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American Dad! Volume 3
American Dad! - Season 3 - Complete (DVD)
Member Name: m_illie
American Dad! - Season 3 - Complete (DVD)
Date: 04/03/12, updated on 04/03/12 (177 review reads)
Advantages: Funny, creative and the beginning of greatness for a show that just keeps on giving
Disadvantages: Some episodes, for me, attempted to be too political and satirical
Weirdly, my love of American Dad! began with Volume 3 after my boyfriend gave me the boxset as a gift randomly for me to watch when he went away to his grandparents knowing I had nothing else to do. I was a huge fan of Family Guy and figured I may as well test the waters with this series too, made by the same creator Seth MacFarlane, and I am so glad now that I did. In fact, if it were not for the silliness of handing over a series midway through causing me to play catch up with characters from my boyfriend, I definitely wouldn't have found a true gem in modern cartoons.
The volume consists of 3 separate disks which hold 2 sets of 8 episodes and another disk for special features. The contents of each disk is as follows:
Disk 1 - Bush Comes to Dinner, American Dream Factory, Black Mystery Month, an Apocolyse to Remember, Four Little Words, When a Stan Love a Woman, and I Can't Stan You.
Disk 2 - The Magnificent Steven, Joint Custody, the Vacation Goo, Meter Maid, Dope and Faith,Big Trouble in Little Langley, Haylias, and the 42 Year Old Virgin.
Disk 3 - Surro-Gate, Franny 911 and Special Feautures which include audio commentary on all of the episodes, over 60 deleted and extended scenes, and Comic-Con Table Read.
In my opinion the volume starts poor. Despite, as I said, being an American Dad! fan, I was less than impressed with these set of episodes, in particular the first which is 'Bush Comes to Dinner. MacFarlene and his team of writers, although often brilliant, are also very obviously political in many of their episodes and this one episodes serves to show this. We all have our opinions on President Bush but cartoons should be light entertainment and little else. It was a little disappointing to start off the compilation in this way, but I guess that is suitable to some people's tastes, just not necessarily mine.
Disk 2 was miles better. Entertaining, funny, creative and not plastered with hidden agendas, it was right back to basics with this one. The storylines were much more interesting as well, which is funny, as in their attempts to appeal to a certain kind of audience (that is perhaps a more liberal one) they managed to put me off and later drag me back in without the need for politics at all! I think if anything, the episodes in Disk 2 do an excellent job of allowing us more insight into the characters, which although simply a cartoon, I feel is important. For example, 'The Magnificent Steven' focuses on Stan's efforts to persuade his son Steve to be much more masculine and much less embarrassing. It adds both humour and interest when we learn that Stan is willing to bring Steve and his 3 best friends on an urban cattle drive across the city just to mold him into the man he wants him to be.
Disk 3 has another 2 great episodes but sadly I missed out on them for quite a while mostly on account of my laziness. I thought the disk would be composed of solely additional features and was greatly surprised when I sat down to watch them to find even more mayhem from the Smith family. The extra scenes are always a favourite of mine on any dvd as Im often interested in comparing the finalised addition with the previous one, often to see if they truly did make it better. In fact my boyfriend and I usually debate which was better and whether it was worth writing an entire new scene when the first one was fine. The Comic-Con Table Read was equally as excellent, as perhaps its just me, but when I watch cartoons I'm often fascinated to see the face behind the voice, and am usually amazed at how starkly different they are. It showed how truly skilled the voice actors were, particularly MacFarlene who plays both Stan and Roger.
The volume as a whole runs for approximately 371 minutes with each of the 18 episodes being around 20 minutes or so. If you switch to the second option for audio via your remote when watching, it is also possible to hear the commentary whilst watching the episode without having to go through the menu at all. The commentary is excellent and equally as funny as both the banter and stories for how each episode finally came to be was a welcome addition on my part, making me love American Dad even more. It is clear the show isn't just a normal job for these people which is refreshing to see as the enjoyment they clearly take makes this season and the entire show as a whole, much more enjoyable.
Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and Seth MacFarlene have truly done it again in Season 3 of American Dad! The season exceeded my expectations and managed to convince to go back and watch the previous 2 seasons which were also excellent. I think this show gets better every season, and so it would perhaps be unfair to judge it harshly now looking back when we are way out at Season 7 of this fantastic show. For that reason, I cannot give it less than 4/5 and if it were not for the attempts at contrived humour and what I personally saw as a platform to demonstrate the writers' political opinions, it would definitely get full marks from me.
Overall, I think that Volume 3 of American Dad! is an excellent addition to the series as a whole and the beginning of something great. Now in its seventh season, the show just keeps on getting better and in my humble opinion (which I'm sure many will disagree with!) far succeeds its sibling Family Guy.
Summary: Mostly an excellent series with great special features a show you keep coming back to