AMERICAN DAD!: VOLUME 7
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Years ago, I discovered “American Dad!” before I even became a watcher of “Family Guy.” So, while it’s the second big Seth MacFarlane show to hit it big, it was my first. And I loved it even more than I did “Family Guy.” (Don’t get me wrong… I enjoy “Family Guy,” too, but there’s something sharper about “American Dad!”)
Now, the seventh volume is being released on DVD, and it’s still fun to watch. It’s become less of an overtly funny show that relies on zinging gags steeped in topical political humor. Now, it’s just become one of the most bizarre family sit coms out there.
Strangely, this volume of “American Dad!” features more character-driven stories that fit in this bizarre, whimsical universe than previous years. Additionally, there wasn’t a huge themed episode that acted as an anchor, like the “World of Warcraft” and James Bond spoofs a few years back or the vision of the apocalypse last year. I didn’t find myself laughing as much as I had in the past – even at the antics of Roger – but I was still into the show.
The biggest story arc in this volume features the marriage of Hayley to her hippie boyfriend and the difficulty Stan has in accepting this. Topics covered include jury duty, white slavery, dating and the death of 100 characters from previous shows.
In a strange way, with the blossoming of Roger as the main character of the show almost as much as Stan, “American Dad!” has become a bit of a science fiction series wrapped inside a snarky cartoon. It’s got the same charm this year, but it’s become standard for the show. That’s not a complaint, but rather an acceptance that the show isn’t necessarily fresh but still a heck of a lot of fun to watch.
The DVD comes with uncensored dialogue (which means a handful of f-bombs throughout the 19 episodes) on two discs. Special features are still in this set, which is nice to see for a seventh volume. There’s commentaries on select episodes, a ton of deleted scenes, a spotlight on the “American Dad!” panel at Comic-Con 2010 and a featurette on extremely game cast member Patrick Stewart.