Created by: Seth MacFarlane
Starring the Voices of: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, Seth Green, Patrick Warburton
- Creator MacFarlane’s five favorite episodes, including a previously unavailable uncut version of “Road to Rhode Island”
- Running audio commentary on “Road to Rhode Island” with Stewie & Brian
- Running audio commentary on “To Love and Die in Dixie” with MacFarlane, executive producer Daniel Palladino, story editor Steve Callaghan, actors Danny Smith & Mike Henry
- Running audio commentary on “I Am Peter Hear Me Roar” with MacFarlane, scribes Chris Sheridan & Craig Hoffman, and actor Borstein
- Running audio commentary on “Lethal Weapons” with MacFarlane, scribe Chris Sheridan, story editors Garrett Donovan & Steve Callaghan
- Inside Look at American Dad
- MacFarlane talks about American Dad
- MacFarlane talks about Season 4
Released by: Fox
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Fans must own.
[ad#longpost]Back when this show was originally airing, you might not have been aware of who the Griffins are. Now, I don’t see how that would be possible. They are freaking ubiquitous, showing back up on Fox, on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, action figures, shirts, statues, and even manga. They also hit DVD with such brute force that it forced Fox to realize what stooges they were being and bring the show back: Season 4 is in production even as I type this. It’s a first for television that a show would be brought back like this based on its popularity in syndication and on DVD–and it’s testament to the power of the DVD format for determining the course of television.
Still, for those three of you who aren’t aware, here goes. Peter Griffin is a boob. In fact, he is the uberboob. Imagine Homer Simpson and then realize that Homer’s pretty much too classy for Peter. Heart of gold, sure, but he has all the tact of a dead badger. His wife is Lois, who’s dealing with the fact that Peter is the uberboob and the fact her family is insane. Her parents are rich and look down on her spawning with the uberboob, but what can you do? Meg is their daughter, who is trying very hard to be popular and cool. Surprise–she’s failing. Chris is their son, a dim bulb who’s occasionally tormented by an evil monkey. Brian is not really the family dog, he’s just kind of living with them, occasionally getting drunk and frequently stuck being the sanest sentient creature in the house. Last but not least is Stewie, the infant son, who is hellbent on world domination. Imagine Lex Luthor in diapers. An evil Barry Ween. But all of these characters in a family, stir, and just step back.
All three seasons out at present are on DVD already, so this may feel like a greatest hits type of double dip attempt, but I don’t think so. Sure, these are just MacFarlane‘s five favorite episodes, but there’s also a bunch of stuff on here that didn’t make the cut for the boxed sets. First up there’s the “Osama bin Laden singing showtunes joke” that got axed from “Road to Rhode Island.” It originally predates 9/11, but after the attack it was considered a little too soon to include that on the DVD. They were probably right. Here it works.
Next up, there are four commentary tracks with various and sundry folks. While these tracks are on a par with the ones on the previous sets–that is to say, both informative and highly amusing–the gold star goes to the Stewie and Brian commentary on “Rhode Island.” While listening to this–and really, you must–bear in mind that both characters are voiced by MacFarlane. How in the hell he was able to work it during recording so that he sounds like two people naturally having a conversation–and sometimes arguing–is a mystery to me. Maybe he’s been learning the fu from Phil Hendrie, I don’t know. It’s a little disappointing that there’s not a track on “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein,” but we’re bastards and we want it all. So oh well. We’ll get over it.
Next up you’ve got MacFarlane talking about his episodes that he picked and also the upcoming new season, promising to pick right up where the last season ended and start expanding on all the various characters they have to play with. Pretty much everybody will be returning from the vocal cast, so that is truly sweet.
There’s stuff covering the new MacFarlane series, American Dad. There’s a–I think it was about six minutes–bit of footage of the new show, to give you a little taste. MacFarlane is on hand to discuss what the deal is: it’s basically all the political fun they didn’t want to shoehorn into Family Guy, which I can appreciate. Now, maybe it’s because we’re getting it in a concentrated burst here, but I don’t imagine this show will be quite as popular as Family Guy. Namely because it just doesn’t work as well. And yes, I know, they’re probably refining stuff and tweaking even as I write this, but the politic humor is just extremely in your face…as in not subtle in the least. The only character worth watching the show for is a goldfish that has received a brain transplant from a German and who is constantly making the moves on the family’s mom. Again, I’m reserving final judgement until we see it hit the air, but I’m just going on what they gave me here.
Basically, this set can serve two purposes. If you’re a fan, you probably already own it. The bonus features more than make up for the fact you’ve seen the episodes before or can catch them on television if you just pay attention to when what is airing. If you haven’t been properly introduced to the series, though, grab this as a rental and get indoctrinated. It’s funny and so wonderfully wrong.