THE PLOT THUS FAR
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“American Dad” follows the exploits of CIA Agent and uber-Republican Stan Smith. His family includes: housewife and often clueless blonde Francine; hippy liberal daughter Hayley; nerdy son Steve; Klaus, a German whose brain is in a goldfishs body; and Roger, the alcoholic alien with a penchant for dress up. What originally began as a series that would hit the repeatedly hit the bigoted conservative nail on the head, the comedy of American Dad has now evolved to embrace this world they have created. The town itself has a slew of supporting characters, such as Stans CIA crew, gay news reporters Terry and Greg; and Steves high school buddies, and Reginald the Koala. No longer is Stans conservative nature the topic of every episode; there is now enough rich material across the board to create jokes in many different ways. American Dad looks like a carbon copy of Seth MacFarlane’s “other” show Family Guy. The animation is near identical, the lead character Stan Smith’s knuckle headed optimism and in-your-face presentation doesn’t so much recall Peter Griffin as grab you by the throat and scream in your face and Roger the alien and Klaus the goldfish work in much the same way Stewie and Brian do in the previous show. So far so very familiar, as though MacFarlane dressed up his fourth FG series with different characters when it was initially cancelled so as to stay on the air but stick with it, and American Dad will eventually reveal itself as a superior cartoon to it’s predecessor.
Sure, the humour is once again a mixture of insightful witticisms, biting satire and odd bursts into toilet humour but rather than the chaos of Family Guy where the plot seems to revolve round the jokes, here the opposite is true. The flashbacks are almost totally absent and instead each episode features a structure and character development that is normally missing from the first show. Okay some of the episodes fall a bit flat but nevertheless, there are considerably more hits than there are misses and when it’s good, it’s brilliant. “A Smith In The Hand” for example is in this writer’s humble opinion, the funniest thing MacFarlane and his team have ever produced.
The fifth season features everything from a CIA Telethon to fund the terrorism program to Roger’s efforts to squash the local Homeowners’ Association. Roger has unleashed a deadly hot dog virus, while Francine is being replaced by Stan’s back-up wife. If that wasn’t enough, Stan is going bald while Roger is scamming some kid out of his Bar Mitzvah earnings. This season wasn’t classic by any sense of the word, but it was fun. That’s the one thing that “American Dad” does, while “Family Guy” flounders in non-sequiters.
The DVD comes witha trivia track for the Bar Mitzvah Hustle episode. You also get a ton of deleted scenes and a drinking game for The Power Hour. I love how MacFarlane knows his audience, especially with those uncensored commentaries on each episode. The A/V Quality is pretty impressive for standard definition, but I’m left wondering why they don’t release a Blu-Ray edition by now. Oh well, it’s worth a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!