First things first, if you were a bit meh about the first volume of American Dad then don't be put off because like family guy at some point, American Dad is getting better with age (at the time of writing vol. 5 is the latest dvd release). Unlike Family guy American Dad is built around narrative rather than interchangeable gags giving us much more time with the characters, which can only be a good thing. Though the show doesn't have as much heart as the simpsons, probably because all the characters are just a wee bit unbelievable and over the top when compared, there is still fantastic storytelling throughout and with Family Guy looking like it's beginning to lose it, American Dad is sure to surpass it in popularity.
This series contains episode from series 1 and 2, which is why it is called volume 2 not series 2 and is why the vol. 1 boxset is shorter than the rest.
The Dvd has about a disc's worth more episodes than a family guy boxset and for the same price so buy it now ok!
also, like every fox animation series, every episode has commentaries and there are over 60 deleted and extended scenes.
Although it is one of my favourite TV programmes of the last decade, it's fairly safe to say that American Dad isn't massively well known, in the UK at least. It potentially suffers from living under the shadow of its older and more popular brother, Family Guy, and many people will overlook it when perusing adult-orientated cartoon series. The cartoon about the very unusual Griffin family has undoubtedly been Seth Macfarlane's golden child, but I have to say that in many respects I prefer the underdog that is American Dad. Hopefully due to the fact that it's being shown more on BBC3 it'll get more fans on this side of the pond as it really deserves cult status.
Anyway, this is Volume 2, and not series 2, of said cartoon series, American Dad. For some reason the American seasons in no way match up to the DVD series that were released over here, which I find bizarre and unnecessary, but it's exactly the same as what they did with Family Guy. American Dad Volume 1 only contained the first ten episodes of the first series, while this second volume contains the remaining ten episodes of series one, and the first nine episodes of series two. Why this has happened I have no idea, but it's important for the sake of this review to know which episodes I am talking about. The episodes included are those between 'Stannie Get Your Gun' and 'The Best Christmas Story Never Told', which is about halfway through the American second series. To watch the rest of this series (and some of the next) you'll have to buy Volume 3.
For those of you who aren't familiar with American Dad, it is a cartoon about the Smith family who live in Langley Falls, Virginia, where the father of the family, Stan, works as a CIA agent. With this being a cartoon, however, the inner workings of the CIA are depicted in a comical fashion, with weekly 'Show and Tell' sessions as well as a general lack of urgency or the idea that they have anything to do with the national security of the USA. He has a wife, Francine, and two children, Hayley and Steve. Hayley's very left wing views often cause her to clash with her Republican father, and Stan is often ashamed of Steve for his nerdiness and failure to follow in his manly footsteps. Living with the Smiths are an alien, Roger, who saved Stan's life while trying to escape from the CIA, and so in return the Smiths took him in and hid him from the government, as well as Klaus, the goldfish with the mind of a German Olympic skier.
The basic family formula is in many way similar to that of Family Guy (two parents, two teenage children, and two oddities: a talking dog and evil mastermind baby in FG, or an alien and talking fish in AD), but fortunately American Dad does not merely feel like Family Guy but with different characters. It definitely has its own feel and comedy and survives without the 'cutaway scenes' which make Family Guy so recognisable. Stan Smith is not as idiotic as Peter Griffin, but with his unflinching right wing attitudes and stubbornness he is just as cartoonlike a character as well as being as likeable and as funny. The rest of the cast of characters are also very well written and entertaining, with the alcoholic alien, Roger, who is obsessed with disguises and alter-egos being a particular favourite. Stan and Roger are undoubtedly the stars of the show with more storylines revolving around them than anyone else, but Francine, Steve and Hayley get quite a bit of screen-time too, with Klaus unfortunately being relegated to short appearances in each episode.
