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So is MODERN FAMILY as fresh as it was in its first two seasons? Maybe not... but it is just as funny, if not downright hilarious. Still pretty much a critical darling and fan favorite, MODERN FAMILY the show received a total of fourteen Primetime Emmy Award nominations for 2012, winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series... and that's on top of the series already taking home the same award for both its first and second seasons, as well as Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series for both years. Of course, one of the best things about MODERN FAMILY is its fantastic ensemble cast, for which Ed O'Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Sofía Vergara have all earned Emmy Award nominations for 2012 in the Supporting Actor/Actress categories- with wins going to Stonestreet and Bowen. In addition, MODERN FAMILY has won a 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series, plus individual Supporting Actor/Actress Emmys in 2010 (for Stonestreet) and 2011 (for Bowen and Burrell).

MODERN FAMILY is wonderful, character-based comedy at the genre's absolute best. Presented mockumentary style, MODERN FAMILY is very much an ensemble piece that follows the lives of different generations of a single family. Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill) is the patriarch of the clan, who lives in the suburban Los Angeles, California area with his second wife Gloria (Sofía Vergara) and her teen son, Manny (Rico Rodriguez). Residing nearby are Jay’s adult children from his first marriage, who live with their own families. Jay’s daughter Claire (Julie Bowen) is married to real estate salesman Phil (Ty Burrell) and the couple have three children-- self-absorbed teen daughter Haley (Sarah Hyland), brainiac daughter Alex (Ariel Winter), and slightly off center son Luke (Nolan Gould). Jay’s son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) lives with his partner Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), and the couple have adopted a Vietnamese baby named Lily.

MODERN FAMILY: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON ($60) comes to Blu-ray in a three-disc set that features the following twenty-four episodes that were aired during year three: Dude Ranch, When Good Kids Go Bad, Phil On Wire, Door To Door, Hit And Run, Go Bullfrogs!, Treehouse, After The Fire, Punkin Chunkin, Express Christmas, Lifetime Supply, Egg Drop, Little Bo Bleep, Me? Jealous?, Aunt Mommy, Virgin Territory, Leap Day, Send Out The Clowns, Election Day, The Last Walt, Planes, Train And Cars, Disneyland, Tableau Vivant and Baby On Board.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made all twenty-four episodes that comprise MODERN FAMILY: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec.

Once again, the 1080p episodic presentations for MODERN FAMILY best their 720p ABC broadcast counterparts; eliminating the overly compressed, artifact riddled HD images found on my local cable system. What we've seen in previous Blu-ray collections of MODERN FAMILY are replicated here. Once again, I have to comment that MODERN FAMILY looks more like a dramatic series than a traditional sitcom and boasts a strong high definition appearance. Across the board, the episodes generally appear crisp, nicely textured and offers up plenty of fine detail. Sure, there are occasional shots that are a bit softer, but they are never a concern. Additionally, the picture is quite dimensional. Colors appear bright, vibrant and nicely saturated, while the flesh tones are quite natural. Blacks are pure, while the whites are crisp and completely stable. Contrast and shadow detail are strong performers, which is just what one should expect from this type of high definition television cinematography. There are no noticeable defects in the source materials. Levels of grain/noise in the image are rarely noticeable.

All of the episodes that comprise MODERN FAMILY: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. Once again, the episodes contained in this MODERN FAMILY collection feature fairly standard sitcom sound designs. Therefore, as a talky sitcom, much of the sound is locked front and center. Sure, there are some channel separations across the front, but it tends to favor the musical component and an occasional effect. Bits of ambience and musical fill fall to the rear channels, as does the rare sound effect. Dialogue is very cleanly rendered and the actors' voices maintain a natural timbre. The lossless encodes do boost the musical component, but has less impact on the dialogue heavy sound designs. No other language tracks have been included on the discs, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard episode selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Featurettes and other programs include: Destination: Wyoming (ten minutes), A Day On The Set With Ty (six minutes), Adventures Of The Modern Family Kids (four minutes), A Modern Family Christmas (six minutes), Driving Lessons (three minutes), Ed O'Neill Gets A Star (seventeen minutes) an Modern Family Goes To Disneyland Resort (three minutes). The collection also contains Deleted/Extended Scenes, and a Gag Reel.

MODERN FAMILY is a critical darling and flat out hilarious. The Blu-ray presentations look terrific and sound just fine. Recommended.


Modern Family: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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