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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > TV > Family Guy - The Freakin' Sweet Collection

Family Guy - The Freakin’ Sweet Collection


Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Episodes: B



As a longtime fan of Family Guy, I was a little disappointed in this short episode collective.  Back in the days of VHS (hard to imagine that was just a few years ago), this would have been a passable anthology - since owning the entire run of episodes on that format would have taken many volumes and the cost would have been outrageous.  But now that DVD is king, inexpensive TV show box sets that cover entire seasons are the norm for collectors.  Meanwhile, single disc “best of” collections have become a rarity, with animation and children’s programming being the exception to the rule.  These five episodes of a great show do little to whet your appetite for the upcoming new season; and the only reason for someone to buy becomes the advertised special features.  Unfortunately, they seem rather thrown together and are definitely not enough to warrant purchase of this disc.


The packaging makes it seem like you’re getting more that you actually are - and while it is nowhere untruthful, you don’t exactly get what you may be expecting.  For instance, while some of the commentaries may be new, I believe at least one of them to a leftover that went unused on the previously released box sets, as it makes reference to the show still being cancelled for good.  This doesn’t make much of a difference really, as it’s still gone unheard by the public - but it’s just the idea that this collection has been stuffed up with filler, rather than having time put into it to make it worth owning.  But aside from the fact that they may not be totally new, none of the commentaries are insightful or even funny at all - much like their tedious brethren on the box sets.


Aside from the commentaries, it’s also stated that there are 30 minutes of content from Seth MacFarlane, including a look at American Dad and the upcoming 4th season of Family Guy.  Most of this is just an interview with him, with clips from past seasons of Family Guy inserted here and there to keep the flow moving during edits.  The thing is - you can find the same exact information directly from Seth on Internet fan sites for free and get fresher updates as well.  There is a short preview of American Dad that runs a few minutes long thrown in to give a taste of what that show has to offer - but if you watched the pilot that aired after this year’s Super Bowl, then you saw all of that and more.  Besides, it doesn’t seem that that show will live up to the reputation its big brother has rightfully earned.


Lastly, the “restored” version of Road to Rhode Island only includes about an extra minute of material that almost goes overlooked.  In it, Stewie has to do a song and dance routine to distract airport security, then makes a comment hoping that Saddam doesn’t know showtunes.  Even though the episode originally aired before 9/11, since it dealt with terrorism, it was deemed too much by the censors.  Granted, this is a funny and classic segment that should have been left in to begin with - but I don’t think it's reason enough to buy this disc.


The picture and sound for the episodes is still excellent, as good as it would be when watching them air on TV.  The 1.33 X 1 full frame image is very crisp and detailed, with little to no pixelation noted at any point in time.  The sound is credited as 2.0 Dolby Surround like the box sets that came out a while back, but that’s only a slight improvement for those looking for an excuse to pick this up.  The only purpose I see for this DVD overall is getting it as a gift for an uninitiated potential fan of the show.  But if you’re already familiar and have gotten the box sets already - there’s nothing here that you’ll watch more than once before tiring of.  If you've been meaning to get your fix of the show on, just pick up the complete seasons - they're well worth that little bit of extra money you'll be spending.



-   David Milchick


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