Volume 6 should really just be called Season Five, because this collects all the episodes from that season.
The Main Characters
This series showcases the Smith family. Stan is the main character. He is the head of the household and is a CIA secret agent and staunch Republican. He is a real man’s man. His wife is Francine, a stay-at-home mom with more than a few psychological issues. They have two children, Hayley, a girl who goes against everything her father stands for, and Steve, a nerdy boy in the most awkward stage of his life. The family is rounded out with Roger, an alien with an appetite for wine and afternoon television, and Klaus, a fish that has in it the brain of a German man.
Langley Falls, USA. It appears to be outside of Washington DC, or thereabouts.
Just a quick note, I wanted to keep track of all the different incarnations Roger takes in the new opening of the show, so they will all be listed underneath the Original Airdate.
1) In Country…Club (21:53)
Original Airdate: 09/27/09
--Roger in opening: Hawaiian
Stan is really excited that Steve will be singing the National Anthem in front of a group of veterans and he takes it very seriously. He tries to prep Steve for it but the feeling just isn’t there. So he decides that what is missing is that Steve hasn’t actually seen war and of course seeing war is what gives you the passion to sing the Anthem. So he brings Steve is a Vietnam War re-enactment at the golf course and soon Steve is taking it way too seriously, becoming a burnt-out reenactment veteran with a serious case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Eventually Steve recovers but seeing him go through the “war” and saving his father makes the Season 5 debut episode hilarious. There’s awesome music (Fortunate Son and White Rabbit add to the ‘Nam atmosphere), cool animation (the flashback scene) and some fantastic lines (Stan’s advice for Steve’s singing: “Line your though with Vaseline. It helps your voice. It’s an old Elton John trick). Even the B-story of Roger buying a $500 PPV (Barbara does Celine) while eating some rare bird dish delivered. Great episode to start the season.
2) Moon Over Isla Island (21:54)
Original Airdate: 10/04/09
--Roger: German in Lederhosen
There were two main stories here and I thought it was the subplot that outdid the main story in this episode. The main story finds Stan using Roger way too much and Roger not appreciating it. Stan says he’ll change and it looks like he does when he brings Roger on vacation until Roger learns that Stan was just using Roger and his costumes to take over as the dictator of Isla Island that accidentally died while with Stan. Roger takes it badly and runs the country poorly until their eventual reunion. While that story dragged there was a great B-story of Snot and Steve trying to out-do each other in accidentally getting touched by their mothers! It started when Francine had to save a drowning Snot and Snot ended up in her cleavage. He bragged to everyone so Steve had to get the mother to accidentally brush his crotch. Of course the ending was spectacularly gross, but in a funny way and for me was the only redeeming part of the episode.
3) Home Adrone (21:55)
Original Airdate: 10/11/09
--Roger: Afro with a mustache & cape.
Stan, Francine and Hayley (with Roger) go to look at some colleges, leaving Steve home alone. He brings his friends over and they find a flight simulator. Turns out it is actually controlling a drone that is real! They have some fun until they crash it and Steve brings it to Snot’s “no questions asked,” mechanic. Meanwhile, Stan and the family have their plan stuck on the tarmac thanks to the drone and when Stan leaves the plan he realizes that he can’t get back on the plane. He goes home, finds out what Steve has done and now must get the drone, which had been stolen by Chinese mobsters for use in their New Year’s Parade, back. The main story was adequate, but the sub-plot of Roger, Francine and Hayley stuck on the plane and Roger’s persona’s getting him in trouble left a lot to be desired.
4) Brains, Brains and Automobiles (21:56)
Original Airdate: 10/18/09
--Roger: Phantom of the Opera!
Stan firmly believes that Fran will never leave him thanks to an ace up his sleeve: Roger. With Roger around Francine will never realize how boring Stan really is! Unfortunately, when Stan brags about that to Klaus (“He can’t take care of himself, he’s like a baby…or Africa!”), Roger hears it and leaves! Stan’s left alone with the kids out of the house and he’s panicking. He tries everything to bring Roger back, even poisoning him! This causes Roger to lapse into a coma and Stan must use some experimental CIA tech to go into his mind. Francine finds out what Stan did and confront s him (in Roger’s mind, no less) and runs off (still in Roger’s mind). Stan finds her eventually and they make up once Fran realized Stan’s fear of being boring. Some of the sight gags in Roger’s mind were decent (him auditioning for Small Wonder, for example) but storyline wise I thought it was a bit weak. The kids were out of the house thanks to a summer camp and Steve thinks he needs better underwear to be cool. He buys underwear from a traveling salesman and that ends as well as you’d think. That B-story wasn’t given much time but the time it did get was great.
