Modern Family: The Complete First Season (Fox) – In yet another Emmy year dominated by cable, Modern Family was the big network winner with five awards (including “Outstanding Comedy Series”). TV vets Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd update the classic American family sitcom with an extended family that is nothing of not diverse and contemporary.
Patriarch Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill), by his own admission “not the world’s greatest father,” is on his second marriage, this time to a younger woman (Sofía Vergara) with an adolescent son and proud (and often comic) Colombian heritage. His daughter (Julie Bowen) is a suburban stay-at-home mom playing parent to her three kids and her husband Phil (Ty Burrell), his son (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), a self-conscious, anxiety-ridden gay man who has adopted a child with his far more flamboyant partner (Eric Stonestreet). It’s classic sitcom stuff, with episodes revolving around birthdays, anniversaries, the shooting of a family portrait and that old standby, a family vacation to Hawaii, and the stories even somewhat conventional, but they’re no Brady Bunch. Sure, the episodes end in a heartwarming reflection on family life, but their stresses are definitely that of the modern family.