Out of this selection of episodes, there are some that particularly stand out for me. 'The American Dad After School Special', in which Stan starts exercising and dieting excessively after his disgust at Steve's new fat girlfriend cause his family to point out that he's hardly skinny himself, is one of my favourite episodes of this cartoon as a whole, and is the high point of Volume 2, for me. It manages to touch on serious subjects while being so silly and comical that I doubt many people could be offended by it, as it is clearly taking the mick out of itself more than anyone suffering from eating disorders. 'Lincoln Lover', in which Stan unintentionally writes a homo-erotic play about Abraham Lincoln, is also a particular favourite which pokes fun at Stan's (and America's) homophobic attitudes. All in all these nineteen episodes there is only one episode which I am not particularly keen on, 'Dungeons and Wagons', though I may have enjoyed it more if I was more familiar with computer games such as World of Warcraft.
In short, I would say that Volume 2 of American Dad is a great DVD to have and is well worth its £12.24 price on Amazon. It's more expensive than volumes 1 and 3 by a few pounds, but since it's better and longer than them I'd say it's worth the extra price. Since you can get volumes 1-3 for £22.99, though, it works out cheaper to get them all together than to just buy one volume. If you think that you'd like to own some American Dad but don't think you'd watch more than one series, then Volume 2 would be a great one to go for. As with many cartoons the episodes are not linear and so for the most part you can watch them in any order, so I would still highly recommend this DVD even if you haven't seen any of Volume 1. It's a very enjoyable 430 minutes of television.
American Dad goes from strength to strength in Series 2 and cements it's growing reputation as the best animated comedy around. The animation in this series is noticeably crisper than in the first series and the comedy is just as sharp, if not better!
One thing that I like about Series 2 of this awesome show is that Klaus the fish seems to play a more prominent role than in Series 1. Klaus, who is in fact a former east german agent whose mind has been transplanted into the body of a goldfish, lives with the Smiths as their family pet. His seedy fascination with Francine borders on the obsessive and would be quite menacing were he not the size of a golf ball. I think he is a really funny character and I'm glad to see him get a bit more air time in this series.
My favourite episode of Series 2 is the one in which Roger disguises himself as American actor Kevin Bacon simply by wearing a small piggy, prosthetic nose. Roger then sets about living the high life of a Hollywood A lister, but inadvertently ends up destroying Kevin Bacon's life. HA!
To be honest, all the episodes are great. Conservative Stan mistakenly joins a gay republican group in episode 6 of this series and episode 9 is about the most bizarre Christmas special I have ever seen. Its actually quite tough to pick a favourite as all the episodes are great.
All in all I would say that Series 2 is an outright success for American Dad. The show is witty and engaging and with the improved animation it is easy on the eye!
If you haven't seen this show yet, check it out soon!
American Dad - Volume 2 is the second DVD boxset from the creator of Family Guy, Seth McFarlane. It was released here on the 28th May 2007.
This set comprises of the last ten episodes of the first season and the first 9 episodes from season two, from "Stannie Get Your Gun" to "The Best Christmas Story Never". Quite why they're releasing sets like this is anybody's guess, I don't know why they just don't do what everyone else does and release one DVD boxset for one season, another one for the next season etc. To me what they're doing is pointless and complicates things.
Episodes to look for include "The Best Christmas Story Never" where the ghost of Christmas past visits Stan and tries to show him the true meaning of the festive season, Stan however thinks Christmas will be better if he changes the future by killing Jane Fonda, "Of Ice and Men", where Francine finds out about Stan's passion for ice skating and becomes his partner, "Tears of a Clooney", in which Francine plans to woo George Clooney and then break his heart, but Stan infiltrates Clooney's circle and becomes friends with him! What will he do?
There aren't really any bad episodes in this collection, so I think everyone should be pleased with this release. If you find Family Guy too racy you should check this show out, it can still be pretty out there but I don't think it goes as far. I think this is pretty under-rated as a show myself, everyone knows about Family Guy but I bet only a small percentage of those people will know about this, which is a shame, because at its best it can compete well with FG.
Extras include featurettes, deleted scenes and commentaries on all episodes, which a nice mix of different things and should keep the average American Dad fan happy. Overall a nice set with a lot of good, well written episodes, five stars!
****American Dad-season 2****
A friend recommended this to me as i said that i liked family guy and this is by the same person,Seth MacFarlane.American dad is about an american family:the dad works for the CIA.there are 2 children ,a goldfish that talks and an alien called Roger.
