Modern Family Hawaii Featurette
One of the highest rated new television shows of the year, the engaging, honest and hilarious “mockumentary” view of today’s non-traditional households, “Modern Family” The Complete First Season is now on Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The series just recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series at this year’s Emmy Awards. Come join the family for the laugh-out-loud and critically-acclaimed ABC breakout hit of the year, featuring an all-star cast led by two-time Golden Globe® nominee and recently announced recipient of his own star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame Ed O’Neill (“Married...with Children”), Sofia Vargara (“The Knights of Prosperity”), Julie Bowen (“LOST”), and Ty Burrell (“Back to You”). Created and produced by industry veterans Steven Levitan (“Just Shoot Me”) and Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier”), “Modern Family” takes a refreshing and funny view of what it means to raise a family in this hectic day and age. Multi-cultural relationships, adoption, and same-sex marriage are just a few of the timely issues faced by the show’s three wildly-diverse broods. No matter the size or shape, family always comes first in this hilariously “modern” look at life, love, and laughter!
The four disc set from 20th Century Fox contains all of the first 24 episodes in their unedited format, along with plenty of bonus features. The series airs Wednesdays at 9:00 PM on ABC and stars Ed O'Neill as Jay Pritchett, Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy, Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy, Sofía Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett, Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker, Sarah Hyland as Haley Dunphy, Nolan Gould as Luke Dunphy, Ariel Winter as Alex Dunphy and Rico Rodriguez as Manny Delgado. Rerurring is Reid Ewing as Dylan.
This is the best new sitcom and also the best sitcom on the air right now. The series is a breakout hit in the ratings and critically. That is hard to do and this show did it. I love all 24 first season episodes, but what are the best of the best? Well of course starting it all out with “Pilot,” maybe one of the best pilot episodes ever for a sitcom. In the episode, Jay and his new younger wife, Gloria, are growing accustomed to their new life together, complete with Manny, Gloria's pre-teen son, however when Manny develops a crush on a 16 year-old girl, Jay begins to realize the cultural differences he has with his new wife and stepson, while Jay's daughter Claire has a family of her own, three kids and a husband who acts more like a fourth child than an adult and Mitchell, Jay's grown son, is adopting a baby girl from Vietnam with his partner, Cameron. In “Run For Your Wife,” it's the first day of school and Phil misreads how Claire is coping with having an empty nest, while Jay and Gloria disagree on what Manny should wear to his first day of school, and Mitchell and Cameron overreact when Lily gets a bump on the head. In the wonderfully done episode “The Incident,” Dede (special guest star Shelly Long), who is Jay's ex-wife, wants to make amends with anyone she may have offended at Jay and Gloria's wedding. In “Great Expectations,” Claire, known for her inability to give good gifts, decides to give Phil a surprising anniversary present -- a private performance by musician Izzy LaFontaine (special guest star Edward Norton), while Cameron and Mitchell go out on the town with party-girl Sal (special guest star Elizabeth Banks). During Thanksgiving in the episode “Fizbo,” Phil and Claire try to throw Luke the birthday party of his dreams, however when Cameron comes to the party as Fizbo the clown, he triggers a chain of events that land some in the hospital.
In “Up All Night,” Javier (special guest star Benjamin Bratt), Manny's father, arrives in town, and Jay is less than pleased to see him which worries Gloria, while Claire has to call the hot fireman to take Phil to the hospital while he is in extreme pain from kidney stones and Mitchell and Cameron try to sleep train Lily, but they have a harder time with the sleep schedule than she does. In “Fifteen Percent,” Mitchell begins to think one of Jay's friends, Shorty (special guest star Chaz Palminteri), is secretly gay, and Jay begins to notice signs that Shorty might be gay as well, while Gloria gives Manny's date a makeover, and Claire and Phil fight over the universal remote. In “Truth Be Told,” after reconnecting on Facebook, Phil invites his old high school girlfriend to drop by the house (Judy Greer), but this friendly visit quickly turns into trouble, while Jay accidentally kills Manny's beloved pet turtle, then goes to extremes to cover his tracks, and an overworked Mitchell finally stands up to his boss. In “Travels with Scout,” Claire is suspicious when Phil's father (Fred Willard) shows up for an expected visit, while Manny is traumatized by a horror movie.
