TITLE: AMERICAN DAD! - VOLUME 7
Release Date: April 17, 2012 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Color / 2010-2011
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 19
Running Time: 463 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 58 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English; Dolby Digital Surround Spanish
Subtitles and Captioning: English, Spanish, and French Subtitles; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Commentaries (six episodes); Uncensored Video and Audio; "I ? Patrick Stewart" featurette; "American Dad! at Comic-Con 2010" featurette
Agent Stan Smith reports for duty once again with American Dad! - Volume 7. Stopping at nothing to stop terrorists (in other words, anybody who disagrees with him), Agent Smith "does his thing" in nineteen more episodes (the packaging doesn't indicate this, which is strange considering that it would be a great selling point, but it is the entire sixth season). So come and join Stan, Francine, Steve, Hayley, Roger, and even Klaus in this three disc set with even more patriotic (kind of) antics!
The season begins with "100 A.D.," where Jeff is about to marry Hayley... unless Stan can stop it with a hefty reward. Somebody in the Smith house is about to get cloned in "Son of Stan," just in an effort to prove whether Stan or Francine is the better parent. Stan's efforts to create the scariest haunted house in the neighborhood leads to him bringing the most dangerous serial murders into his home in "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls," which isn't too terrible until Roger gets involved. In "Stan's Food Restaurant," Roger and Stan decide to open up a restaurant together, but clearly they'd never be able to cooperate. Jason Alexander guest voices in "White Rice," where Stan's dirty secret of brainwashing Francine through the use of a hypnotist is exposed. Stan wants to teach Steve a lesson about poverty when he decides to visit his half-brother Rusty (voice of Lou Diamond Phillips) for Thanksgiving in "There Will Be Bad Blood," but as it turns it, Rusty was the one who inherited everything from their grandfather (voice of Ed Asner).
In "The People vs. Martin Sugar," Stan is on jury duty and the defendant happens to be Roger (in one of his many disguises), and Stan isn't about to let him off easy... or at all. Steve accidentally shoots Santa after Stan gives him a gun for Christmas in "For Whom the Sleigh Bells Toll." Roger releases lethal gas into the house in "Fartbreak Hotel," forcing the family to stay into a hotel while the fumes clear. Stan and Francine try to do anything possible to find friends who are similar to them (since they have none) in "Stanny Boy and Frantastic." In "A Piñata Named Desire," Stan and Roger are in competition for the same acting role. Roger decides to move out (for at least 20 minutes) in "You Debt Your Life." In "I Am the Walrus," a power struggle begins between Stan and Steve.
In "School Lies," Stan tries to manipulate a U.S. Senator (voiced by Burt Reynolds) into getting a raise, which involves Stan sending Roger to the same private school which the Senator's daughter attends. Roger and Klaus have a bet with each other on making Steve one of the cool kids in "License to Till." In "Jenny Frömdabloc," Steve and Roger try to cheer up Snot after Hayley rejects him. A happy house is a divided house, and that is literally what happens after Stan and Francine can't agree on how to decorate it in "Home Wrecker." Francine gets a new job in Stan's office in "Flirting with Disaster," which leaves Stan jealous when she gets all of the attention... and when Stan's jealousy is noticed by Lorraine when she decides to take things a bit too far by throwing acid in Francine's face. The season ends with "Gorillas in the Mist," where Stan tries to bond with Steve (for about the millionth time), and fails, yet again.
The episodes are not only unedited, but also uncensored from their original broadcasts. However, this time, there is not an option to watch the original censored broadcast versions, but it likely isn't a huge loss, as essentially all you are missing out on are a few bleeps. Runtimes are as follows:
1. "100 A.D." (21:54)
2. "Son of Stan" (21:54)
3. "The Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls" (21:54)
4. "Stan's Food Restaurant" (21:54)
5. "White Rice" (21:54)
6. "There Will Be Bad Blood" (21:49)
7. "The People vs. Martin Sugar" (21:52)
8. "For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls" (21:51)
9. "Fartbreak Hotel" (21:53)
10. "Stanny-Boy and Frantastic" (21:52)
11. "A Piñata Named Desire" (21:52)
12. "You Debt Your Life" (21:51)
13. "I Am the Walrus" (22:00)
14. "School Lies" (21:54)
15. "License to Till" (21:54)
16. "Jenny Frömdabloc" (21:49)
17. "Home Wrecker" (21:53)
18. "Flirting with Disaster" (21:54)
19. "Gorillas in the Mist" (21:54)
The DVDs come packaged in a standard Viva-case, and as usual, it is one of those "environmentally friendly" cases which is designed to conserve plastic by creating large holes inside the case, but honestly just does nothing more but make the case incredibly flimsy and susceptible to damage...and when it does get damaged, your best and only option is to throw the case in the garbage and buy a replacement case, which isn't environmentally conscious at all when compared to the sturdier case which would have likely never needed to be replaced. The cover art has a picture of Roger opening up his coat to "flash" somebody with the word "UNCENSORED" slapped across parts which would be, well, censored. On the back, we see Roger from the back, as he is "flashing" somebody, where it is exposed to be the Smith family he is exposing himself to. There is also a brief description of the episodes on the back. Inside the case, we have another large photo of Roger and a listing of episodes, but no descriptions are given. The artwork on each disc has photos of cast members on each disc, with Stan on Disc 1, Francine and Hayley on Disc 2, and Steve on Disc 3. These are the same pictures as seen on the back of the packaging. Disc 1 contains six episodes, Disc 2 contains seven episodes, and Disc 3 contains six episodes.