LATEST IMAGES
View all 7 images »

For some, American Dad continues to be a surprising breath of fresh air – a snappy, quirky comedy that bucks the usual TV trends. But for others, American Dad will be one of the worst TV experiences they've ever seen – a foul-mouthed, offensive collection of tripe humor.

American Dad comes from the weird and wicked mind of Seth MacFarlane, who brought us the irreverent and often puerile powerhouse Family Guy (and The Cleveland Show), and like those shows, American Dad offers a supreme dose of silly mockery that's occasionally offensive (intentionally so) and outrageously wacky through-and-through. But American Dad suffers from many of the same problems as Family Guy. The show quite often stumbles into territory it's simply not mature enough to handle. And because the show already plays like Family Guy 2.0, the characters and settings aren't quite original enough to keep the material fresh (though the show has grown into its own over the past five seasons).


Thankfully American Dad doesn't entirely rely on easily interchangeable jokes like Family Guy. And, because of this, the end result is a much more formulated and comprehensible political commentary. However, American Dad never fully reaches the satirical sharpness of superior comedic farces like South Park, The Daily Show or, most notably, The Colbert Report. And this may leave many viewers wanting.

Still, if you're a Family Guy lover, there's a lot to like about American Dad. It may not always be as snappy and quick-witted as that series, but it grows on you.

Now heading into its sixth season, American Dad isn't anywhere near the level of Family Guy, though it's evolved over the years, and gained a notable cult following. The show, unfortunately, does remain somewhat muted and ultimately a bit mediocre. It is amusing, and MacFarlane fans should enjoy the humor, but it just doesn't work as well as Family Guy.


Sadly, this collection – Volume Five – dates all the way back to 2008-2009, and feels less socially (and politically) relevant because of this. For some odd reason, Fox has chosen not to release this show on a season-by-season basis. Instead, we're treated to just 14 episodes, all from season four (starting, oddly, with the seventh episode of that season).

The set includes the following episodes: "Phantom of the Telethon," "Chimdale," "Stan Time," "Family Affair," "Live and Let Fry," "Roy Rogers McFreely," "Jack's Back," "Bar Mitzvah Hustle," "Wife Insurance," "The Delorean Story-An," "Eavery Which Way But Lose," "The Weiner of our Discontent," "Daddy Queerest," and "Stan's Night Out."

Score: 6 out of 10


Video and Presentation

American Dad is presented in 1.33:1 full frame. All 14 episodes are spread across three discs. For some unknown reason this show doesn't appear to have been rendered in high definition. Why a series from 2008 isn't animated with high-def in mind is just puzzling. At least the transfer holds up fairly well. There is some interlacing issues and colors tend to bleed on occasion, particularly bold colors, but the transfers here match other MacFarlane releases – they're not great, but they are passable.

Score: 6 out of 10

Languages and Audio

Audio choices are English Dolby Digital 5.1 with Spanish, Portuguese and French subtitles and English captions for the hearing impaired. Surprisingly, the show is mixed into a 5.1 sound field, but don't expect to give your surrounds, or your sub, a workout – it's not gonna happen. Center channel dialogue comes off clean and well mixed, but front surrounds absorb most of the film's ambient elements and soundtrack with very little rear surround activity and almost no bass to speak of. Again, this set holds up other MacFarlane creations, but it's hardly an award-winner by and stretch of the imagination.

Score: 6 out of 10


Extras and Packaging

This three-disc DVD set comes packed in a clear amaray case similar in design to American Dad: Volume Four. It's annoying that this series design changed so drastically (from the first three volumes), but the slimmed-down look is far easier to store (and likely cheaper to ship).

Extras are pretty standard., though they're a little slimmer than previous releases We've got uncensored cast and crew commentaries on each episode. If you've listened to the track on any MacFarlane-created work, you know what's in store for you – a party track riddled with laughs, trivia and writer's room shenanigans. The track never delves deep into the show's mythology, or into the deeper political meanings, but they're highly amusing regardless.

The disc also includes a fine collection of hilarious deleted scenes, an interesting pop-up trivia track for the episode "Bar Mitzvah Hustle" and a drinking game featurette called "The Power Hour Drinking Game."

Score: 6 out of 10

The Bottom Line

If you're a fan of the show should you check out this DVD.

IGN Ratings for American Dad - Volume 5
Rating Description
out of 10 Click here for ratings guide
6 The Movie
Amusing, but not nearly as sharp (or fresh) as Family Guy.
6 The Video
The transfers here match other MacFarlane releases -- they're not great, but they are passable.
6 The Audio
Mixed in 5.1, but the series rarely takes advantage of the three-dimensional sound field.
6 The Extras
14 commentaries, a pop-up trivia track for one episode, deleted scenes and a drinking game.
6
OVERALL
Passable
(out of 10)
Related Links

Connections for American Dad - Volume 5

Popular DVDs in this genre:
1. Metropolis
2. Heavy Metal
3. The Secret of Kells (Blu-ray)
4. Grave of the Fireflies
5. The Secret of Kells

Popular DVDs from this publisher:
1. Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (Blu-ray)
2. Firefly - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
3. The Orphanage (Blu-ray)
4. Alien Anthology (Blu-ray)
5. X2: X-Men United (Blu-ray)