In the two-part episode “Airport 2010” and “Hawaii” for Jay's birthday, Gloria gives him the best surprise -- a romantic birthday getaway to Hawaii -- the only kicker is she invited the whole entire family to come along and everyone arrives at the airport, and it's a maddening scene with forgotten I.D.'s, security breaches and flying phobias. And when they finally get to Hawaii, Jay could not be more excited to do nothing but indulge and relax in this tropical paradise, but then an unexpected reality check dampens his plans, while Phil is determined to make this trip romantic for Claire, Mitchell and Cameron have opposing views on whether to sightsee or not to sightsee, and the kids get into a little bit of mischief when left to their own devices. And in the season finale, “Family Portrait,” everything seems to be working against Claire's plans for a new family portrait, while Cameron gets a gig as a wedding singer, leaving Mitchell home alone with Lily and a wayward pigeon!
All of the episodes on the set are unedited and presented as they originally aired. However, “Run for Your Wife” is presented second on this DVD because it was originally intended to be the second episode, but it didn’t air until the sixth episode on ABC. It’s the back to school episode and it makes more sense to present it second, so good choice by Twentieth Century Fox. The rest of the episodes are in airdate order as they were presented on ABC. All music appears to be intact as well, but this show doesn’t use too much of that. They create their own music, like Dylan’s “In the Moonlight (Do Me).” This show is so original! Runtimes are as follows:
Run for Your Wife (20:46) [originally aired 6th]
The Bicycle Thief (21:30) [originally aired 2nd]
Come Fly With Me (21:09) [originally aired 3rd]
The Incident (21:35) [originally aired 4th]
Coal Digger (20:57) [originally aired 5th]
En Garde (20:41)
Great Expectations (21:27)
Undeck The Halls (21:35)
Up All Night (21:35)
Not in My House (21:16)
Fifteen Percent (21:37)
Moon Landing (21:35)
My Funky Valentine (21:35)
Truth Be Told (21:36)
Starry Night (21:16)
Game Changer (21:33)
Travels with Scout (21:36)
Airport 2010 (20:37)
Family Portrait (21:22)
Twentieth Century Fox did a good job on the packaging of this set, making the entire set things you would see on the show. The packaging has an outer box that holds a keep case. Artwork is the same for both outer box and keep case. The cover art has pictures of all of the primary cast members with their immediate family members inside portraits (like you see on the opening credits of the show). There is a quote from TV Guide on top saying, “the best comedy on television.” And they are so right. The back of the packaging resembles what you see on a desk and bulletin board. It is very creative. There are three episodic photos on that bulletin board along with a family photo of Jay, Gloria and Manny. We have basic information on the series and set, along with a list of special features.
Inside the box we have the keep case. Inside that we have two little plastic holders that you can flip back and forth like a page of a book. The first holder holds disc one on the front and disc two on the back. The final holder holds disc three on the front and disc two on the back. On the left panel, we have a disc-by-disc breakdown of episode titles and special features. It is simple, yet effective. The right panel has artwork of a drawing done by Haley’s crush at the airport from “Airport 2010.” The disc artwork has different artwork from the episodes such as the bicycle, Barkley the Butler statue, Phil’s blue shirt and Clive Bixby nametag, and Manny’s chess board. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-12, Disc 3 contains episodes 13-18, and Disc 4 contains episodes 19-24. Each disc has some extras.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very nicely done, with video clips playing on the main menu with the theme song playing in the background. The main menu has options of Play All Episodes, Episodes, Set Up, and Extras. The Episodes option takes you to a list of just episode titles and the Set Up option lets you turn on subtitles either in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Chinese. I wonder how they subtitle “I want to do you, do you want to do me?” Ha. Chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode, yo. Phil Dunphy, yo! There are auto trailers before the main menu on disc one for Twentieth Century Fox dramas on DVD, Glee DVD, and the Knight and Day DVD.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality on the set is very impressive and I only have the DVD! I’m sure the true high-definition quality on the Blu-ray release is even better! Still, the upconverted video on this DVD is presented in the original aspect ratio (1.78:1) and looks very nice, and the image quality is still very sharp and vivid. Fizbo the clown never looked more colorful! Be afraid! The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and is very loud and clear. As mentioned, subtitles are available on all of the episodes, but the episodes are not closed-captioned. Why? I don’t get it either.
Since the show is so popular you probably guessed already that we have loads of special features on this set! Each disc has “Extras.” Although, I’m very surprised there aren’t ANY audio commentaries. Usually Twentieth Century Fox is good with that. Let’s go over the extras on discs one to three first before the main extras on disc four. Discs one through three has “Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes” and “Deleted Family Interviews.”
