Saturday, April 28, 2012

American Dad: Volume 7 DVD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
It’s time once again to let it all hang out with an all-new volume of animated outrageousness! From the disturbed comic minds of Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman, and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, comes the always insane adventures of CIA operative Stan Smith and his wonderfully twisted family. In the 100th episode, Hayley elopes with Jeff! Other episodes include Stan on jury duty, Steve walking in on his amorous parents, Roger dating Steve’s best friend, and yet another AD Christmas classic. Plus, there are serial killers, Turkish amphetamines, and evil clones! So, you know, the usual!

Film (3 out of 5 stars)

American Dad was created by Seth MacFarlane, the man behind Family Guy but this isn't a spin off; it is a separate distinct show.  American Dad centers around the Smith family.  Patriarch Stan Smith is a CIA agent who rescued an alien named Roger from Area 51.  Stan and Roger have more than a few disagreements, but it’s fair to say Roger is a part of the family.  Stan and his wife Francine have two children, Steve and Hayley and a family "pet" goldfish named Klaus who is actually a German man trapped in the goldfish's body.

American Dad has not been one of my favorite shows so far, but it’s been just entertaining enough to keep me watching.  While I love Family Guy, I've never enjoyed American Dad as much which is surprising since both are from Seth McFarlane.  For some reason, I just don't find most of these episodes funny even after watching several seasons of the show.  I'm hoping for a surprise with season six but this far into the show I'm betting it’s probably more of the same.

American Dad Volume Seven contains the following episodes on three discs:
  • 100 A.D. - The 100th episode, complete with kill counter (promising 100 deaths). Hayley and boyfriend Jeff run away to elope and her parents use the $50,000 they had saved for her wedding as a reward for anyone who can break them up.
  • Son of Stan - Stan and Francine argue over the best way to parent Steve and Stan brings home a clone he names "Stevarino" so that each of them has a child to raise with no interference from the other.
  • Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls - Stan prides himself on having the best haunted house in the neighborhood but the new neighbor has outdone him.  To increase the scare factor, Stan brings home real serial killers.
  • Stan's Food Restaurant - Stan pursues a dream of opening a restaurant like one from his childhood and Roger first helps and then takes over.  Hayden Panitierre stars as Ashley, an "easy" girl Steve is after that turns out to have a very unusual best friend.
  • White Rice - Stan has been taking Francine to a hypnotherapist to make her suppress all the things he doesn't like, including her stand up career.  Every time Stan leaves Francine for her session he ignores the therapist's request for a sandwich.  Finally the therapist has enough and brings all her memories back.  Francine has a short lived television show based on her standup comedy and her life as a Caucasian adopted by an Asian family.
  • There Will Be Bad Blood - Stan's half brother and his family are coming to thanksgiving dinner.  This is Stan's chance to show off everything he has to his poor brother.  When the kids need an attitude adjustment, they head out to show them how Stan's brother lives which is surprisingly very well!  It turns out Stan's brother has been coming to Stan's house to make his kids appreciate all they have.
  • The People v. Martin Sugar - Stan loves to be on jury duty, and there is no leniency even when the defendant is Roger (as one of his aliases).
  • For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls - Stan gives Steve a gun for Christmas and he accidentally shoots Santa Claus, putting Christmas in jeopardy.
  • Fart-Break Hotel - Roger's toxic gas causes the family to be forced to evacuate.  At the hotel, Francine tries out a new life.
  • Stanny Boy and Frantastic - Stan and Francine are in search of new friends and they meet a great couple.  The new couple is younger than them, and has no children and Stan and Francine try to keep up, pretending to be just like them.  When that doesn't work, they decide to make the new couple more like them, slowed down by a family.
  • A Pinata Named Desire - Steve and his friends are laughed at for still having sleep-overs so they plan the ultimate and final sleepover.  Roger and Stan both pursue acting.
  • You Debt Your Life - Roger has an argument with Stan and moves out, but is quickly replaced.
  • I Am the Walrus - Stan must protect his claim as "big dog" of the family.
  • School Lies - The new guy gets on a task force right away and Stan has failed to make waves in his 20 years, which he thought was a good thing.  Now he wants to impress the Senator who makes those decisions.  When Steve's school is toxic, Stan doesn't want to send him to private school until he sees that the Senator's daughter attends the same school.  When Steve doesn't cooperate Stan is desperate enough to have Roger take his place.
  • License to Till - Roger and Klaus try to raise Steve's social status and Francine and Stan are busy pulling pranks.
  • Jenny Fromdabloc - Snot's 10 year crush has been rejected by Hayley and Steve and Roger attempt to cheer him up.   After watching an episode of Bewitched, Stan decides to live like a man from the 1960s.
  • Home Wrecker - Stan and Francine disagree about how to decorate the house, so they divide it up and decorate separately.  Principal Lewis uses Barry to help him gamble, until Barry turns on him.
  • Flirting with Disaster - Things go horribly bad when Francine gets a job in Stan's office.
  • Gorillas in the Mist - Steve is lost in the Gorilla cage at the zoo.  Roger opens a western bar.
Season six, or volume seven had guest stars including Hayden Panettiere, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jason Alexander and Burt Reynolds, among others.  A few of the episodes were pretty amusing; a lot of them were really dumb.  While I've been on the verge of quitting this show, I'm not there yet, and will go and ahead and try the next volume as well.  Which remind me to make one last complaint.  I don't like it when TV shows release volumes as I'd prefer actual season sets.  Why can't they just release an American Dad Season Six set?  Why does it have to be a volume and furthermore, why is season six listed as volume seven?  I think packaging my animated TV shows into volumes just makes things more confusing because for some reason when they come in "volumes" I have a harder time remembering if I've seen them before.

