“ Genre: Television - Family Guy / Director: Monte Young, Brian Hogan, Dan Povenmire / Actors: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein ... / DVD released 25 April, 2005 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Animated, Dubbed, PAL „
* Prices may differ from that shown
I'm quite bad for re-watching programmes many times, and Family Guy is one of those that I go back to on a regular basis. It's humour and lack of great plot complexity makes it a great programme to watch in the background while doing other things, such as studying and review writing in my case, as well as it being enjoyable to pay your full attention to. This DVD contains some of the 'best' episodes from the earlier series of the show as well as some special features, but I must stress that this is a 'film only' review and I will not be mentioning the extra features.
== Family Guy ==
Family Guy is a cartoon series made by Seth MacFarlane, who also made American Dad. Family Guy has become famous throughout many parts of the world for its satirical comedy and occasional downright offensiveness, and it is a show that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Many people have called it a cheap copy of The Simpsons, and whereas I agree that if it weren't for The Simpsons, then Family Guy would probably not exist, but that doesn't mean that they are not very different from each other and are aimed at a different audience. Whereas The Simpsons is predominately a show for children that can also be enjoyed by adults, Family Guy is more a show for adults that can be enjoyed by teenagers and children.
Family Guy is about an American family living in Quahog, Rhode Island in the present day. The main character, Peter, is the father of the family, and his frequent bouts of stupidly and bizarre actions make for stress and trouble for his family, but entertainment for the viewer. His wife, Lois, is a beautiful housewife, who despite having several small jobs throughout the show, spends most of her time at home. They have three children: Meg, the older teenager, who is unfortunately fairly ugly and is Peter and Lois's least favourite child; Chris, a younger teenager, who is a lot like his father yet entertaining in his own way; and Stewie, the diabolic one year old baby hell bent on killing his mother and taking over the world, and who also speaks with a standard English accent, despite his age and nationality. The family is completed by Brian, the dog, who can talk and walk on his hind legs, and is the most well-educated and sensible one in the family, and who has been in love with Lois for many years. Like many other cartoon series, despite the show now being in its seventh series, the characters have not aged at all since its beginning, though there are occasional flashbacks to the past. Despite now being very popular, Family Guy was cancelled after its second series several years ago, but was brought back due to impressive DVD sales, and now is going strong and shows no sign of stopping.
== Freakin' Sweet Collection ==
This DVD was first released way back in 2005 and so of course only includes episodes from the first three series of the programme, as these were the only ones which had been released at the time (with series 4 being broadcast on American television from May 2005). Since I feel that Family Guy has got steadily better series by series, these episodes are not picked from the cream of the crop, as far as I'm concerned, but the compilers had no other choice considering that these three series were all that were in existence at the time. The episodes included are: 'When You Wish Upon a Weinstein', 'Road to Rhode Island', 'To Love and Die In Dixie', 'I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar' and 'Lethal Weapons'. These all come from the second and third series, as for some reason, none from the first series were selected.
== What I Thought ==
Despite me tending to prefer episodes from later on in the Family Guy timeline, this really isn't a bad collection of episodes at all. 'To Love and Die in Dixie' and 'Road to Rhode Island' are in fact two of my favourite episodes from the entire ten series run and so I was happy to see their appearance here. 'To Love and Die in Dixie' sees the Griffins having to move to the American South for a short while, and confronts the USA's North/South divide while being true to Family Guy's silly brand of comedy. 'Road to Rhode Island' was also the first in the now cult 'Road to...' episodes, which now include 'Road to the Multiverse', 'Road to Germany' and 'Road to the North Pole'. These episodes revolve around Brian and Stewie going on a journey together, often against their will, and usually contain a musical number or two. I really like these episodes and think that that 'Road to Rhode Island' deserves an inclusion on 'Freakin' Sweet' due to being the start of something great, as well as being an enjoyable episode in itself.
'Lethal Weapons', which sees Lois learning to kick-box and Peter taking advantage of this fact, and 'I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar', in which Peter's chauvinistic attitude to women has unusual consequences, are also good episodes. The only episode on the DVD that I have to say I'm not a massive fan of is 'When You Wish Upon a Weinstein'. This episode rather confusingly involves Peter wanting his son to become Jewish in the hope that this will make him more intelligent. While there a few good moments in this episode, the concept is a bit mental and I have to say that I'm not a particular fan of it.
== Conclusion ==
This DVD has a good selection of episodes and a few of them are my favourites from these early series. I will say, however, that in general the later series are better and a compilation featuring some of those would find me looking upon it more favourably. Considering this DVD's release date, however, the episodes are good for what was available at the time.
However, as I have said with all my Family Guy compilation DVDs, there's not much point in buying the Freakin' Sweet Collection if you are a fan and own the full series as they're available on there as well. If you don't have much in the way of Family Guy on DVD, however, and just fancy a few decent episodes, then this is an alright choice. At £7.31 (Amazon) for only five episodes, however, you're really not getting the best value for money if you buy this: the entire eighth series (by UK classification) is available for £9.96, so less than £3 more for thirteen episodes instead of five, and there are many other full series available for around the £15 mark.