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu on each disc begins with Stan throwing a paper airplane transitioning into a series of video clips from the episodes. The theme song plays in the background, along with the actual audio from the clips. From the main menu, you can choose from Play All, any of the episodes, and an Extra option. Choosing an episode takes you to a submenu for the episode, which features a photo snapshot from the episode, along with options of Play Episode, Scene Selection, Language Selection, Extras, and Disc Main Menu. The extras option on the main menu, for some reason, does not have any of the commentaries included (perhaps an oversight?), so if you want to hear episode commentaries, you'll have to go to the individual episodes to find them. And it doesn't help that there is no indication anywhere on the set where you'll find the commentaries. Chapters are placed liberally throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality on this set is excellent. This is the first release of the series which includes episodes from after the series transitioned to HD, so everything is in a beautiful and vivid widescreen format. There really aren't any flaws to be found at all. The audio for each episode is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, and there is even a separate Spanish language audio track this time (which is strange considering that the first two releases had a French audio track, but no Spanish track, and the subsequent releases up until now only had English audio tracks). Everything is very loud and clear throughout each episode. If you require them, there are subtitles, in English, Spanish, and French. And despite the fact that more and more people are going to HDMI, thus making closed-captioning almost obsolete, they were even thoughtful enough to actually include closed-captioning for the episodes.
The special features begin with the commentaries, and just as was the case in the previous release, there really aren't that many. But there are a few more compared to the previous release. What we do have are as follows:
"100 A.D." - Tim Parsons, Wendy Schaal, Dee Bradley Baker, Rachael MacFarlane, Jeff Fischer
"Stan's Food Restaurant" - Matt Weitzman, Ron Hughart, Josue Cervantes, Jim Feeley
"There Will Be Bad Blood" - Matt Weitzman, Judah Miller, Diana Ritchey, Joe Daniello
"For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls" - Mike Barker, Erik Durbin, Bob Bowen, Jacob Hair
"A Piñata Named Desire" - The Interdisciplinary Collective for American Dad Studies
"I Am the Walrus" - Matt Weitzman, Tim Parsons, Jeff Fischer, Rachael MacFarlane, Dee Bradley Baker, Wendy Schaal
"Jenny Fromdablöc" - The Interdisciplinary Collective for American Dad Studies
"Gorillas in the Mist" - Mike Barker, Erik Durbin, Ron Hughart, Chris Bennett
For those wondering what "The Interdisciplinary Collective for American Dad Studies" is, it is actually a few PhD cultural studies students who are providing commentaries for the episodes. If only every graduate student could study such interesting content! The other commentaries are rather standard commentaries as we would expect.
There are plenty of deleted scenes on the set, which tend to be very common for these animated series. You can access these from the episode menu or from the Extras option on the disc. None of these were important to the continuity of any episode, but all of them are very fun to watch. It really does seem like these Seth MacFarlane series have the best deleted scenes, perhaps because so much of his series rely on little bits and pieces, and not all can fit in the episode. The runtimes for special features, by disc, are: Disc 1 (10:54), Disc 2 (13:25), Disc 3 (11:16).
"I ? Patrick Stewart" (8:09) is a very nice featurette dedicated to Patrick Stewart, who plays Avery Bullock, the Deputy Director of the CIA on the series (or in other words, Stan's boss). Here, we have some clips of his best moments, but we've also got some nice interviews with the voice actors (including Stewart) and some of the production staff of the series, talking about how and why he was chosen to do the series, and what effect his role plays in the series.
Finally, "American Dad at Comic-Con 2010" (13:46) is a panel event featuring the cast and crew of the series from the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con. We've seen a ton of these on many releases of this series (as well as Family Guy and The Cleveland Show) in the past, and like those, this one is just as interesting to watch, though the "spoilers" which are presented in here are no longer spoilers at all, and are in fact things which have already occurred by now.
This is another decent set for the series, and it is great that they are continuing to put these out in full seasons now as opposed to the "two-thirds of a season" which they were using for the earlier sets. It seems that they have consistently been cutting back on special features on these sets as the seasons go on, but it isn't a huge deal, because still nearly half of the episodes have commentaries, and we've still got deleted scenes and a few other things. So we aren't totally without special features. It would have been nice if they had done a Blu-ray release for this set, since the series has fully transitioned to HD for this season, but I imagine that there are financial reasons (which we'll never be privy too) why that hasn't happened. Still, I think that fans will be satisfied with this DVD set, and it is great to have these episodes on DVD.
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 04/07/12
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