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Modern Family - The Complete 5th Season Review




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Rating
Video:   7/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   3/10

DVD Only? Bummer!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
10/02/2014

    Wedding bells are ringing in Season Five of Modern Family, the hilariously heartfelt winner of four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series. As Cam and Mitch bicker over plans for their big day, the rest of the family has its hands full adapting to new jobs, new schools, and a new male nanny. There are babysitting disasters, an anniversary to celebrate, misguided male bonding, and everything from high-stakes poker to high-maintenance in-laws. Join the Pritchett-Dunphy clan for the wedding of the year, and share the honesty, love and laughter with America's favorite family.
After watching seasons 1 through 4 on Blu-ray, this is the first time I will be watching Modern Family in standard definition. Fox has made a number of shows DVD-only this year, which I assume means they weren't selling well on Blu-ray, or at least not the numbers that Fox needed to see in order to continue releasing on the format.

This 3-disc set includes all 24 episodes on the show from season 5:

Disc 1 (2:52:02)
Suddenly, Last Summer (21:41)
First Days (21:39)
Larry's Wife (21:41)
Farm Strong (21:13)
The Late Show (21:13)
The Help (21:25)
A Fair to Remember (21:31)
Closetcon '13 (21:39)

Disc 2 (2:53:11)
The Big Game - Extended Edition (22:59)
The Old Man & the Tree (21:41)
And One to Grow On (21:22)
Under Pressure (21:37)
Three Dinner (21:38)
iSpy (21:30)
The Feud (20:43)
Spring-a-Ding-Fling (21:41)

Disc 3 (2:52:37)
Other People's Children (21:28)
Vegas (21:40)
A Hard Jay's Night (21:30)
Australia (21:34)
Sleeper (21:37)
Message Received (21:10)
The Wedding, Part 1 (21:41)
The Wedding, Part 2 (21:57)

Video

It's difficult to watch the DVDs of the show and not compare it to the Blu-rays, since every episode I've ever seen has been in high definition. The quality of the DVDs are good, though the picture obviously isn't as sharp as a BD, and there's some noise in the picture. There's a chapter placed after the opening of the episode so you can skip the credits, and there's a "play all" on each disc.

Audio

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds good on this set. Since it's a comedy and not an action or sci-fi show, the rear speakers don't get much of a workout, but are still used for music, and some ambient effects. The majority of the audio comes in the form of dialog from the center speaker, while the left and right speakers are mainly used for sound effects. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Chinese.

Extras - How we rate extras

Deleted and Alternate Scenes (2:11)
Four deleted or alternate scenes.

Modern Family in Australia (8:34)
One of the highlights of the season was when the family headed down under. This is a nice featurette on the episode.

A Day with Jesse (5:48)
A camera follows Jesse around.

Modern Family in Vegas (4:07)
Wow, they traveled a lot this season. A featurette on the Vegas episode.

Mitch & Cam's Wedding (7:55)
The big finale; Mitch & Cam get married, and this is a really nice featurette on the episodes.

Gag Reel (8:16)
A long gag reel (though shorter than season 4).

Summary

Another solid season, and I really enjoyed the two-part wrap-up to the season with the marriage of Cam and Mitch (which shouldn't be a spoiler, considering it's mentioned all over the packaging). I thought the actress who plays Lily keeps getting better each season. She's not the "I'm going to yell all my lines" actress she was in the past, and I don't wince whenever she's on screen.

As for this release, besides it being DVD-only, I think the quality of the extras has dropped. I really enjoyed the commentary tracks from the previous season, and the writers segment was great. Last year there was 53:42 of content, not including the commentary tracks, or the longer season finale, and this year it's just 36:41.

Though I'm glad Fox is still releasing the show, I'm saddened that it won't be continued on Blu-ray. The DVD looks "okay," but the quality just can't compete with the HD offered by Blu-ray. It's also a shame that they've paired back on the content on the set as well.


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