Modern Family is exactly what the title connotes. It gives the audience glimpses into the lives of Jay Pritchett ( Sitcom veteran Ed O'Neill; Married with Children), his children Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson; Untraceable) and Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen; Happy Gilmore) and their families. Jay is on his second marriage to Gloria (Sofia Vergara; Hot Pursuit) with whom he has one son, Joe (Pierce Wallace/Jeremy Maguire) and a stepson, Manny (Rico Rodriguez; The Muppets). Claire is married to Phil (Ty Burell; The Incredible Hulk) and they have three children. Mitchell is married to his husband Cameron (Eric Stonestreet; The Island) and they have one adopted daughter.
For nine years we have watched hilarious as their lives have intertwined. We were there when Mitchell and Cameron adopted Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons; Distance) and when Joe was born. Season Nine continues the "family bonding" ( or lack thereof) with the opening episode, Lake Life, where we see all the families converge on the lake to witness a once in a lifetime solar eclipse which, of course, doesn't go according to plan. As Jay, Claire and Phil contemplate aging, Cameron obsesses over being in the sun while wearing a caftan. The rest of the season continues this trend all the way up to the season finale twenty-one episodes later with Clash of the Swords where Mitchell sneaks out to a convention with Phil and Gloria's party gets shown up by the one her neighbor next door throws. Yes, the Pritchetts and Dunphy are dysfunctional families but probably no more so than any of ours.
After all these years (and awards) this cast runs like a well-oiled machine with each member playing his or her part beautifully. Bowen and Burell are standouts as always and Tyler Ferguson and Stonestreet offer some of the more hilarious moments. Vergara adds the Latin spice to the group while they younger cast members give a different perspective on the situations the families all seem to end up in.
The DVD set contains three discs with all twenty-two episodes of season nine but not much else. It is a little disappointing that the only extra is a gag reel as some other behind the scenes features probably would have been interesting and entertaining as well. Still, there is enough to enjoy and keep the viewer busy several hours ( if you are into the whole "binge-watching" thing).
With Season Ten most likely to be its last, Modern Family has offered us numerous laughs throughout the years and reliving them is typically an enjoyable experience. Having said that, it's probably a good thing that the show is coming to a close as the quality isn't the same as when it began back in 2009. It will be interesting to see how the writers close out the series but in the meantime, you can always rewatch this past season with the DVD release.