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DVD & Blu-ray review: Modern family: Season 4

(20th C Fox)

The first season of the US import Modern Family was one of the finest sitcoms to have graced grace our screens – brilliantly written, flawlessly acted, utterly real as it reflected the changing nature of familial relations.

The fourth season of this mockumentary feels as if it has fallen victim to time: the natural performances of the young children have become more mannered; some storylines feel forced; the schmaltz is not always leavened by a knowing wink.

It remains, however, a cut above most anything else on the schedules – and in father figure Phil Dunphy, the writers have a character for the ages.