5) The Man In Moonbounce (21:56)
Original Airdate: 11/08/09
--Roger in opening: an Indian with a turban
Stan desperately wants Steve to act like a grown-up and tries to throw an adult 13-year-old party, complete with a pitch from a life insurance salesman. Francine gets Steve a Star Trek moonbounce and Steve (and his friends) have way more fun with that. Things get weird with Stan runs in there to get Steve out, has a lot of fun, and then gets depressed to the point he stays two days in the Moonbounce. Stan’s feeling that way since he never had a childhood! So a psychiatrist tells Stan to act like a child and he does, until he eggs someone’s house and gets three months in jail. He finds jail is really fun (it’s a low-security prison with Wesley Snipes in there) and he can act like a kid there. He actually wants to stay. He has a change of heart when he sees how beat up Steve is acting like the adult and he wants to leave. Roger convinces the parole board that Stan needs the whole three months and Stan is stuck there. When he does get out he gets Steve to be a child again by throwing him down a slip and slide. The A-story had some momentum early, but kind of trailed off at the end. The B-story was excellent once again, with Klaus lamenting he has no hair, Hayley getting him a wig, and then Klaus freaking out when she gives him a bad Ryan Philippe type haircut.
6) Shallow Vows (21:54)
Original Airdate: 11/15/09
--Roger in opening: Sikh with a beard and turban.
Stan and Francine’s 20th wedding anniversary is coming up and they plan a big bash. Francine gets a little pissed when Stan admits he married Francine just for her looks. They agree not to see each other for two weeks (to simulate how they got married) and when Francine shows up to the ceremony she looks like a beast with bad teeth, her roots showing and more plump than usual. Stan actually runs away from the ceremony. He eventually admits he needs to try to get to know her aside from her looks but he can’t get past them. So he does what any rational person would do – he blinds himself. He finds this works out well and he enjoys being with Francine. The twist at the end is that Francine is not looking forward to caring for a blind husband and she’s just as shallow as he is! So she goes back to how she looked and they both are content to be shallow in their marriage. There’re two b-stories – one with Klaus and a dead fish and one with the kids looking for a nice anniversary present and both stumbled towards the conclusion. Luckily the main story was well-written and funny enough to make the b-stories tolerable.
7) My Morning Straitjacket (21:55)
Original Airdate: 11/22/09
--Roger in opening: Female Telemarketer
Stan doesn’t like that Hayley is going to a concert and even more annoyed when he bans her from going and Francine lets her go anyway! So he shows up at the concert, wearing earplugs so his ears won’t have to hear the music. He finds Hayley at the show and tries to bring her home but in the process one of the earplugs falls out and he’s subjected to the sounds of My Morning Jacket. And Stan loves it. He gets really wrapped up in their music and is obsessed with it, so much so that he wants to meet the lead singer of the band. He quickly forgets everything in his life, even work and his family. There’s a funny sequence where he’s zoning out to the music and doesn’t see Steve get stabbed by a robber and almost drowns Hayley in their pool. Anyway, he tries to meet the lead singer using Roger (whose character, Abbey Road, fails) and then using Francine (who is a pro at getting backstage). He meets him and discovers that the music wasn’t written just for him and the person who really understands Stan is Francine. There’s a live performance of My Morning Jacket at the end of the show. I enjoyed this episode, especially Stan’s obsessive nature going into overdrive here.
8) G-String Circus (21:50)
Original Airdate: 11/29/09
--Roger in opening: Dork with glasses, almost like Napoleon Dynamite.
Stan gets really upset with Hayley wanting to take a semester off from school to work for charity. This leads him to bring strippers into his house because he is convinced they will turn out well by taking his advice, something Hayley isn’t doing. They both open stores and Stan’s starts to struggle. He has to take up stripping to make ends meet. You can see the ending a mile away here and the obvious does happen – Francine catches her dad stripping. All in all, Hayley realizes she should be thankful for her dad’s advice and Stan shouldn’t lie to his kid. This was a bit of a drag as an episode and came off as too sitcomish instead of the clever writing we usually get.