In short, not a bad DVD but not the best value for money, and there are better episodes to be found in later series.
This Family Guy collection consists of Seth McFarlane's favourite five episodes on one disc. The episodes included are "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein", "Road to Rhode Island", "To Love and Die in Dixie", "I Am Peter Hear Me Roar" and my favourite of the collection; "Lethal Weapons".
There isn't really too much incentive to buy this as you may as well just carry on buying the seasons. However, it has a few nice special features including episode commentaries. The one on "Road to Rhode Island" actually has Brian and Stewie and is really good. If you've got the seasons I wouldn't recommend picking it up just for the extras but if you're new to Family Guy then it's a brilliant introduction to the show. I only bought it because I wanted to buy a DVD for the flight back from Vienna when I was at the airport, so got this.
The episodes are all excellent and have more of a plot to them than most. One of them ("When You Wish Upon a Weinstein") didn't actually air on Fox because the topic is a little controversial about Jews but is undeniably hilarious without being offensive. If you're a massive fan then I'd recommend getting this for the extras, otherwise there's not really too much point.
Family Guy - Freakin' Sweet Collection is a compilation of five Family Guy episodes along with some episode commentaries exclusive to this DVD. The episodes included are "When You Wish upon a Weinstein", "Road to Rhode Island", "To Love and Die in Dixie", "I Am Peter Hear Me Roar" and "Lethal Weapons".
In "When You Wish upon a Weinstein", Peter tries to convert Chris to Judaism because he thinks that will make him more of a success in life, in "Road to Rhode Island", Brian asks to bring Stewie back from his grandparents in California, but they miss their plane and so have to travel across the country to get back to Quahog (also features some pretty funny old fashioned songs), in "To Love and Die in Dixie", the Griffin family move to the south when a criminal threatens to kill Chris because he witnessed him committing a crime, in "I Am Peter Hear Me Roar", Peter is forced to go to a women's retreat after telling a sexist joke at work, but comes back completely emasculated and convinced he's a woman himself, and finally, in "Lethal Weapons, Lois takes up Tae-Jitsu classes, but starts to worry that this may be a negative influence on her family.
A very nice set of extras include Seth McFarlane talking about "American Dad", an inside look at "American Dad" and perhaps the best extra of all, a commentary by Brian and Stewie on the episode "Road to Rhode Island"! This must be hard for Seth as he does both of their voices, so he's basically just talking to himself. Regardless, it's very funny in a post-ironic way.
Overall a very nice set with some good quality episodes and funny commentaries. If you're a Family Guy fan you're probably better off buying the seasons as a whole, it'll work out cheaper, unless you want the exclusive commentaries, then by all means get it! It can probably be bought on eBay quite cheaply as it's been out for a while. Five stars!
The Family Guy 'Freakin' Sweet' collection is a rounding up of all Seth McFarlane's favourite episodes. He's the creator of Family Guy, and also the voice of various characters, including Brian. The episodes come from the first three seasons and include -
Road to Rhode Island
To Love and Die in Dixie
I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar
When You Wish Upon a Weinstein.
The episodes give an excellent selection from all the series, meaning someone interested in Family Guy but unsure about purchasing the boxsets, could buy this as a general summary - and get a taste of what the other series are like.
Before the review of the episodes, here's a little background information about the family, if you haven't seen Family Guy before. If you have seen the show, feel free to skip past to the episodes review.
Peter Griffin - The Family Guy! He's father of the Griffin family and main character in the series. Working in a toy factory, he's optimistic about all new ventures - and his many different job's provide material for episodes throughout the series.
Lois Griffin - Mother and Wife. The caring wife who puts up with Peter, she has a very similar role to Marge from The Simpsons. As the character with the most morals, she attempts to keep Peter and her family in check. Indeed, her most frequent line in the episodes is 'I'm very upset with you right now, Peter.'
Meg Griffin - Troubled daughter. Obsessed with fitting in and being materialistic are Meg's main contributions to the show.
Chris Griffin - Peter's protige. Overgrown and 13 years old with an amazing talent for drawing, he aspires to be like his dad!
Stewie Griffin - Maniacal Baby! A one year old megalomaniac who's main concern is to kill Lois. Stewie is probably the second most influential character in Family Guy and usually the audiences favourite (my favourite as well!).
Brian - Pet dog and sophisticated scholar. A sarcastic canine who's a bordering alcoholic.
Lethal Weapons -
Lois is sick and tired of being a pushover! She enrolls in a 'Tae-Jitsue' class and soon becomes better than the teacher, himself! Peter, seeing his wife's new talents, uses her to keep the annoying New York tourists away from Quohog. But when her rage begins to get out of control and influence the rest of the family, she enters them all into anger management. Culminating in one of the most famous Family Guy scenes (where the family break into a melee), this episode is very funny and an excellent choice for the top 5.
