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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > TV > American Dad! - Volume One (Fox DVD)

American Dad! – Volume One


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



As I noted in a recent review of Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane began another animated comedy with American Dad! where some of that comeback comedy’s humor migrated.  Though the show has not been a smash hit, Fox is sticking by it no matter what because they do not want to cancel a potential hit in the long term just because it did not become a hit off the bat.  With the release of American Dad! – Volume One, they are hoping the initial DVD release will land the larger audience that DVD did for Family Guy, which set DVD sales records and then ratings records as a result.


The set up this time includes a patient wife named Francine, a CIA agent title character Stan Smith who is on the job all the time despite there not being any jobs to be on, dork son Steve, annoyed daughter Hayley, talking fish and alien who talks like Paul Lynde!  There are 13 episodes in this set with all but the second show featuring commentary tracks:


1)     Pilot

2)     Threat Levels

3)     Stan Knows Best

4)     Francine’s Flashback

5)     Roger Codger

6)     Homeland Insecurity

7)     Deacon Stan, Jesus Man

8)     Bullocks To Stan

9)     A Smith In The Hand

10)  All About Steve

11)  Con Heir

12)  Stan Of Arabia (Parts One & Two)



It is a good show, but there are a few things that have not gelled so far.  For one thing, the politics are tame, only good for the occasional smile or joke.  Also, the biggest missed opportunity is spoofing the Spy genre.  This is not to say this should be a darker version of Get Smart or even Inspector Gadget, but it is the most under-exploited aspect of the show.  Another problem since its early 2005 debut is that some of the things it is joking about are becoming less humorous as the current Bush Administration’s policy becomes more catastrophic and disastrous.  Not that the whole show is about one thing, but it is the crux of the title character.


No doubt the show has its moments and is smart, but I have a felling that in the long run, this will become more of a cult show and acquired taste than a huge hit unless it shifts gets suddenly.  Fortunately, this is a loaded set that even those unfamiliar with the show and other non-fans can really appreciate.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 presentation is not bad, with superior color richness and quality lacking from many anamorphically enhanced widescreen DVD transfers, plus remarkable detail to match.  There are aliasing errors and it is not quite up to the best Family Guy transfers, but is really nice just the same.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is pretty good, though nothing of demo quality, though some parts made me wonder how much better this might have sounded in DTS.  The extras after the commentaries previously noted above with various cast and crew include 3 featurettes, script reading with animatics and 42 deleted scenes. 



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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