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DVD Review

American Dad
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Rachael MacFarlane, Scott Grimes and Dee Bradley Baker
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 12
Available 12 May 2008

Take a trip down to the metropolitan area of Washington DC’s Langley Falls, and join number one Dad and CIA Agent Stan Smith and his crazy dysfunctional family. Follow the antics of the Smiths as they entangle themselves in ever more ridiculous situations. From Stan’s sweet trophy wife Francine to his socially-awkward pre-teen son Steve; along with his ultra-liberal daughter Hayley, Roger - the alcoholic Extra Terrestrial rescued from Area 51, and let’s not forget Klaus, the lascivious German-speaking goldfish...

Volume 3 of American Dad contains another 18 episodes of the animated series created by Seth MacFarlane who also created Family Guy.

Stan Smith will stop at nothing to fight for what he thinks is right for his country and his eccentric family. He works for the CIA and is always on the alert for terrorist activity. This proud family man and undisputed "Weapons Expert" will go to any extremes to protect people. However he is often keeping the homeland secure, whilst alienating his family and terrorizing the neighbours in the process. Stan will do whatever it takes to ensure domestic tranquility and make the world safe for democracy of the ultra-right-wing variety.

This collection contains episodes from mid-Season Three to mid-Season Four.

Stand out episodes in this collection include:

Bush Comes to Dinner, in which Stan wins a contest to have his hero, President Bush over for dinner, where Hayley tries to grill him over the Iraq war, and Steve and Roger try to convince him that they have found Osama Bin Laden. Bush ends up getting drunk and Stan tries to save him from public humiliation. While this episode is entertaining, I couldn't help but feel this was a wasted opportunity to really make fun of Bush - the creators are way to soft, which is not what fans of the show are used to. There's also a great dig at Tony Blair, which was originally supposed to be aimed at Donald Rumsfeld, who was defense [sic] secretary at the time. However Rumsfeld resigned his position in late 2006 and so the line was changed at the last minute to poke fun at Blair.

A.T. The Abusive Terrestrial: Roger realises that Steve has outgrown him, and decides to set out in search of someone who will appreciate him. Roger finally finds a young boy who makes him feel wanted again, but it's not long before the relationship turns sour - and Roger becomes the victim of domestic abuse. Meanwhile, Stan and Francine tour the Mr. Pibb factory, a carbonated drink that has been there at all of the important times in their lives. They discover that the company that makes Mr. Pibb is discontinuing the brand and so Stan and Francine decide to do something about it.

Black Mystery Month: It's Black History Month and Steve has to write a report on a famous black man. While doing his research Steve discovers that George Washington Carver didn't invent peanut butter after all and stumbles on a conspiracy that's been going since the Civil War. When the curator of the Smithsonian Peanut Museum tries to tell Steve the truth, he's murdered, and Steve and Stan are tracked by a secret society that will stop at nothing to keep this scandalous secret of American history. Based heavily on The Da Vinci Code, this episode also features a homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark. And, if you look closely enough, you'll spot a scene with the A-Team hidden in the background.

The Vacation Goo: This episode is actually the first episode of Season Four and sees Francine and the kids discover that none of their family vacations have ever been real. Every year Stan borrows virtual reality machines from work and hooks his family up in green goo tanks while he spends a few weeks relaxing at home. Understandable angry, Francine demands that they go on a proper holiday. But, when everything seems too good to be true, Francine suspects that this "real" holiday may be yet another fake memory implant.

Dope and Faith: Stan gets a new friend who is so in tune with him it's frightening. Everything goes swimmingly until Stan finds out his new best friend is an atheist. Meanwhile, Roger convinces Steve, who has a Harry Potter fixation, that he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The 42 Year Old Virgin, Stan is playing poker with the guys, and is uncovered as a virgin, but not in the traditional way, but that he’s never killed anyone! Roger and the guys set out to help him bust his killing cherry.

Surro-Gate: Cohabiting news anchors Greg Corbin and Terry Bates want to have a baby, but need to find a female surrogate. Francine agrees to bear the child, but how will Stan react?

Extras include audio commentaries for each episode (which to be honest are pretty run-of-the-mill and hardly ever provide any information that's overly interesting); Deleted Scenes (26 min, 23 secs of scenes that never made it into the final episodes); Comic-Con Table Read (53 min, 10 sec table read of the episode The 42 Year Old Virgin. There is also a Q&A session afterwards).

To be honest, there isn't a bad episode in this collection, and fans of the show will be pleased to add this to their collection.


Darren Rea

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