This collection has everything, from a Christmas special where Stewie heads to the North Pole to kill Santa Claus, to Mr. Herbert confronting his neighbor for being a Nazi war criminal. Love is also in the air, with episodes featuring Meg and Chris hooking up, Lois’ sister falling in love with Mayor West, Meg becoming obsessed with Joe, Glenn teaching a class on how to pick up women, and we also find out about Lois’ secret past as an adult film actress. Other fun storylines include Brian becoming a monster after his book becomes a bestseller, Peter getting addicted to Red Bull, Peter and Brian joining AA after they get drunk and disorderly at a screening of “The Sound of Music”, Stewie creating an evil clone, Chris becoming the primary breadwinner of the Griffin household, Peter home schooling the kids, and Stewie disrupting the space-time continuum just to ensure he always gets the last word.
The place where Family Guy has always shined to me is with its musical episodes. In “Friends of Peter G”, Peter and Brian bring alcohol to their AA meeting and break out into the fun “Mr. Booze”. And the double-length Christmas episode, “Road to the North Pole”, contains two original catchy musical numbers, “All I Really Want For Christmas” and “Christmas Time is Killing Us”. The song lyrics are always so clever, catchy, funny and offensive at the same time. I’m always shocked that this show actually gets on the air, but so glad it does! So offensive, but so hilarious!
When the episodes aired on FOX, there was bleeped audio, but this set contains the uncensored audio track (there is no censored audio option on the DVD). It’s definitely a different experience watching the series hearing Peter, Stewie and the family actually cursing. While parents may not appreciate this, the show itself already has some pretty adult themes and jokes to begin with, so I think it adds to the humor. This collection of episodes makes loads of sex, terrorism and religion jokes, and there’s lots of puking throughout the 14 episodes—so they are not for the easily offended.
The episodes on this set are for the most part really enjoyable, however there are a few that suffer from the two negative points that I always have about this show. First, I’m not a fan of when Family Guy cuts to entire live action clips within the animation, and there are a few cases of that here—in one episode, they cut to an 80s music video with the audio of some characters heckling it. And second, the show tends to run some jokes way too long. In “Brian Writes a Bestseller”, Brian makes an appearance on the Bill Maher show that just seems to go on forever. However, sometimes they do manage to get these overly-long scenes just right—like with the Chicken fight scenes (sadly there are none of those in these episodes) or the epic battle between Herbert and Franz in “German Guy”. This over 8-minute-long fight scene is probably the highlight of the episodes included on this set. The mix of orchestration, ridiculously slow action and homage to various film directors/styles is just masterful and hilarious.
Overall, fans of the series will not be disappointed and will definitely want to pick up this set.
What’s Included on the DVD:
- 14 Uncensored Episodes from the 2010–11 broadcast season
Disc 1: “Halloween on Spooner Street”, “Baby, You Knock Me Out”, “Brian Writes a Bestseller”, “Road to the North Pole”, “New Kidney in Town”
Disc 2: “And I’m Joyce Kinney”, “Friends of Peter G.”, “German Guy”, “The Hand That Rocks the Wheelchair”, “Trading Places”
Disc 3: “Tiegs for Two”, “Brothers & Sisters”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “Foreign Affairs”
- Audio: English DD 5.1, French DD 2.0, French DD 2.0
- English SDH, Spanish & French subtitles
- Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes
- “Halloween on Spooner Street” Commentary by Mark Hentemann, Kara Vallow, Andrew Goldberg & Jerry Langford
- “Brian Writes a Bestseller” Commentary by Mark Hentemann, Kara Vallow, Gary Janetti & Joseph Lee
- “Road to the North Pole” Commentary by Danny Smith, Chris Sheridan, Greg Colton & Ron MacFarlane
- “New Kidney in Town” Commentary by Mark Hentemann, Pete Michels, Shannon Smith, Brent Crowe & Patrick Clark
- “Trading Places” Commentary by Steve Callaghan, Joseph Lee, James Purdum & Kim Fertman
- “The Big Bang Theory” Commentary by Dave Goodman, Dom Polcino, Lucas Gray & Deborah Cone
I listened to a sampling of the commentaries and the creators provide some interesting stories and insight into their episodes. Though, it would have been nice to hear from the Seth MacFarlane and the other primary voice actors.
- Select Scene Animatics
- “Baby, You Knock Me Out” (5:02) – The director of the episode, Julius Wu, provides commentary over an animatic/final side-by-side comparison of final boxing scene.
- “German Guy” (8:59) – Animatic for the showdown between Herbert and Franz
- “Trading Places” – Animation director Joseph Lee provides commentary over animatic/final version side-by-side comparisons of Spitball Cow (1:41) and Carter (2:00) scenes.
- “The Big Bang Theory” (27:10) – Animatic for entire, extended version of the episode.
- Deleted Scenes (13:32)
Deleted scenes from “Halloween on Spooner Street” (1 scene, :17), “Baby, You Knock Me Out” (4 scenes, 1:20), “Brian Writes a Bestseller” (1 scene, :15), “Road to the North Pole” (3 scenes, 1:47), “And I’m Joyce Kinney” (5 scenes, 1:51), “Friends of Peter G.” (1 scene, :14), “German Guy” ( 3 scenes, :43), “The Hand That Rocks The Wheelchair” (2 scenes, :43), “Trading Places” (3 scenes, :49), “Tiegs For Two” (2 scenes, :44), “Brothers and Sisters” (9 scenes, 2:37), “The Big Bang Theory” (3 scenes, 1:32), “Foreign Affairs” (2 scenes, :40)
- All I Really Want For Christmas: The Music Of Road To The North Pole (13:44)
The creators talk about creating the musical numbers for the Christmas episode. It also explores some of the other musical numbers of past episodes.
- Herbert & Franz: The Making Of An Epic Fight Sequence (10:15)
Behind the scenes featurette on how the amazing fight sequence between Herbert and Franz was created for the “German Guy” episode. Includes Supervising Director Dominic Bianchi and Animation Stunt Performer Joe Vaux acting out the scene for the animators.
- Adam West Star Ceremony (28:12)
Footage from the ceremony honoring Adam West with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Features speeches by Ralph Garman, Seth MacFarlane, Tom LaBonge and Adam West.
I originally watched this show on the FOX HD channel, but as with other animated shows on DVD, I didn’t really notice any loss of quality on this SD picture. The picture looks crisp and detailed and the sound is great. I am not really a big animatics person, so I found the extras a little lacking. I would have liked to see a little more behind the scenes featurettes with the primary voice talent, and while the creator commentary was interesting, it would have been great to have some audio commentaries by Seth MacFarlane and some of the other actors.
Re-watching the episodes on this DVD set, I found myself laughing all over again—this show has great replay value! However, Parents may want to consider the more adult subject matter and censored-only audio when purchasing.