Best line - Brian: You ok, Peter?
Peter: (Scared) Last night Brian, Lois was the man!
Brian: Oh god.
Road to Rhode Island -
This episode was recently voted the audience's favourite, and it's probably mine as well. It's really only a Brian and Stewie episode, and deals with the loss and finding of Brian's mother. When Brian travels to California to pick Stewie up from his grandparent's place, their luggage is lost in the airport. Desperate not to tell Lois, Brian tells her that they're getting the train back, and ends up stealing cars and stowing away on trains to do so! On the way back, he recognises a town they pass through as the one he was born in and that leads him to search for his mother... It's easy to see why this was voted the favourite, as it includes classic Family Guy humour, a fantastic song from Stewie and Brian, and a well balanced meaningful aspect - dealing with Brian's mother. The DVD is worth buying for this episode alone!
Best line - the 'Road to Rhode Island' song!
To Love and Die in Dixie -
After Chris witnesses an armed robbery in the local store, he has to identify the culprit in a parade. When the villain escapes, he swears that he will kill Chris Griffin! The family are forced to enter a witness protection programme and are relocated to a small town in the deep south of America. There, Chris meets a 'boy' he begins to have feelings for, Stewie becomes a yokel, Meg becomes popular and Peter; the sheriff! Again, a good balance between humour and the stereotypes of Southern America - this episode is one of the funniest as you see the characters 'fit in' to the different culture.
Best line - News reporter: So, what are you're plans now you've escaped from prison?
Criminal: First, I'm gonna go home and bang my girlfriend, then I'm gonna kill Chris Griffin!
Stewie: Good Lord!... can he really say 'bang my girlfriend' on television this early?
I am Peter, Hear me Roar -
A sexist joke Peter tells at work lands him in a class to make him more sensitive. When this doesn't appear to be working for Peter, the feminist in charge sends him to a school where he will be taught to appreciate women. When he returns to the family, he is a completely changed man! Loving and caring, he begins to get on the family's nerves and soon, they all want the old Peter back! This is one of my favourite episodes from the collection. Peter's performance as a 'woman' is excellent.
Best scene - where Peter attempts to breast feed a sleeping Stewie. Stewie's reaction is hilarious!
When You Wish Upon a Weinstein -
This is the most infamous Family Guy episode. Fox banned it from being aired as Peter makes the claim that 'all Jewish people are good with money'. Surprised by the amount of money Cleaveland and Quagmire (his two best friends) got from tax refunds, Peter decides he must get himself a Jewish accountant. When Max Weinstein needs to use his phone, Peter asks for financial help and Max agrees. Later, Peter sees Chris struggling with his maths homework and becomes convinced that Chris should become Jewish (and therefore, instantly more intelligent!).
Lois attempts to stop Peter on a crazy race to Las Vegas for a quicky barmitspha, where she enacts the frequently used wedding scene from The Graduate. But will it work? It's not all that surprising that this episode was banned from airing, but it is very funny nevertheless. Also, the creator's show Peter's change in belief (that Jewish people are all geniuses to the fact that they're just like everybody else) very well - with a moral in there somewhere. All in all, an excellent episode for the top 5.
Best line - the song Peter sings, 'When you wish upon a Jew'
Special features - There's a commentary from Seth McFarlane and some of the Family Guy cast on every episode. These are usually very entertaining and provide an interesting insight into the series. Commentaries with characters from the episode, like Stewie and Brian in 'Road to Rhode Island', are particularly good. I'm a bit sad and have watched the episodes with the commentaries on and off back-to-back...
There's a good interview with Seth McFarlane where he talks about Family Guy season 4 and his new series, American Dad. He gives the reasons for his top choices and you can see some previews of the first episode of American Dad and the new characters.
There's also trailers for Futurama Season 4, American Dad and Family Guy that were all aired on television - this seems like a bit of a 'filler' though really and aren't particularly interesting.
Overall, a very good DVD for fans and new watcher's alike. The top 5 choices are excellent, and all the most popular characters have an episode where they feature most.
The rating is a 15, because of some sexual references and some moderately strong language, and the whole DVD is approximately 109 minutes long.
The only negative thing I can really think of is that there are only 5 episodes and a boxset really wouldn't cost much more to buy. It's good value for money if you're just trying Family Guy out. And if you want a selection of the best - get this DVD.
**anything you can think of that will help me improve my review writing, please let me know via comments. Any advise welcome and appreciated! Sam.
Features five episodes. In 'When You Wish Upon A Weinstein', Dad Peter tries to convert his son, Chris, to Judaism as he believes that all of his financial problems can be solved if they are dealt with by a Jewish person. Also features: 'Road To Rhode Island', 'To Love And Die In Dixie', 'I Am Peter Hear Me Roar' and 'Lethal Weapons'.