After the surprise success that was Season 1 of the US sitcom Modern Family, the natural question arose – would the makers of this show be able to continue the high quality of the award-winning and ratings smash? Thankfully, the answer is a resounding “Yes”.
Not only that, the writers have done a sterling job on building on the good work of its first run whilst also adding to the burgeoning mythology of the comedy series. Good news for newbies, however, is that there’s no need to watch the first season beforehand (though it will reward you further if you have).
Highlights of the second outing for the gang include: their version of Seinfeld‘s ‘The Contest’, where the adults challenge the kids to go without computers and mobiles in ‘Unplugged’; gay couple Cam and Mitchell trying to gain entry for their adopted Asian baby into an expensive school and playing upon their niche quality only to find “disabled interracial lesbians with an African kicker” as their competition; Phil Dunphy (a grown man) being forced into going to see a subtitled film with his wife to impress another couple, lamenting, “Why do I have to watch a French movie? I didn’t do anything wrong!”; and his wife Claire’s admission that, “Sometimes I wanna punch my kids.”
Joining the already wonderful cast (with genuinely not a duff member amongst them) are some delightful turns from James Marsden (as a charming handsome homeless man), Phillip Baker Hall (grumpy old man next door), Shelly Long (Cheers) and Matt Dillon (evoking Drama from HBO’s Entourage with every word uttered).
But the show is most definitely concerned with the titular family. The heart and soul of the characters very much drive the sitcom. At times you may think it will be too syrupy or schmaltzy, but its profound warmth and humour save the day every time. Like the UK’s own excellent sitcom, Miranda, it’s refreshing to see a comedy with little negativity and cynicism thrive so well and deliver so many laughs on a regular basis. A classic season.
Extras: Bolstering the already essential collection of episodes is an equally essential collection of special features. There are a plethora of deleted and extended scenes for you to get your teeth and, to be honest, it’s a pity that many of these were excluded from the finished articles as they are excellent executed scenes.
You’ll also find some wonderful behind-the-scenes moments, mainly focusing on the “holiday” episodes (of which there were a few) and the always fun gag reel, but best of all is the live table read of ‘Strangers on a Treadmill’. Taking place in front of an excited audience, the talent of the cast shines as they simply sit and read through the installment (which had not been broadcast at that point).
If you’ve not yet sampled the delights of Modern Family then do not delay, and Season 2 is a great jumping-on point. The show goes from strength to strength, demonstrating that heart and characters can still be a winning combination.
Released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 5th September 2011 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Watch a deleted scene from Season 1…