Modern Family: Season 1 review (DVD)

A family that's passionate, and accepting of hot foreigners, and gay dudes, and nutty people. You know, a family that actually loves each other. - Dylan, Hayley's boyfriend

Shot in mockumentary style, Modern Family documents the lives of three tiers of a modern American family, each layer of which couldn't be more different.

Jay (O'Neill) is the patriarch, and a real man's man. He's been divorced and remarried to a much younger Colombian bombshell named Gloria (Vergara), who has a pree-teen son, Manny (Rodriguez). Jay's daughter Claire (Bowen) is married to Phil (Burrell) and they have three kids of their own. Jay's gay son Mitchell (Ferguson) and his partner Cameron (Stonestreet) have just adopted a baby girl from Vietnam.

Modern Family is one of the freshest, funniest and best-written sitcoms to come along in a while. The casting is perfect, the characters all well-rounded, "real" people and the one-liners come thick and fast. The three families find themselves in situations that we can all relate to – we've all had to deal with the day-to-day minituae of life, but the results are not always this funny. The fake documentary style works well, too. Most of the time the cameras are ignored, but every now and then someone will cast a sideways glance at us, just to keep us in the reality of the situation. There are also "interviews" with the characters interspersed throughout the episodes, shedding light on how they really feel about their loved ones.

Modern Family is comedy gold that mixes genuine warmth and, yes, family values in with the many, many laughs.

EXTRAS ★★★★ Deleted scenes and interviews; a featurette on the Fizbo the Clown episode; a gag reel; the featurette Real Modern Family Moments; a Family Portrait making-of featurette; a look at what the cast was doing before Modern Family.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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