TITLE: FAMILY GUY - VOLUME SIX
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 12
Running Time: Approx. 274 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: Approx. 3 hours
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned; Spanish and French subtitles
Special Features: Commentaries (every episode); Deleted Scenes; 100th Episode Special; Family Guy Live! - “Just For Laughs”; Peter Shin Draws Lois Featurette; The Making of the 100th Episode Featurette; Favorite Scenes; Music Video
The Griffins are back! Volume Six of Family Guy brings you 12 more episodes of the series in a three disc DVD set. The set contains all of the episodes of the series that aired between March 25, 2007 (“No Meals on Wheels”) and January 13, 2008 (“McStroke”), except for the previously released episode “Blue Harvest.” The set contains many hilarious moments, along with a long list of special features.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The set begins with “No Meals on Wheels,” where Peter opens up a new restaurant and Joe sees it as the perfect place for people like him, which Peter assumes to mean fellow police officers. But that isn’t quite what Joe has in mind. In “Boys Do Cry,” it is discovered that Stewie may be possessed by the devil (are they just now thinking this?) and the family escapes to the one place where they will never face scrutiny: Texas. Chris gets kicked out of school in “No Chris Left Behind.” Lois becomes mayor in “It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One,” but can she handle the job? In “Meet the Quagmires,” Death takes Peter back in time... and really screws things up!
Brian moves out in “Movin’ Out (Brian’s Song),” but he is bringing in an obnoxious roommate--Stewie. Joe gets a leg transplant and can walk again in “Believe it or Not, Joe’s Walking on Air.” Somebody might end up dead in the episodes “Stewie Kills Lois” and “Lois Kills Stewie.” It is discovered that Peter may be an illegal alien in “Padre de Familia,” which doesn’t help the fact the he is fighting against illegal immigration. In “Peter’s Daughter,” Peter is determined to be a good father to Meg once and for all after she comes out of a coma. But will he seriously do that? Finally, Peter has a stroke after eating too many hamburgers in “McStroke.”
We have many guest voices on these episodes, including Bill Engvall, Phyllis Diller, Keith Olbermann, Neil Patrick Harris, Jamie Farr, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, Ted McGinley, and Ricardo Montalban
For the most part, the packaging for this set is consistent with the previous sets. We still have the slim cases for all of the DVDs inside the outer box. But for some reason, they have decided to add an extra box outside the outer box that was already there. Sound confusing? Well, basically there is just a box that slides over the top (or bottom) of the box that holds the discs. Basically, this outer box is just solid red and has the Family Guy logo cut out on it, and we see all of the faces of the main characters inside the logo. But if you pull out the box, you’ll get another box that has the main characters and most of the supporting characters in the background, with a blue Family Guy logo. Inside THAT box, you’ll find the three slim cases (basically one for each disc). Each slim case shows a picture from a “fight” that is about to occur: Peter vs. Giant Chicken (Disc 1), Stewie vs. Lois (Disc 2), and Peter vs. Joe (Disc 3). When you open the slim case, you get to see inside and on the disc artwork how the battle turns out. It is very creative! The back of each slim case lists all of the episodes on the particular disc, with original airdates and commentary information. Disc 1 contains five episodes, Disc 2 contains six episodes, and Disc 3 contains just one episode (but most of the special features).
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are much like they have been in the past, with the main menu showing video clips from episodes on the disc and listing all of the episodes as well as a Play All option. Disc 3 gives you a Special Features option. Once you select an episode, you get an episode menu that gives you options of Play Episode, Scene Selection, Language Selection, and Special Features. It is basically all self-explanatory. Chapters are placed at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
It is hard to really go wrong when you have an animated show as recent as this one on DVD when it comes to video and audio quality, and this set does not disappoint. The episodes look just as they did on Fox and the audio quality is pretty good, being presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Still, there are always a few minor areas that could stand to see some improvement. There are Spanish and French subtitles, and each episode is closed-captioned.