9) Rapture’s Delight (22:27)
Original Airdate: 12/13/09
--Roger in opening: Santa!
This would be the annual Christmas episode but it is a bit different than your traditional Christmas Special. Stan gets the family ready for Christmas Mass, because God pays more attention during Christmas, and he’s upset their late. He can’t wait for the Rapture so he can ascend into heaven where he rightly belongs. So they get to mass and there’re no seats! Francine takes Stan to the janitor’s room and gives Stan his Christmas present. When they come out of the room it is strangely silent. They soon realize that the Rapture occurred and they’re left behind! Stan’s really despondent about this and tries to get Raptured when Jesus comes to Earth for his second coming. Of course, his obsession with getting raptured leads to Francine leaving him for Jesus himself! We fast-forward to 7-years later and the Armageddon is in full-swing. Stan’s got a hook for a hand. Jesus finds him and asks him for a favor – save a kidnapped Francine from the Anti-Christ. Stan does, at the sacrifice of his own life. The episode really had it all – the return of the Golden Turd, the Riddler-esque Anti-Christ, some great one-liners and it just felt epic. This is definitely THE episode of Season Five.
10) Don’t Look A Smith Horse in the Mouth (21:48)
Original Airdate: 01/03/10
--Roger in opening: Evel Knievel
Times are tough and everyone has to make sacrifices – Francine even has to roll her own tampons! The only one (aside from Roger) who isn’t cutting corners is Stan; he’s clinging to his gas-guzzling SUV. He won’t give it up! He tries other ways of getting money, like risking money on a horse (incidentally it is ridden by Roger). When the horse loses Roger convinces Stan to BUY the horse. They are preparing it for the next big race but Stan ruins that idea by using his hand to, um, release its semen. I think that’s the nicest way I could put it. He did that thanks to the prodding of Roger. So Stan needs a win and he resorts to switching minds with the horse! Stan prepares for the big race, reconciles with Francine, and wins the big race. The b-story was rather pointless, with Steve and the gang doing work for the fat neighbor named Tuttle.
11) A Jones for a Smith (21:53)
Original Airdate: 01/31/10
--Roger in opening: Preppie kid with a crew cut and sweater.
Stan is really pissed off about social programs that give handouts to people, something Roger is taking full advantage of. Stan REFUSES to help anyone, not a choking Hayley, and not even an imprisoned Francine (she got into jail by driving drunk while switching sides of the street for alternate side). Francine has to do community service which bothers Stan. While making his point at the soup kitchen he gets some “cold medicine” for his cold. The cold medicine is actually crack and he gets immediately hooked. He is so addicted he tries to turn tricks on the nice father of the girl Steve is dating, the girl whose father will let them do things in their house as long as he uses protection. Stan falls so far he takes the gay reporters (why can’t we just be reporters?) hostage and then leaves for South America in a plane. He soon realizes that sometimes it is okay to ask for help. This was another great episode. There were so many little things with Stan’s addiction, like wanting to be locked into Roger’s attic and then bailing after only seconds, his reappearance at the end that he needs help…AFTER smoking crack one more time, people scoffing at Hayley’s pot addiction and even Steve’s attitude towards his father. The two stories met in the episode and those always seem to work well for the show.
12) May The Best Stan Win (21:53)
Original Airdate: 02/14/10
--Roger in opening: Doofy Kid.
This would be the American Dad Valentine’s Day episode. It all begins with Stan taking Francine for granted. He mentions that when they die they won’t be buried together because he will be frozen and turned into a robot. As if on cue, the robot from the future shows up. He tells current Stan he needs to train for the time when robots rise up (sort of like Terminator) but it was all a ruse for Robo-Stan to steal Francine away from him! Surprisingly, it works! This leads to the inevitable confrontation between Stan and Robo-Stan. The b-story finds Steve and gang coming upon Toshi’s father’s sex doll, though they think it is just a mannequin. They film a movie with her until Roger takes over and tries to turn it into the Goonies. It wasn’t terribly interesting and the episode mainly fell flat.
13) Return of the Bling (21:53)
Original Airdate: 02/21/10
--Roger in opening: Bearded Character that he’s used before this season.
