"Nothing gold can stay," as poet Robert Frost wrote. That pretty much sums up how I feel about what Family Guy was, and what it has become recently. There was a time when it was one of the funniest shows on TV; it was comedy gold. But somewhere along the line, the show's shine faded, its image was tarnished and the magic disappeared.
That's not to say that Family Guy hasn't been good at all lately. Season 8 certainly had a few good episodes, including the season opener, "Road to the Multiverse," which had a clever premise that was executed well. But after the first episode, the quality of the stories started to decline. "Brian's Got a Brand New Bag" and "Jerome is the New Black" were two episodes that felt remarkably unfunny, with lazy and unoriginal writing. Every other episode in the first half was a failure.
It felt like the team running the show were just phoning it in and hoping that the show's previous successes would create some kind of reality distortion effect that would make people think their crappy jokes were actual comedy. And for a while, I'll admit I kind of succumbed to this effect. When the series stopped entertaining me and actually started boring me, I initially thought that maybe I just didn't "get it." Maybe I'd gotten too old and jaded to see the value of what the show was doing. I tried to give the series the benefit of the doubt, like a frustrated lover desperately trying to find out what was going wrong with his relationship with his once-wonderful girlfriend, only to finally realize that over the years she had become a fat, abusive, shrew. When the second half of the season produced a string of consistently bad episodes, it all became clear...
The show was sucking.
CLICK HERE to read the full Family Guy Season 8 review by Ramsey Isler.
Score: 6 out of 10
Video and Presentation
There hasn't been much improvement in video and presentation with this latest volume of Family Guy. The aspect ratio still uses the same 1.33:1 full-frame format and artifacting or ghosting occurs more than frequently. Nothing really sticks out besides the "Road to the Multiverse" episode, which is visually entertaining to watch. The series will be heading to a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio for its ninth season, but this should have been implemented already by now. Overall, the DVD set is well produced, but nothing has really changed.
Score: 6 out of 10
Languages and Audio
The audio pretty much falls in the same category with the video presentation. Nothing has really changed or improved. The 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound does shine in a few sequences. The dialogue is clear and understandable along with the musical scores in the karaoke feature.
Score: 7 out of 10
Extras and Packaging
The box art features all the Family Guy characters dressed in colonial attire from the "Peter's Progress" episode, which is set in 17th century England. Inside the case is a transcript pamphlet of the "Road to the Multiverse" episode, which seems to be the main focus of this DVD. The eighth volume comes with a 3-disc set with 15 episodes split from both season seven and season eight. There is commentary on eleven episodes by Seth MacFarlane and other people who worked on the show.
- Deleted Scenes
- Commentary by Series Creator Seth MacFarlane, writers, directors, producers and cast members
- The "Road to the Multiverse" Featurette
- Family Guy Karaoke
The third disc contains all the extras like deleted scenes, the "Road to the Multiverse" featurette, and Family Guy Karaoke. The deleted scenes were quite lengthy, but only shelled out a few extra laughs. The "Road to the Multiverse" featurette is a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary with art directors and visual artists who worked on the episode. Family Guy Karaoke provides viewers with all 28 musical scores to sing along to from the past seasons, including season eight.
Score: 4 out of 10
The Bottom Line
There's not a lot of content here to play with in terms of special features and extras, which is pretty disappointing considering how mediocre Seasons 7 and 8 were. Fans who enjoyed the Disney inspired "Road to the Multiverse" episode may appreciate this a little more. Otherwise, this volume doesn't really warrant much of a purchase.
|out of 10||Click here for ratings guide|
A few good laughs here and there, but ultimately comes up short.
Still follows the previous format and lacks the HD quality.
Dialogue and music flourish in a few areas with the 5.1 Dolby.
A lackluster set of features which fail to impress.