I always liked Ed O'Neill (Jay Pritchett), who has been good in just about everything I've ever seen him in - and he even managed to break out of a character that was a huge icon in pop culture. As Al Bundy on Married with Children, he played a great hardworking, blue-collar everyman who hated his job, couldn't stand his lazy wife eating bonbons, had a daughter who was promiscuous and not all that smart, and a son as dysfunctional as everyone else in the family. In some respects, he's playing the same role now, but smarter, a little older, and way more modern.
The second season of Modern Family starts off with a great, well-balanced episode. Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) is in the family garage and his wife Claire (Julie Bowen), who is Jay's daughter, wants him to get rid of the clunker of a car; he does, and then she regrets it. At the same time, Jay's son Mitchell Pritchett (Jayson Tyler Ferguson) and his boyfriend, Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet), want to build a princess castle for their daughter, Lily. Mitchell thinks he is a master of tools because he built the set for some play in college, but Cameron knows Mitch isn't handy at all.
Over at Jay's house, there is trouble brewing with wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and her son, Manny. She is a typically over-protective (and very feisty) Columbian mother, and another female (a girl from Manny's class) is trampling on her turf, essentially pushing Gloria out of the picture so Manny can spend more time with girls. It's a very funny way to start off the season.
All twenty four episodes are on this three disc set:
There are many notable funny segments, but I'll name a few. First, the Dunphy girls, Alex (Ariel Winter) and Haley (Sarah Hyland), get tangled up in giving boy advice not knowing that Claire read Alex's flirty text messages.
Another great arc that runs through almost the whole episode is when the hefty Cameron starts an exercise plan and wears bike shorts that he can't pull off - damn funny that the dialogue matches the scene when he walks in his genital area is pixelated.
The best thing about Modern Family is the characters. I was pleasantly surprised to like just about all of them, except Phil (or I should say he is my least favorite). I love Claire. I enjoy Haley's sarcasm. Jay dealing with Gloria's short fuse is hilarious. And the way Mitch and Cameron clash without being overly stereotypical is refreshing. It deserves all the Emmys it has won.
Season four of Modern Family is a three-disc set containing all twenty-four episodes. Also included are a bonus featurette with the cast talking about their experiences on the show; a gag reel; and another featurette on the theme song, written by the Barenaked Ladies.
I could go on and on picking through the episodes, but suffice to say there is plenty of comedic prowess on display from everyone in the cast. This season seems to be a building block to something more. The way it seems to end in the cliffhanger should give the writers a lot to work with in season five, and a lot for fans to look forward to.
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