TITLE: AMERICAN DAD! - VOLUME 3
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 18
Running Time: 393 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: 77 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English, Spanish, and French Subtitles
Special Features: Commentary on every episode; 3 uncensored audio tracks; over 60 deleted scenes; Comic-Con table read
Good morning, USA! Agent Stanley Smith is reporting for another set of episodes of the animated sitcom American Dad! The Volume 3 set contains 18 episodes, including every episode every episode except the last one from 2007 and the very first episode of 2008.
American Dad! is the creation of Seth MacFarlane, who is best known for creating Family Guy, and is the story of a right-wing CIA agent trying to cope in a world that is no longer run by Ronald Reagan. He has to contend with a family that can sometimes be his best ally and at other times be his greatest enemy.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The set begins with “Bush Comes to Dinner,” where, as the title suggests, George W. Bush comes for dinner at the Smith household... and it is no ordinary dinner either. Peter Graves plays Mr. Pibb (yes, as in the drink) in “A.T. The Abusive Terrestrial.” Stan saves his family from nuclear annihilation in “An Apocalypse to Remember.” Francine’s friend is the blind date of Stan’s boss (and she suddenly turns up dead) in “Four Little Words.” Stan isn’t very well liked by his neighbors in “I Can’t Stan You,” so obviously the best option is to evict them.
Stan believes that a mad cow (as in the disease...) cattle drive will make a man out of Steve in “The Magnificent Steven.” Jeff is a wanted man (for pot charges) in “Joint Custody,” and Stan is going to see to it that he is the man that captures him. Stan has a new job in “Meter Made.” God sends Stan a new friend... a new friend that doesn’t even believe in any higher powers... in “Dope & Faith.” Stan decides to brainwash Hayley when she wants to move to France in “Haylias.” Francine decides to be a surrogate mother for the gay neighbors in “Surro-Gate.” In “Franny 911,” Francine fakes Roger’s kidnapping to show Roger that Stan indeed cares about him, but does he?
The packaging is basically identical in style to the first two volumes. The front cover has a picture of Stan with an American flag cape, and on the back we have a description of the set. There are three slimcases inside, each one holding one disc. The case for Disc 1 has a picture of Hayley and Steve, Disc 2 has Stan and Francine, and Disc 3 has Roger and Klaus. The disc artwork is exactly the same as the cover on each respective slimcase. The back of each slimcase contains a listing of the episodes an original airdates. Discs 1 and 2 contain eight episodes each, while Disc 3 contains 2 episodes.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are simplified more this time, but still very nice. The main menu on each disc simply has a listing of all of the episodes and a Play All option. When you select an episode, you get a menu that gives you options of Play, Scene Selection, Language Selection, or Commentary. Disc 3 also has the option of Special Features, which takes you to a menu that lists the special features.
Video and Audio Quality:
Generally, the episodes look great, about what I’d expect from a set with episodes that are mostly from about a year ago. I didn’t notice any problems worth nitpicking on. The good news is that the same can be said about the audio. Again, it all seemed perfect, with no real problems to nitpick on. It is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. There are English, Spanish, and French subtitles, as well as closed-captioning.
The runtimes of the episodes are consistent throughout, with each episode running at 21:55, give or take a second. Chapter stops are available.
As has been the case previously, every episode on the set has a commentary track. On these commentary tracks, we have Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman appearing on all of them, along with others involved with the show. Unfortunately, the voice actors are not major players in the commentaries, but do appear in a few. Additionally, a few episodes have uncensored audio tracks, including “Bush Comes to Dinner,” “Big Trouble in Little Langley,” and “Surro-gate.”
The set contains many deleted scenes. In fact, there are 25 minutes of deleted scenes on the set, from various different episodes. You can watch these individually, or use the Play All option. They can all be found on Disc 3.
Finally, there is the “Comic-Con Table Read” (53:07), where we basically have a table read from an episode from a comic book convention. This is always fun to watch, because you get to see how the audience responds each and every time.
This is a great release with great special features, but I can’t figure out why the episode “The Most Adequate Christmas Ever” was excluded from the release! Perhaps Fox is saving it for a special release? Who knows, but it is still disappointing to have one missing. This is why I prefer seasons instead of the “volumes” that Fox uses for this show and Family Guy.
But generally, any fan should be happy with this release. As always, it presents the episodes in a very nice way. They did scale back a bit on special features this time, but there still are commentaries on every episode, which is the most important special feature in my opinion. So do your patriotic duty and pick up this DVD set today!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 05/14/08
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