TITLE: AMERICAN DAD! - VOLUME 6
Release Date: April 19, 2011 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Color / 2009-2010
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 18
Running Time: 396 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 30 minutes
Subtitles and Captioning: English, Spanish, and French Subtitles; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Commentaries (six episodes); Uncensored Video and Audio; Special Featurettes for "Rapture's Delight"; "American Dad Honor Four-Legged Friends" Featurette
The Smith family is back again! CIA operative Stan Smith will stop at nothing to keep America safe for him, his family, and all other patriots (which, in his definition, is anybody who has the same conservative political agenda that he holds). In Volume 6, you get every episode from the fifth season of the series (that's right, even though it is called a "volume," it is actually an entire season this time!) in a three disc collection, along with plenty of bonus features. So turn down your terror threat level for a few moments to get to know this American dad!
The season kicks off with "In Country... Club," where a war re-enactment leaves Steve with an experience that only a traumatized Vietnam vet could have. Ricardo Montalbán (in perhaps his last ever role) plays a general who is killed by eating a corndog (and Stan isn't exactly innocent) in "Move Over Isla Island." Steve and Roger cause chaos when the family leaves home in "Home Adrone." In "Brains, Brains and Automobiles," Stan will do whatever it takes to keep Francine. Steve becomes the "man of the house" when Stan lands in prison in "Man in the Moonbounce." In "Shallow Vows," Francine decides to test Stan's love for her by getting fat... very fat.
Stan becomes addicted to Hayley's favorite band (My Morning Jacket) and begins to change, a lot, in "My Morning Straitjacket." In "G-String Circus," Stan's latest business venture (a dry-cleaning shop with strippers) doesn't quite work out. Will Forte, Paget Brewster, Andy Samberg, and Martin Mull all guest star as it's the end of the world--maybe--in "Rapture's Delight." Stan will do whatever it takes to keep his SUV in "Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth." Look for Donald Faison in this episode as... Turk? Yes! In "A Jones for a Smith," Francine is sentenced to community service after a DUI arrest, but in the meantime, Stan is becoming addicted to cocaine! Stan's half-hearted Valentine's gift causes trouble from the future in "May the Best Stan Win."
Roger is an Olympic gold medalist from the 80s (but he cheated) in "Return of the Bling," and Stan wants him to return his medal. In "Cops and Roger," Roger becomes perhaps the first alien cop. Roger ends up kissing Francine after doing some wine-tasting in "Merlot Down Dirty Shame." Stan is determined to toughen up Steve when he faces a bully in "Bully for Steve." In "An Incident at Owl Creek," Stan has a little accident at the pool that will embarrass him forever. Finally, the season ends with "The Great Space Roaster," where a birthday comedy roast for Roger upsets him so much that he wants to kill the family!
The episodes are not only unedited, but also uncensored from their original broadcasts. But as was the case with the previous sets, you can optionally view the episodes as they originally aired on Fox, with the censorship intact. Runtimes are as follows:
1. "In Country... Club" (21:52)
2. "Moon Over Isla Island" (21:54)
3. "Home Adrone" (21:55)
4. "Brains, Brains and Automobiles" (21:56)
5. "The Man in the Moonbounce" (21:56)
6. "Shallow Vows" (21:54)
7. "My Morning Straitjacket" (21:55)
8. "G-String Circus" (21:50)
9. "Rapture's Delight" (22:27)
10. "Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth" (21:48)
11. "A Jones for a Smith" (21:53)
12. "May the Best Stan Win" (21:53)
13. "Return of the Bling" (21:53)
14. "Cops and Roger" (21:53)
15. "Merlot Down Dirty Shame" (21:53)
16. "Bully for Steve" (21:53)
17. "An Incident at Owl Creek" (21:53)
18. "The Great Space Roaster" (21:53)
Like most other Fox DVDs that have been released lately, the packaging is a rather lackluster Viva-case. Other companies have made this work well, but Fox has really gotten somewhat lazy in their use of these packages by using those annoying cases with the recycling logo cutouts and no episode descriptions, at all. And, like the previous two sets, there is no cardboard sleeve either. It just makes the set look and feel much cheaper than it is actually worth. The cover art has a snapshot of the entire family in what appears to be a police lineup, and the back has a picture of Stan and Francine flying through the air, along with the basic information about the season. Each disc contains five episodes, with a picture of Stan on Disc 1, Roger on Disc 2, and Steve on Disc 3.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on the set are along the same lines as the other American Dad! (and Family Guy too, for that matter) sets, with a main menu showing clips from various episodes, with all of the episodes listed below the video, along with a Play All and Extras option. An instrumental version of the theme song plays in the background. Upon selecting an episode, you get a menu which features a photo from the episode, with options of Play Episode, Scene Selection, Language Selection, Extras, and Disc Main Menu. You'll find any episode related special features on the Extras option for that episode, and you'll find all other extras (including deleted scenes from all of the episodes on a given disc) on the Extras menu. There are six chapters placed in each episode, at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
What can I really say about the video and audio? Like most recent animated series, it is virtually flawless. I didn't really notice any problems with it, and everything looked just as beautiful (if not more so) than it does on TV. This is the point where the series transitioned to HD, so the first nine episodes are presented in full screen, and the last nine episodes are presented in widescreen. Of course, the widescreen episodes definitely look much better, and I could only imagine how much better it would look on Blu-ray Disc. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound sounds very good, and unlike many DVDs, where I complain that the audio levels are a bit low, they seem very loud and clear here. Each episode contains English, Spanish, and French subtitles, and if you are using older technology that allows it (the newer HDMI technology does not, and that is unfortunate), the episodes are closed-captioned.
