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The best comedy show on a major network? Possibly so...
Fox / 516 Minutes / 2012-2013 / Unrated / Street Date: September 24, 2013
I'm still having trouble adjusting to the post-sitcom world of broadcast television where laugh tracks are things of a cheesy, almost embarrassingly antiquated past, but what's ironic about Modern Family: The Complete Fourth Season is that as a leader in this pack of verite comedy programming, Modern Family feels the most "sitcommy": high praise, indeed. Where there's a documentary feel to, say, Parks and Recreation in its attempts to mine its brand of humor out of staging faux-realistic situations, with Modern Family, any realism doesn't seem all that important to the antics at hand, and this liberates the series in hilarious ways.
Yes, there are frequent vestiges of the show's 'a camera crew is following us around' syntax (at least once an episode, someone on screen will roll their eyes or stare blankly directly in the camera), but Modern Family is playful, silly and irreverent in ways that Cheers and Roseanne were. It may not wear a tinny laugh track around every gag and setup, but there's a well-worn melodrama at play in this show that is a perfect marriage of old-school retro chic and cultural satire of our life and times today.
I don't know whether Modern Family constitutes being labeled as classic programming, but this Complete Fourth Season compilation continues to showcase Modern Family as the current comic gold standard that it is: it's pretty much the best comedy on television right now. Its cast is pitch-perfect, its humor is breezy and smart, and it has a great feel to it - it presents characters and situations that a viewer simply wants to be in the room with for a half-hour every week. You know, kind of like a sitcom.