Runtimes for the episodes seem to suggest that these are unedited episodes, but it is important to note that there are basically two different versions of each episode: the complete version and the TV version. By default, the complete version (with deleted scenes and without any bleeping of foul language) plays, but you can access the TV version by looking in the special features for each episode. The TV versions run around 21 minutes or so, while the complete versions have running times as follows:
“No Meals on Wheels” (21:22)
“Boys Do Cry” (22:44)
“No Chris Left Behind” (22:10)
“It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One” (23:00)
“Meet the Quagmires” (21:58)
“Movin’ Out (Brian’s Song)” (21:49)
“Believe it or Not, Joe’s Walking on Air” (22:15)
“Stewie Kills Lois” (23:18)
“Lois Kills Stewie” (26:10)
“Padre de Familia” (23:56)
“Peter’s Daughter” (22:27)
First of all, the set has commentaries. Not one, not two, or even a few. But there are commentaries for EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. And the best part is that there never seems to be a shortage of things to talk about, and the commentaries stay fresh and insightful. My only complaint is about the fact that they spend so much time talking about certain things that they miss other funny moments that I wish they could comment on. That is the problem with the series being so fast-paced. Commentators for each episode are as follows:
“No Meals on Wheels” (Executive Producer Seth MacFarlane, Director Greg Colton, Writer Mike Henry, Actor Patrick Warburton and Composer Walter Murphy)
“Boys Do Cry” (Executive Producers Seth MacFarlane and Danny Smith, Director Brian Iles, and Writer Cherry Chevapravatdumrong)
“No Chris Left Behind” (Producers Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman and Chris Sheridan, Director Pete Michels, Writer Patrick Meighan and Actor Seth Green)
“It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One” (Executive Producer Seth MacFarlane, Co-Executive Producer Danny Smith, Writer/Actor Alex Borstein and Actor Mila Kunis)
“Meet the Quagmires” (Executive Producer Seth MacFarlane, Director Dan Povenmire, Writer Mark Hentemann, Actor Adam Carolla and Production Staff Kara Vallow)
“Movin’ Out (Brian’s Song)” (Executive Producers Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman and Chris Sheridan, Director Cyndi Tang and Writer John Viener)
“Believe it or Not, Joe’s Walking on Air” (Executive Producer Seth MacFarlane, Director Julius Wu, Writer Andrew Goldberg, Actor Patrick Warburton and Composer Walter Murphy)
“Stewie Kills Lois” (Executive Producers Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman and Chris Sheridan, Co-Producer Kim Fertman, Director Greg Colton, Writer Steve Callaghan, Actor Alex Borstein and Composer Ron Jones)
“Lois Kills Stewie” (Executive Producers Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman and Chris Sheridan, Co-Producer Kim Fertman, Director Greg Colton, Writer Steve Callaghan, Actor Alex Borstein and Composer Ron Jones)
“Padre de Familia” (Executive Producers Seth MacFarlane and David A. Goodman, Director Pete Michels, Writer Kirker Butler and Actor Phyllis Diller)
“Peter’s Daughter” (Executive Producers Seth MacFarlane and David A. Goodman, Executive Producer/Writer Chris Sheridan and Actor Mila Kunis)
“McStroke” (Executive Producers Seth MacFarlane and David A. Goodman, Director Brian Iles, Writer Wellesley Wild and Actor Lisa Wilhoit)
Commentaries, though, aren’t all we have. We also have Deleted Scenes (18:40), which as it suggests, is a series of Deleted Scenes. Many of these are cutaway scenes that were removed and many are very hilarious!
There are entire animatic episodes on the set. An animatic, as most of us already know, is basically just a rough sketch of how a scene will look on a series before it is drawn out. The episodes for which the set has animatics for include “No Meals on Wheels” (23:34), “No Chris Left Behind” (22:10), and “McStroke” (23:08). You can even listen to commentaries from the animators on each of these! While I generally find these animatics to be boring, I somewhat enjoyed them on here.
“Family Guy 100th Episode Special” (21:40) is almost like an episode, though not quite. This is a retrospective of the series that talks about the best moments of the series with Seth MacFarlane and “fans” of the series (that actually hate the series). It is pretty fun to watch, and nice to see it on DVD.
“Just For Laughs Comedy Festival” (1:11:27) shows us a table read of the episode “Airport ’07,” at a comedy festival in Montreal. It is important to note that the actual episode “Airport ‘07” is NOT on this set, but actually on Volume Five.
“Peter Shin Draws Lois” (4:10) is yet another featurette where Peter Shin (one of the animators) shows us how to draw Lois. It is pretty self-explanatory.
“The Making of the 100th Episode” (24:30) is another very insightful special feature that talks about the production process of making the 100th episode, but more generally, the basic process of making pretty much any episode of an animated series. We have interviews from the animators included throughout this special feature.
“Favorite Scenes” (11:34) is basically just a collection of the favorite scenes of all of the animators of the series. The animators talk about their favorite scenes, why they liked them, and we get to see the scene after they talk about them.
Finally, we have “I’m Huge (and the babes go wild)” music video (2:50), which is just a music video that shows clips from the series. Honestly, it is probably the only special feature on the set that is kind of boring.
This DVD set is freakin’ sweet! It is amazing how this series has come along on DVD. The first few DVD releases were pretty nice, but now these sets are becoming more like the season sets of The Simpsons. The only real complaint that I have about these sets is the fact that they are releasing them in such an awkward fashion, with about 12 episodes per volume. Why can’t they just release full seasons? The first two volumes were indeed season sets, and in fact, Volume One contained TWO seasons worth of episodes! Oh well, at least the special features have come a long way.
As far as the series itself, the episodes on this set prove that the series is still as fresh and as relevant as it always has been, and has a lot of life left in it. The series probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and we’ll continue to see many great episodes in the future. Besides that, even if they can’t come up with any new plots, they could always make up a three minute plot and fill in about 20 minutes of cutaways. Admittedly, that is a huge part of the show and that is where a lot of the hilarious moments are. But for now, they seem to be doing well with plenty of good plots and this set is a great example of that. Well, to kind of imitate a line of Peter’s from the second season episode “Running Mates,” you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have my Volume Six review. Sit, Ubu, sit! Good dog!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/25/08
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