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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > TV > Family Guy – Volume Three (Season Four, Part One)

Family Guy – Volume Three (Season Four, Part One)


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



In a comeback like nothing since Star Trek, Family Guy is one of the all-time great returns of a great show.  I discussed the great thing about the show coming back in our review of the original shows in their two great box sets.  Volume Three covered the first half of the 4th Season, which I guess will even up the numbers by the next box.  So the question is, could the show really get its act back together and be the great show it was?


For one thing, Seth MacFarlane began another animated comedy with American Dad, so some of the comedy that might resurface here migrated to that series.  Also, can the talented group of performers, producers and writers have their chemistry again after such a lapse of time?  Most of them were able to return.  Well, as remarkable as this is, they succeeded for the most part.  Sure, some time has passed and TV has actually become even more racy and raunchy despite supposed new standards.  The new shows take advantage of the new freedom without squandering it much, though the sexual material is some of the most shocking any broadcast show has featured to date.  Fortunately, the teleplays are great and pop culture references as hilarious as ever.  There are 13 episodes this time around, with those featuring commentaries marked with an *:


1)     North By North Quahog* (the show that goes after Mel Gibson)

2)     Fast Times At Buddy Cianci Jr. High

3)     Blind Ambition*

4)     Don’t Make Me Over

5)     The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire*

6)     Petarted*

7)     Brian The Bachelor*

8)     8 Simple Rules For Buying My Teenage Daughter*

9)     Breaking Out Is Hard To Do*

10)  Model Misbehavior

11)  Peter’s Got Woods*

12)  Perfect Castaway*

13)  Jungle Love* (where Stewie goes after Will Ferrell for Bewitched)



The titles again are a hoot and only begin to give you an idea of how non-stop riotous each show is.  Not every joke works and not every show is a masterwork, but most of the jokes are a hoot and each densely-written episode is very rewatchable as is the tradition of the series by now.


The picture quality remains one of the most outstanding examples of full frame 1.33 X 1 presentation in DVD to date, with superior color richness and quality lacking from many anamorphically enhanced widescreen DVD transfers, plus remarkable detail to match.  The sound is this time offered in Dolby Digital 5.1 versus Dolby 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds from the last set.  Now I really wish these were in DTS, but the 5.1 mixes are a bit better than the 2.0 mixes, if not severely so.  The result is great playback as was the case with the outstanding Stewie Griffin Story single disc reviewed elsewhere on this site.


The extras after the commentaries previously noted above with various cast and crew celebrating the shows and their comeback are all on Disc Three this time.  This includes storyboard/animatic comparisons, deleted scenes animatics, multi-angle table reads, and two featurettes.  One is on the music for the show called Score! running about 8 minutes (though I wish it was longer) and the other called World Domination: The Family Guy Phenomenon that runs just over 24 minutes.  All very much enhance the set and makes for a great continuation of the huge hit DVD sets that preceded it.  Family Guy - Volume Three is easily one of the best TV on DVD releases of the year.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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