Pilot - 1 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (0:50) / 4 Deleted Family Interviews (4:50)
Run for Your Wife - 2 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (1:10) / 1 Deleted Family Interviews (0:29)
The Bicycle Thief - 3 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (2:43) / 4 Deleted Family Interviews (0:51)
Come Fly With Me - 1 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (0:43) / 1 Deleted Family Interviews (0:42)
The Incident - 2 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (1:27) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
Coal Digger - 2 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (1:36) / 3 Deleted Family Interviews (1:21)
En Garde - 2 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (2:16) / 1 Deleted Family Interviews (0:30)
Great Expectations - 5 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (3:52) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
Fizbo - 0 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes / 1 Deleted Family Interviews (0:18)
Undeck The Halls - 6 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (6:30) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
Up All Night - 6 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (8:08) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
Not in My House - 3 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (2:23) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
Fifteen Percent - None
Moon Landing - 1 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (0:55) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
My Funky Valentine - 2 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (1:40) / 2 Deleted Family Interviews (0:45)
Fears - 1 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (0:58) / 1 Deleted Family Interviews (0:24)
Truth Be Told - 1 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (1:25) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
Starry Night - 2 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (1:22) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
Game Changer - 5 Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes (6:27) / 0 Deleted Family Interviews
Benched - None
Travels with Scout - None
Airport 2010 - None
Hawaii - None
Family Portrait - None
Up until disc four nearly every episode had at least one Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes and most of the episodes had Deleted Family Interviews. I guess this release already was in production by the time the latter episodes were being done so maybe that is why we don’t get any for the last five episodes?
The rest of the extras are on disc four. We have a nicely produced “Gag Reel” (5:37) that is unique and I think Phil is making sound effects whenever the next blooper starts instead of the normal “beep.” That Phil Dunphy! Next we have the featurettes “Real Modern Family Moments” (10:23). We learn that some real life family stories were used on the show from the producers. Interviewed are executive producer/co-creator Steve Levitan and his wife Krista Levitan, Steve’s son Griffin Levitan, consulting producer Ilana Wernick, writer/co-executive producer Brad Walsh, writer/co-executive producer Danny Zuker and his wife Annette Zuker, writer/co-executive producer Dan O’Shannon, writer/co-executive producer Bill Wrubel, and writer/co-executive producer Paul Corrigan. Then we have “Before Modern Family” (12:52) and on this featurette we have each cast member talking about their previous work and how they got this role. You see a bit of everyone’s screen test (except Ed and Sofia, as they probably got the roles without one). We have Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Rico Rodriguez, Ty Burrell, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Julie Bowen. That’s everyone!
The next featurette is titled “Fizbo the Clown” (4:11) and on this one we learn that Fibzo is actually real! Eric Stonestreet has actually played Fizbo many times before and you will see why and how here. Writer/co-executive producer Brad Walsh and Eric Stonestreet are featured in this featurette. Next up we have “Modern Family: Making of Family Portrait” (9:13) and we are given behind the scenes details on how this episode was made and how difficult it was shooting at a real L.A. Lakers game. Interviewed are director/co-executive producer Jason Winer, consulting producer Ilana Wernick, executive producer/co-creator Christopher Lloyd, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell and Ariel Winter. And finally we have “Modern Family Hawaii” (5:17) and this talks about shooting in Hawaii. Interviewed are Steve Levitan, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, producer Jeff Morton, Sofia Vergara, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez.
This series has made a nice debut on television and now on DVD/Blu-ray. The episodes are all awesome. I don’t think there was a bad episode in the bunch here. You need to watch all 24 if you haven’t already. The episodes are stand-alone, so you can watch you want first, but I still prefer watching them all in order. The packaging was nicely done and nearly flawless. Menu navigation and design was very simple and well done. I wish the submenus had different music though rather than nothing. Maybe some instrumental version of “Into the Moonlight (Do Me)” would have been suitable? It’s not a major issue at all, though. The audio and video were perfect as you can’t beat a current series. It is almost a given to have flawless delivery on these for today’s series. I loved the special features. It is nice to have deleted, extended and alternate scenes. I just wish we had them for the final five episodes as well. Audio commentary was just about the only relevant thing missing. Or maybe we could have had the full music video for “Into the Moonlight (Do Me)” or the promo the cast did for the Academy Awards? You know, with “da pointy finger?” I hope we get the George Clooney Emmy bit from the Emmy Awards on the next set! That was comedy gold!
Anyway, this is a great set for an even better show! The second season just launched to series highs doing 12.67 million and a 5.1 18-49 rating for best among sitcoms. And it will just go more up and up like “da pointy finger.” So laugh on with ABC’s Modern Family and sing “do you want to do me, do me” all over again. And if you’re one of the few who have never seen this show...as Jay would say, “oh geez,” buy it NOW! You can even change your name to Clive Bixby if you don’t want anyone to know, but why would you be that stupid to not anyone know that you’re buying the show on DVD as everyone loves this show! Gather around your family and watch this extended family do familiar things that your family probably does!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall Score: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 09/24/10
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