The special features appearing on the set are the usual suspects for these sets, with commentaries being the biggest one. Some of the sets have had more than others, and this time, we have commentaries on six episodes. Episodes and commentators are as follows:
"In Country... Club" - Matt Weitzman, Albert Calleros, Murray Miller, Judah Miller, and Lauren Caltagirone
"My Morning Straitjacket" - Mike Barker, Chris Bennett, Brent Woods, and Matt Fusfeld
"Rapture's Delight" - Mike Barker, Matt McKenna, Joe Daniello, Jeff Rebner, and Kevin Thresher
"A Jones for a Smith" - Mike Barker, John Aoshima, Jansen Yee, Lauren McCreary, and Matt Fusfeld
"Merlot Down Dirty Shame" - Matt Weitzman, Josue Cervantes, Brian Boyle, Wendy Schaal, and Dee Bradley Baker
"The Great Space Roaster" - Matt Weitzman, Jonathan Fener, Joe Daniello, Micky Rose, and Jordan Blum
The commentaries are pretty standard, and honestly, it is understandable why they didn't include them on every episode. There is only so much to talk about. My only disappointment is that Seth MacFarlane wasn't involved in any of the commentaries. There are additional commentaries on "Rapture's Delight" and "A Jones for a Smith" featuring The Interdisciplinary Collective for American Dad Studies, which are actually a little more interesting to listen to.
As usual, the set also contains uncensored audio (and in some cases video) from the episodes. It really isn't all that shocking, you mostly just hear a few f-words and s-words that obviously weren't appropriate to be aired on Fox.
Every episode on the set contains deleted scenes, and you can watch the deleted scenes from the appropriate episode menus, or you can watch all of the deleted scenes on each disc from the Extras option on the disc. I always love seeing these, as there are always so many great scenes that get cut due to time constraints. Usually, they are pretty funny gags that have very little to do with the continuity of the episode. The runtimes of the deleted scenes, by disc, are: Disc 1 (9:42), Disc 2 (12:19), and Disc 3 (time).
On Disc 2, there are several special features revolving around the episodes "Rapture's Delight," beginning with "The Making of Rapture's Delight" (9:54), where producers and writers discuss the outrageous episode. "Rapture's Delight Comic-Con Exclusive Poster" isn't really much, just a poster from Comic-Con advertising the episode. Finally, "Rapture's Delight - Broadcast Script" allows you to go through the script of the episode, one screen at a time--if you have time to look at all of that (19:01). My biggest complaint is that, for the episodes that aired in high-definition, the deleted scenes are featured in letterbox format. I'm not sure why they do this.
Finally, on Disc 3, we have "American Dad Honors It's Four-Legged Friends," (3:28) which is just a tribute to all of the animals that have died (well, not really) in the line of action on the series. I'm not so sure that it is worth watching, honestly.
For whatever reason, I haven't been keeping up with this series as much as I had at the beginning (perhaps because it has become the new "ugly stepchild" of the Fox Sunday night lineup with King of the Hill being gone), but I still enjoy it. It was a lot more relevant in the era of George W. Bush (as Stan Smith was cast as being the biggest pro-Bush Republican imaginable), but even in the current political climate, it still maintains quite a bit of relevance. I really enjoyed watching the episode featuring My Morning Jacket, as well, as I am a huge fan of MMJ... they're from my very own city, and I've attended their concerts, although they haven't quite had the effect on me that they had on Stan Smith! All in all, this series provides something a little different for fans of animated sitcoms to watch, and if you are a fan of series like Family Guy, you can turn down the terror threat level just a tidbit to enjoy the Smith family.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/26/11
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