Stan doesn’t like Steve’s report on his hero: The Lord of the Ring’s Legolas. Stan tells him that heroes need to be real, like his: Ronald Reagan and the 1980 Miracle on Ice. Of course, Roger walks in and reveals that he in fact was on that time. Stan doesn’t believe him until Roger brings him to the Reunion Party. Stan starts revering Roger now and Stan even suggests Roger shoot him in the face so Stan can have a glory hole! Stan’s opinion of Roger immediately changes when Roger tells everyone he was on steroids. Stan’s odd sense of morality prompts him to give up on his Miracle on Ice heroes and convince Roger to return the Gold Medal. They head off to the Olympic Headquarters but Roger goes mad and makes the plane crash! Only Stan and Steve survive and they head off to destroy the medal the only way they can, by dumping it into the Olympic Flame. This leads to a cool LOTR homage where Roger turns into Gollum going after the medal. Stan’s world crashes down when the Olympic Committee reveals they’ve known the whole time about the steroid use and they put up with it since the 1980 Miracle on Ice is the only thing keeping the Winter Olympics going. The ending with Roger biting off Stan’s finger because that’s what they did in the movies was pretty awesome. The b-story focuses on Reginald and Hayley and Hayley definitely coming onto him when Reggie sticks up for her. Reggie won’t do anything because he’s got a girlfriend already.
14) Cops and Roger (21:53)
Original Airdate: 04/11/10
--Roger in opening: A Mountie!
A thief robs Francine and Roger and Roger shames himself by running away! Roger wants to change his cowardly ways and decides to enroll in the Police Academy! He’s too weak to really succeed so Stan looks after him and helps him graduate. In true Roger fashion he becomes a dirty cop just minutes after graduation! Roger does do right by Stan when Stan’s life comes in peril and he kills the other dirty cop (in one of the most gruesome comedy scenes you’ll see, complete in slow-motion). Meanwhile, Reggie and Hayley go on a double-date and their chemistry is obvious. Reggie is dumped and Hayley immediately dumps her boyfriend to be with him. This was a simple episode to recap but the ongoing Roger/Stan and Hayley/Reggie stuff made this very entertaining. Any episode where Roger plays Stan’s foil is worth watching.
15) Merlot Down Dirty Shame (21:53)
Original Airdate: 04/18/10
--Roger in opening: A fat woman.
There’s a cool opening for, “Previously on American Dad,” showing Roger and Stan stuck in an elevator and becoming BFF’s because of it (this was never actually on a previous episode, which made it funnier). We fast-forward to Roger going with Francine to a Winery because Stan didn’t want to go. They both get completely wasted and Roger actually kisses Francine! Roger thinks they shouldn’t tell Stan what happened and things get complicated when Stan shows up. It gets even more complicated when Francine wants to tell Stan! The rest of the second act finds Roger doing the craziest things to get Francine not to tell (even burying her!) and even tries to get a girlfriend (the ugly bartender) to kiss Stan! It all fails so Roger tries one last gambit – he tells Stan that Francine kissed him! Stan says this will lead to divorce and he will have to move and Roger won’t be in the attic anymore. Roger doesn’t like that so he tells Stan the truth, albeit after he buries him. Stan later pummels Roger for his actions. The b-story was actually just as awesome, with Steve saying he knows he’s in control of his lucid dreams when he sees a red rubber ball bouncing by. Klaus gets pissed that Steve won’t tell him how to do it so he and Hayley screw with Steve by bouncing the red ball in front of him and Steve thinks he’s dreaming! The end to the whole thing is classic American Dad. He goes to his school in his undies, takes the girl and jumps out a window thinking he’s flying. He ends up injured and the girl gets impaled on a fence post. Two high-quality storylines here (though with more time if they should’ve resolved the b-story a bit better) make this another strong episode.
16) Bully for Steve (21:53)
Original Airdate: 04/25/10
--Roger in opening: Eye-patched pirate.
American Dad was on a huge roll here with another good episode. Stan can’t stand how Steve (another good foil to Stan’s ways) is such a wimp! He does the only thing he can to toughen him up – he actually bullies him! Steve covers for his dad when Francine keeps seeing Steve coming home bruised but he can’t hide it for long when the principal catches Stan doing the bullying on tape. Francine is pissed and tries to train Steve in MMA (which she used to do) but Steve’s too frail for that and she just gets frustrated. Steve eventually stands up to his dad in his own way – by hiring Stan’s old bully (STELIO!) to teach Stan a lesson. The theme song for the beat-down (which is just singing STELIO) was amazing, especially when its shown that Stelio had it playing on his cassette player. The fight scene at the end was epic. Stan actually admits that Steve’s ways were okay. Finally, the Reggie experiment ends for Hayley when Jeff shows up again.
