24th Sep2015

Review Round-Up: Modern Family / Sleepy Hollow / Last Man on Earth

by Nathan Smith

Hey guys, just thought I’d pop in with some quick thoughts on some upcoming DVD releases for Modern Family: Season 6, Sleepy Hollow: Season Two and The Last Man on Earth Season One. The shows I’m reviewing were met with mixed reviews upon their release, and frankly, I feel it was for naught as they were all fairly good representations of what each show gave to its audience in their respective seasons.

us-tv-dvd-round-up

Modern Family had an excellent sixth season. It’s hard to retain quality as a show gets into its latter years, there are far too many examples of this, but the cast, crew and writers were all working at their peaks in making this show. Ignore the constant awards slathered onto “Modern Family” for a moment and just take a look at what the show could do when it’s going outside of its comfort zone in creating some interesting episodes for television.

For instance, the episode, ‘Connection Lost’ is a fine example of taking what’s essentially a 22 minute Apple products commercial and rather looks at it as showing just how technology ties us together and simultaneously causes confusion when we leave things to the most vague of circumstances. Season six was a season that elaborated on the Dunphy’s and the Pritchett clans,shaping the families in ways that made us annoyed with them, and made us love them for all their faults all the same.. It was also a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But overall, it was a season of great experiments that paid off wisely.

Bonus features include – Several documentaries, the focus of which are on the supremely funny Halloween episode, which again is an example of the show changing things up (adding new neighbors, and foils for the Dunphy’s), discussion of the ‘Connection Lost’ episode (a true highlight), a feture on the Thanksgiving episode (always a Modern Family highlight.) and ‘A Day with Julie.’ Deleted scenes round out the set.

Sleepy Hollow‘s first season was a breakneck paced show that didn’t let up until the final episode of the season. It was a fun, quirky and weirdo offspring of shows like Supernatural and The X-Files and mashed genres with horror and historical in a melting pot that tasted rather delicious. So, naturally when the second season rolls around, and they add more episodes to the mix, it’s going to cause a bit of a drag. And it did, but this wasn’t a mere sophomore slump. It was still the same show, albeit a little messy, but was all on point throughout the eighteen episodes that comprised the second season. It’s still worth the view by all means, because even when the episode felt out of focus and the plot meandered in the slightest, the chemistry of all the actors kept me coming back to the town. It is one of the best damned horror shows on television.

Bonus features include – Key commentaries on select episodes, a gag reel, documentaries on the many monsters that shape the “Sleepy Hollow” world and the fandom surrounding the show, and of course, a staple of any box set, deleted scenes.

Finally, let’s take a look at The Last Man on Earth. It’s a very simplistic plot. Man at the end of the world. Then, they add characters showing that this solitary man is actually the worst person in thew world. Finally, we add the slow (very slow) redemption of our lovable anti-hero. The twists and turns kept many, including myself, coming back for more. Many derided this first season, which they felt after a stellar series premiere, went downhill and starting recycling the same premise over and over again (which essentially boiled down to, Phil was an unlikeable main character who only wanted to get some, and repeat ad nauseum). Technically, they’re correct. But, the show’s just too damned funny to ignore this whole cyclical nature. It constantly succeeded where it could’ve failed, and that success rests upon the winning cast and writers who come up with a way to make the end of the world pretty funny. Still, it’s an example of a show that has a go anywhere plot. And I’m ready as hell for season two.

Bonus features include – Deleted scenes, a gag reel, two commentaries (on the premiere and ‘Screw the Moon,’ a Q & A for the show and finally a mini-doc about the creation of the show.
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All three are worthy purchases. Especially Sleepy Hollow and The Last Man on Earth; both shows which deserve a lot more love than they currently get.

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