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AMERICAN DAD
Volume 2

Review by Mark Wiechman

Stars:  Seth MacFarlane, Rachael MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes
Directors:  Pam Cooke, Seth MacFarlane
Audio: Dolby 5.1
Video:  Color Full Frame, aspect ratio 1.33:1, Spanish, French, and English subtitles
Studio:  20th Century Fox
Features:  See Review
Length: 408 Minutes
Release date:  May 15, 2007

“Steve, meet Patriot Pigeon.”
“You wrote a children’s book?”
“No Steve.  (pulls back curtain to reveal shelves of books) I wrote 3,012 children’s books.  Each chronicling the adventures of Patriot Pigeon, who battles America’s enemies by dropping red, white, and blue turds…of… justice.”

“Stan, Nancy Calliope has been kicked out of the Langley Conservatives.”
“What? Why?”
“We just found out her second car is a Prius.”
“Terrorist!”

Show ***

There isn’t really a particular episode which blows the viewer away like Stan of Arabia from the first season, but the season overall is still a scream, which is rare for a sophomore season of any show.  The show is less political and not as tied into current events, but avoids the random madness of A Family Guy, which has the same creators.

There are very strong episodes here in which Stan becomes a successful drag racer, leading Francine to reenact Tawny Kitaen’s famous Whitesnake video for Here I Go Again and of course in animation she can be even more outrageous.  The Dungeons and Wagons episode with video game characters but the same dorky voices had already been done on South Park but the story is more advanced. 

This season may have just about the funniest scene of the last few years.  As a Republican and a Civil War buff, I loved seeing Stan attempt to become a delegate to the Republican convention.  It takes a hilarious turn when he unintentionally becomes the hero of the Log Cabin Republicans.  It begins when he stars in a one-man show as Lincoln’s bodyguard.  For decades there have been theories that since Lincoln slept in the same bed as other men for years he was gay or bisexual.  But whether the viewer knows all of this or not, I am sure you will get this monologue:

“I was his bodyguard.  But he was…my everything.  Let me take you home, Abe, one more time.”  BAM (Whitney Houston) And I…………….will always love you….

Each performance there are more men in the audience, crying their eyes out.  When he goes to one of their parties, he still does not get it…until later.

Video ****

An excellent transfer, no artifacts or other problems, and naturally the picture is better than the original network broadcast. 

Audio ****

Not just a perfect mix in 5.1 but LOUD, too!  It is largely for the exceptional audio that I recommend hearing and not just seeing television on DVD.  The rear channels are not used to their full potential, maybe, but they are still used more than in most DVD television releases. 

Features ***

There is a multi-angle scene in the episode “Irregarding Steve” in which we can see a before and after version of Klaus (the fish) in his dream sequence.  His dream is pretty wild, and it ends with a James Bond-like sequence with Francine in a white shell bikini and ends in Atlantis (of course).

We finally get to meet the writers, creators, etc. but they are not terribly entertaining in themselves.  I would like to have learned more about their work methods, etc. We learn about the Dungeons and Wagons episode in which the brother and sister go against each other, and even get to meet the composer and conductor of the excellent score.  It gets old fast though because the episode was only above average, yet they discuss it as though it was Ben Hurr.

“Favorite Episodes” is nice enough but it includes episodes from Season One, which almost unintentionally shows how the first one was better.  And honestly who cares about the creators’ favorite episodes?  This is more of the mutual admiration society nonsense that fills so many DVD’s.  Only the most hard core fan would appreciate it, and maybe not even then.

“Deleted Scenes” is confusing without the context of the rest of the episode; there is no commentary or explanation.  Some of them are entertaining but not as much as they could have been.  One stands out, though, in which Steve is asked to sign the boobs of a fan at his book signing, and Stan brags that if it was not for him the book “would still be rattling around in his testicles.” 

Summary:

An excellent sophomore season, with a few nice features, and many more to come I hope!

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