17) An Incident at Owl Creek (21:53)
Original Airdate: 05/09/10
--Roger in opening: Monocled intellectual.
The Smith’s are invited to a pool party and Stan has to make sure his family is ready to not embarrass him. Everything goes very well until Roger shows up claiming to be Stan’s brother. So Stan diverts attention by performing a cannonball. However, he’d eaten too much meat and his stomach isn’t feeling well. It’s too late for him to back off so he jumps in, and craps in the pool! Stan’s ruined! Stan tries escaping and he ends up going to Mercyville, Indiana, but someone there recognizes him and they have to leave again (after Stan kills the guy). Soon he realizes he’ll never escape. So, in his own twisted mind, he realizes that if he gets Obama to crap in the pool people will see it isn’t that bad. The plan goes well until they can’t give Obama the laxative! Klaus tries and is obliterated by Secret Service bullets. Stan is done until Obama tells him not to worry about other people think. Stan wakes up, on the diving board, and feels renewed by Obama. He won’t care what other people think! He jumps in, poops, and is laughed at. He returns home, dejected, and adds Obama’s name to the list of people who gave him bad advice in life-like daydreams.
18) The Great Space Roaster (21:53)
Original Airdate: 05/16/10
--Roger in opening: His Kevin Bacon character
The Smith’s come home and the place was robbed! Actually, it wasn’t a robbery, it was Roger looking for what his birthday party was. Roger says he’s going to be turning 1601 and he’s hitting puberty! He wants a Roast! He wants it to be brutal, too! Meanwhile, the CIA is teaming up with CHIA as a sponsor and they’ll be sending someone into space. So the Roast is on and the family tells it like it is and Roger is roasted badly. Roger then takes it too seriously and runs off crying. Roger now wants to change. He is doing well, except for the fact that he’s trying to kill the Smith’s! They stow him away in a prison that is inescapable and of course Roger breaks free and he tells them that there’s no place they can hide. So Stan and the family head off to space for the CHIA Project. Roger gets them anyway, overwhelms them and then forces the family to roast each other! They do and have a good laugh and Roger realizes it is because they are part of a family and they know they love each other. Decent episode but nowhere near as good as the quality of the other episodes on here.
This DVD really shows why American Dad is succeeding while other shows, like Family Guy and Cleveland Show, are suffering. They don’t focus as much on the cutaways and goofs but actual interesting scripts with satirical and funny looks at society. Stan as the ultra-Republican is a perfect character for the show and his big, moralistic ideas work very well playing off of Roger and his alien decadence. I think that was a character that Hayley originally was but she’s sort of been relegated to just a minor character (sort of like Meg?). The episodes that work the best are the Stan/Roger episodes, like Jones for a Smith. There were some excellent episodes in here: My Morning Straitjacket, In Country…Club, A Jones for a Smith, Return of the Bling and pretty much the rest of Disc 3 were all standouts, with the highlight being the epic Rapture’s Delight. Rapture is that rare episode that lives up to its hype. It takes everything about religion and turns it on its head and the reason a lot of these episodes work is because of Roger (for example, when he learns of the Rapture, “Oh my god, you people are flying now?”). He’s not human so he can say these outlandish things and point out things that otherwise would be controversial, but since he’s an alien with an outsider’s view it makes it alright. He’s just such the polar opposite of Stan that any pairing of those two always works. This was a season that, because of its length (and the big gaps), didn’t appear to be that great when it was on. But watching all of these episodes back to back revealed that by the middle of the season the writers got into a groove and there were great episodes after great episodes. Seriously, all of Disc Three was great and most of Disc Two was great, too. Add in two awesome episodes from Disc One and I think you have the best season of American Dad.