The boxset has 3 disks
Disk 1 contains the following episodes
Stannie get your gun-Hayley speaks her mind about gun control and when stan fakes a robbery to show her how important guns are,she accidently shoots him
star trek-Steve writes a childrens book about him and Roger and becomes very rich.
not particulary desperate housewives-Francine joins a housewives group and finds out it all the members are having affairs.
rough trade-Roger and Steve agree to trade places with each other.
finances with wolves-Steve is convinced that he has become a werewolf
its good to be queen-Stan insists on dancing with the homecoming queen at Francines class reunion.
roger n me-Stan and Roger take their friendship to a new level.
helping handis-Steve takes steriods which have 2 big side effects,making him popular.
with friends like steve's-Stan decides he likes one of Steves friends but the friend goes crazy when he stops takeing his medication.
tears of a clooney-Francine trys to break George Clooneys heart since he destroyed her dreams.
camp refoogee-Stan sends Steve to a refugee camp and he trys to make the best of it.
the american dad after school special-Stan develops a problem with anorexia after meeting steves overweight girlfriend.
failure is not a factory-installed option=Steve opens a drive in movie theatre to help him with the girls
lincoln lover,dungeons and wagons
iced,iced babies-Francine wants another baby
of ice and men,irregarding steve and the best xmas story never
Not as out there as Family Guy but these episodes still have some funny jokes.It isn't as offensive so it might appeal to people who think that Family Guy is over the top.
price-i got mine for £6 from cash generator.
excellent dvd, so funny the dvd includes some episodes from season one and some from season 2 which at first i didnt realise, i thought it was all season 2, read the box carefully it says volume 2 not season 2. even so i dont regret buying it, from the makers of family guy, obviously not been going that long but i would recommend you watch it if you like programmes such as family guy, south park and simpsons it is quite similar
The "Laugh Alert" level is elevated with the release of this second volume of episodes that chronologically span seasons 1 and 2. You know the "there" that people talk about when they say, "Don't go 'there'?" Seth MacFarlane's American Dad leaves "there" in the dust. Take the holiday--excuse me, Christmas--episode, "The Best Christmas Story Never," which somehow melds Charles Dickens with a Ray Bradbury-esque cautionary tale of tampering with the past. CIA Agent and true patriot act Stan Smith (voiced by MacFarlane) loses the spirit of the season in a blizzard of PC secularism in which even the fugitive "Christmas rapist" must be referred to as "the holiday rapist." In the "is nothing sacred" world of American Dad, Christmas can only be saved by Stan accompanying the Ghost of Christmas Past (Lisa Kudrow) back in time to (don't ask) kill Jane Fonda (or Donald Sutherland), take over the direction of Taxi Driver from a drug-free Martin Scorsese, and shoot Ronald Reagan. The Smith family--wife Francine, geeky son Steve, and "peace-pusher" daughter Hayley--is still not as vividly drawn as the Griffins on MacFarlane's Family Guy (even Klaus, the talking German-accented goldfish admits in one episode that his "fish shtick" is getting thin), but one can't help salute the audacity of the oft-inspired writing. In "Stannie, Get Your Gun," Stan becomes a National Gun Association spokesperson after being accidentally paralyzed by his anti-gun daughter. "The American Dad After School Special" has an A Brilliant Mind-like twist as Stan battles an eating disorder brought about by Steve's new overweight girlfriend. In "Helping Handis," Steve becomes the big man on campus after he develops steroid-enhanced breasts. Two episodes are standouts for their animation. "Dungeons and Wagons," as did South Park with "Make Love, Not Warcraft," creates a video game universe in which Steve rules. Near the end of "Failure Is Not a Factory-Installed Option," the screen adjusts to widescreen format, and the saga of the golden turd, begun in the first season episode, "Homeland Insecurity" compellingly continues with the jewel-encrusted oddity becoming the last temptation of an honest cop (Beau Bridges). American Dad is, as should be apparent, not for all tastes (or more sensitive viewers--the episode "Tears of a Clooney" drops some unbleeped F-bombs), but fans of the series are rewarded with this three disc-set's prodigious extra features, including rowdy, chaotic commentaries for all the episodes, a wealth of hit and miss deleted scenes, and a segment devoted to the production of "Dungeons and Wagons." --Donald Liebenson