Video (3 out of 5 stars)

The video quality of the episodes is equal to that of the TV broadcast, certainly not any better.  The video quality of the special features has improved from the previous season.  It’s as good as I would expect from an animated DVD.

Audio (3 out of 5 stars)

American Dad Volume 7 is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.  For a television show on DVD, the sound isn't bad.  Dialogue is at a consistent level throughout and sound effects are realistic and not overwhelming.

Special Features (3 out of 5 stars) 

The special features are pretty much the same as in previous seasons with the exception of "I Love Patrick Stewart", which was pretty cute.
  • Deleted Scenes - There are deleted scenes from every episode.  None of them would have made a significant addition to the story.
  • I Love Patrick Stewart - Cast and Crew discuss how much they love Patrick Stewart and what an addition he is to the show.
  • American Dad at Comic-Con 2010 - The American Dad panel at Comic Con. Actors, writers/directors and creators sit on the panel.

Final Thoughts 3 / 5

Patrick Stewart as Avery Bullock is still the best part of the show.  With the addition of the "I Love Patrick Stewart" special feature it’s clear the creators realize that fact as well.  Hearing Patrick's Stewart's British accent and commanding voice delivering some of these ridiculous lines might be one of the reasons I keep watching.  This season is a slight improvement over last season so that gives me hope for the next season.

Order your copy today!


  1. I don't understand how anyone could ever rate Family Guy above this show, as to me it's not even remotely close (with the exception of Family Guys excellent first three seasons). The humor of AD is very clever and often brilliantly absurd, with the sharp comedic rhythm Family Guy once had. The jokes actually have creative, well-constructed plots to hang on, which makes them considerably more effective. Just like early Family Guy, it's got edgy humor that is subtle and never blatantly calls attention to itself.

    ADs biggest strength though is most certainly the characters. Unlike FG, every single character serves a purpose, and each has been given adequate time to really be fleshed out. They are all very unique of one another, and that really adds multiple layers of humor. Stan and Steve are very different, and that makes for good storytelling. Chris from Family Guy is just mini-Peter who plays almost no role in the proceedings.

    I know everyone has their own opinion, but I just don't understand how some people can't see the brilliance of this show.

    1. I haven't seen the show yet, but I let Jami know that there's a great comment for her to reply to. Thanks for reading the site and taking the time to comment on our review!

  2. I've tried hard but I just can't get on board with American Dad. Not every Family Guy episode is spectacular but they have some gems that make me laugh just thinking about it. American dad hasn't made me laugh yet.