1) Audio Commentary on In Country…Club
Like the other Family Guy and even The Cleveland Show DVD’s before this, there isn’t commentary on every episode, just select ones. We have Matt Weitzman, Albert Calleros, Murray Miller, Judah Miller and Lauren Caltagirone. The writers all joke around at the beginning about how they don’t watch the show. There is discussion of the French Bird joke and how the man who really did that wanted it to be his last meal and he ate it when he was very sick. Of course he didn’t die right away so he starved himself and that’s what he ended up dying of. There is discussion of Apocalypse Now and Platoon and other ‘Nam movies. One of the writers notices the waves on one of the golf carts is going the wrong way! There were some funny moments; with Matt hitting on Lauren and the continuing theme of what would your last meal be before… (some event) and most of the writers choosing cocaine. I thought it’d be more informative considering how few commentaries there are but it was a fun 22-minutes.
2) Deleted Scenes (9:42)
There are deleted scenes for all six episodes. I won’t go through them scene by scene or even episode by episode, but I’ll mention the funnier ones. There was a running Mercedes Rule joke in Moon Over Isla Island. Another running joke that was deleted (in the Home Adrone episode) had Snot and Toshi talking about their grandfather’s greatest regrets and it all had WWII ties (Warsaw in 1938 and Hiroshima in 1945).
1) Audio Commentaries
---A) My Morning Straitjacket
This was recorded by Mike Barker, Chris Bennett, Brent Woods and Matt Fusfeld. They had to do six song clearances for this episode and Matt reveals he never heard any MMJ before this episode. They mention meeting with the band and showing them the American Dad/Family Guy studios to try and lure them into doing the episode, which worked. The weird MMJ fan (the farting one) was based on a real person, although the cartoon maxed up the weird a lot. Fun commentary.
---B) Rapture’s Delight
Mike Barker, Matt McKenna, Joe Daniello, Jeff Rebner and Kevin Thresher join us for this commentary. This was heavily introduced by the Heavy Metal and Escape From New York movies of the 80’s. There was talk of this actually being an American Dad movie but it was instead made into just one (epic) episode. They theorize that this is the end of the Golden Turd. The Riddler idea was one they all liked and every scene with him featured a titled camera angle.
---C) A Jones for a Smith
Mike Barker, John Aoshima, Jansen Yee, Laura McCreary and Matt Fusfeld are on this commentary. This was American Dad’s transition from the Bush administration to the Obama one, though it was a subtle one and not really an overt one. There was originally supposed to be a Yeti in the obstacle course scene and Tuttle was brought in to be a recurring character, but that never took off.
2) The Interdisciplinary Collective for American Dad Studies Commentaries
This was a really interesting concept. For two episodes (Rapture’s Delight and A Jones For A Smith), there were three PHD experts in cultural studies (sorry for the spelling mistakes: Anthony Cristofeny, Vanessa Carlisle and Tonya Paul, who was only on the second one) commenting on the episode. They had some very insightful things to say about the show in general and who it makes fun of. Mike Barker hosted the whole thing with Jordan Blume in the room, as well. They love how this is not the usual satire that goes after easy targets but everyone. One thing I didn’t notice was in “A Jones for a Smith,” that Stan, who was against handouts, gets hooked on crack because of a handout (he did get it for free). There was also mention of Stan and society in general never leaving their high school insecurities behind. These were two really well-informed commentaries and well worth a listen.
3) The Making of Rapture’s Delight (9:55)
American Dad’s annual Christmas episode for 2009 was a special reason for them to do the Rapture episode they always wanted to do. They wanted American Dad to look like hell, and they succeeded. This was originally intended to be a 9-act, 3-episode movie but was condensed into just one episode. Heavy comic-book style inks were used for the video Armageddon sequence. They had a bit of an issue with the third act until one of the writer’s suggested they move 7 years into the future. They really liked the Anti-Christ as Riddler. Everyone agrees this was the greatest American Dad episode.
4) Rapture’s Delight Comic-Con Exclusive Poster
This is a cool retro-looking post-apocalyptic 1980’s poster featuring Stan and Francine during Armageddon.
5) Rapture’s Delight Broadcast Script
This is the entire script for the episode, though I really wish it was a table read instead of just the script.
6) Deleted Scenes (12:19)
Again, there are deleted scenes from all six episodes. Francine mentions her heartbreak when she met Ray Parker Jr., sort of like Stan’s meeting with James. There’s a funny Jesus Christ joke in Rapture’s Delight, an extended sequence between Stan and Roger about working the horse and Stan sleeping with Francine as the horse.
