her errant family in a series of Skypes, text messages, e-mails, and Facebook posts.

 

In addition to the first-rate regular cast members, the program’s producers have now established a large peripheral family they can draw on for one or more episodes. Thus, not only does Jay and Gloria’s manny Andy recur throughout the season, we also see glimpses of Gloria’s ex-husband Javier (Benjamin Bratt), Cam and Mitch’s judgmental friend Pepper (Nathan Lane), Phil’s fun-loving father Frank (Fred Willard) and work nemesis Gil Thorpe (Rob Riggle), Gloria’s sister Sophia (Stephanie Beatriz), Cam and Mitch’s former party friend-now working mother Sal (Emmy-nominated this season Elizabeth Banks), and Cam’s work nemesis Señor Kaplan (Will Sasso). Irritating neighbors for Phil and Claire haven’t worked so well in previous seasons, but the producers give it another try this year with redneck medical marijuana vendor Ronnie (Steve Zahn) and his voluptuous wife Amber (Andrea Anders), and they have four funny but not quite hilarious episodes during the season. Also making memorable appearances this season are Hayley’s new demanding stylist boss Gavin Sinclair (Michael Urie), Lily’s strict second grade teacher Mrs. Plank (Tyne Daly), Phil’s nemesis in the closet business Earl Sinclair (Jon Polito), and Andy’s official girl friend Beth (Laura Ashley Samuels) who’s well aware of the unspoken feelings between Andy and Hayley.

 

Here are the twenty-four episodes contained on three discs in the season six set:

 

1 – The Long Honeymoon
2 – Do Not Push
3 – The Cold
4 – Marco Polo
5 – Won’t You Be Our Neighbor
6 – Halloween 3: Awesomeland
7 – Queer Eyes, Full Hearts
8 – Three Turkeys
9 – Strangers in the Night
10 – Hayley’s 21st Birthday
11 – The Day We Almost Died
12 – The Big Guns
13 – Rash Decisions
14 – Valentine’s Day 4: Twisted Sister
15 – Fight or Flight
16 – Connection Lost
17 – Closet? You’ll Love It!
18 – Spring Break
19 – Grill, Interrupted
20 – Knock ‘em Down
21 – Integrity
22 – Patriot Games
23 – Crying Out Loud
24 – American Skyper



Video Rating: 4/5  3D Rating: NA

The transfers retain the widescreen television aspect ratio of 1.78:1 from network broadcasts, and they are anamorphically enhanced for widescreen televisions. After four seasons of Blu-ray releases, season six is the second season relegated only to DVD. Last season’s transfers were soft and thoroughly unappealing. These are considerably better than last season’s transfers with good to very good sharpness (for standard definition) and color that is solid and consistently maintained. Contrast is likewise continuously well applied resulting in better than decent standard definition transfers of the 720p quality of the broadcast material. Each episode is divided into five chapters.



Audio Rating: 4/5

The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix mirrors the broadcast quality of the program. It offers a solid encode for the show’s most important element: dialogue. It’s placed firmly in the center channel and has been expertly recorded. Occasionally, there are some fleeting uses of the fronts and rears for ambient sounds: voices of muffled chatter in several restaurant scenes, a vehicle speeding past, and the like. Apart from the main title music, a background score is not really present in the series unless the characters enter a location which has piped-in music.



Special Features Rating: 3/5

Awesome Halloween (4:35): actor Nolan Gould introduces the behind-the-scenes look of the Halloween episode with actor Ty Burrell recounting the plot of the episode.

 

A Modern Thanksgiving (5:25): the frantic Thanksgiving episode which involves three different turkeys making their way through the set is summarized by Ty Burrell. Producer Christopher Lloyd and actors Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriguez, and Ariel Winter add brief sound bites.

 

Modern Connections: The Making of an Episode (8:55): a behind-the-scenes look at the two days of shooting and the weeks of post production putting together episode 616. Creator/producer Steve Levitan discusses the genesis for the episode and their pride in doing something never before attempted on television.

 

A Day with Julie (6:08): pretty much what it promises, we get snippets from a day on set with actress Julie Bowen in hair and make-up, at craft services, and then blocking and shooting a scene for episode 621.

 

Deleted Scenes (2:52): four cut scenes are put together in montage form.

 

Gag Reel (11:26)



Overall Rating: 4/5

An excellent if not outstanding season of Modern Family, season six proves the comedy engine for the show has not run down very much in fashioning hilarious escapades for the Pritchetts and the Dunphys. While Fox continues to disappoint by releasing this terrific series only on DVD, a good upconverting player makes this year’s DVD transfers a grudgingly acceptable compromise to no Blu-ray release.


Reviewed By: Matt Hough


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