1) Audio Commentaries
---A) Merlot Down Dirty Shame
Matt Weitzman, Josue Cervantes, Brian Boyle, Wendy Schaal and Dee Bradley Baker all make their voices heard for this commentary. Wendy mentions kissing the back of her hand for the kissing scene and Wendy says she actually had a dream about Seth once which gets the guys going. There was a snail character with a recurring bit in this episode that was cut.
---B) A Great Space Roaster
We end with this commentary by Matt Weitzman, Jonathan Fener, Joe Daniello, Mickey Rose and Jordan Blum. They mention the movie Savage, which I’ve never heard of before. The Roasts were inspired by the Dean Martin ones. They mention the challenges of doing a one-story show (there’s no B-Story here). They wanted to use Chevy Tahoe for the ad-part but Chevy wouldn’t let them so they went with Tumbler instead. “I Saw The Sign,” was used because the writer thought it was a creepy song. The movie UP is mentioned for no real reason other than they have nothing to talk about. Chia was hesitant to belong to the show, too because some advertisers are worried about getting free promotion and hearing about it from other companies. They mention an American Dad movie where they go to Roger’s home planet. I would LOVE to see that.
2) American Dad Honors Its Four-Legged Friends (3:28)
This is a series of clips from the TV show featuring animals in various states of death and dying. They’ve killed a lot of animals on this show!
3) Deleted Scenes (19:01)
There are a ton of deleted scenes here. The cop who questions Francine is funny, as is the scene with Reggie and Hayley and the excuses their significant others use (time for Log and Blog). There’s the snail character that was written out of the Merlot episode. The snail’s wife is killed by being crushed and he runs to get help, very, slowly. There’s a great joke about Stan’s new identity being Stan Puhlshidder (sound it out!). Stan picks a new name: Richard Gahbler (aka, Dick) which is another funny name. The sequence at the end of Coaster was pretty good – with Roger making fun of the family and them getting sick of it after only one day on the station.
The video is presented in widescreen format and the audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The video transfer was actually excellent and I think it’s better than what was done on the Family Guy DVD sets. The colors are bright and clear and there are no instances where the picture pixelates at all. The sound is what you’d expect from a TV show but still good.
C) Packaging / Liner Notes
This is a single DVD clam-shell case and it is following a trend set forth by the last few Family Guy DVD releases. So all three DVD’s are in the single case and not much else is included. There’s a one page ad for all the American Dad and Family Guy DVD’s. All the information you need for the shows is on the interior of the DVD cover that you can see through the clear clamshell and some of the font is really small, so you may need a microscope to see the small print (like the names of the people in the commentary).
We have some Animation Domination commercials to start this off. There’re ads for the Family Guy Volume 9 DVD, Cleveland Show Season 2 DVD (1:04 for the two), Futurama Volume 5 (0:17) and Bob’s Burgers Season One (0:32). American Dad has done away with the commentaries on every episode, just like Family Guy has done and I think it has worked. It was sometimes boring and tedious to listen to all the commentaries when the writers wouldn’t really have much to say. There were only commentaries on 6 of the 18 episodes (or a third of them) and they were actually interesting. The Interdisciplinary Commentaries were the real highlights for me. I loved the in-depth intellectual look at the show and I got a new appreciation for the series as a result. The deleted scenes were a nice addition, as was the love given to Rapture’s Delight. I really wish a table-read of the episode would’ve been here instead of just the script but that’s the only real criticism I have for this collection. The strength of these sets are the episodes themselves. It’s nice to have a good array of extras but those would be worthless if the source material wasn’t entertaining and thankfully this has a bevy of entertaining episodes. I still think American Dad is the best of the three Seth shows on Animation Domination and the witty writing and social commentary separates it from the sometimes crass, gag-filled Family Guy and Cleveland Show.
9.0-9.5 Near Perfect, Highly Recommended
8.0-8.5 Really good disc, Recommended
7.0-7.5 Good DVD, Mildly recommended
6.0-6.5 Above Average DVD. Mildest of mild recommendations
5.0-5.5 Decent all around disc, but catch it on TV
4.0-4.5 Great Movie but horrible DVD
3.0-3.5 Horrible movie but great DVD
2.0-2.5 Thereís at least some merit to this DVD, but not much.
1.0-1.5 Horrible DVD, donít even bother
0.0-0.5 Worst DVD ever