Family Guy: Volume Five – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Creators

Seth MacFarlane

Cast

Seth MacFarlane ……Peter, Brian, & Stewie Griffin/Glenn Quagmire/Various (voice)
Alex Borstein Lois Griffin/Various (voice)
Seth Green Chris Griffin/Various (voice)
Mila Kunis Meg Griffin/Various (voice)
Mike Henry Cleveland Brown/Various (voice)
Patrick Warburton ..Joe Swanson (voice)

DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 379 Minutes on 3 discs

The Show

For about four years now, Family Guy has long been something that I’ve watched on a repeated basis. The thing is that never do I catch the episodes when they originally air but more so through reruns or by picking up the DVD sets. It is a show that is fantastic when seen just once or in multiple viewings because it stays humorous and always entertains. The only problem is that as the seasons continue to come, originality seems to continue to fade.

First let me say that the version of the DVD set being reviewed here is a screener copy. Fox sent out the third disc of the set which includes the special features. I didn’t get to see any of the episodes themselves; although I have seen some of them when they aired so my review will go from that. Please keep in mind that this is not a full review of the whole volume, just what I have to go from.

The episodes from this volume seem to have gotten further and further away from having actual storylines, and continues to focus more on flashbacks or quick jumps to popular culture references. It doesn’t seem as if a single scene can go by without some kind of joke reference to the eighties or President Bush or Disney or a jab at Fox. It takes away from the entire point of having a plot to each episode and just seems to be a big mash-up of references.

One episode I did see this season that I found enjoyable was “Peter’s Two Dads.” Peter’s Bible-thumping dad Francis dies, but Peter finds out that his real father may be in Ireland. When Peter finds him, a drinking game commences for some real proof. A funny song breaks out between the two of them, but it turns into a big cultural reference promo like I was talking about earlier. Still, it does end up being a funny episode. Another is “Hell Comes To Quahog.” And while the episode is mostly a jab at superstore giants Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, it still is quite hilarious. Peter lying in the aisles coloring or hiding in the clothes racks had me laughing for quite some time.

So it isn’t that I will stop watching Family Guy or that I don’t think it isn’t funny anymore. I just wish that more focus would go back on the stories and characters then having to constantly jab or poke fun at other subjects. Still, this is a series that will always be funny because the writers are brilliant and Stewie just can’t help but crack most people up.

Episodes

Disc One:

Stewie Loves Lois: Stewie becomes obsessed with Lois after she saves Rupert, although Lois doesn’t take to the “new” Stewie all too well. Meanwhile, Peter thinks his doctor is molesting him when he undergoes a prostate exam.

Mother Tucker: Peter’s mom gets a divorce. Peter feels abandoned until he sees a father figure in his mom’s new boyfriend, Tom Tucker. Brian gets his own NPR style show on the radio.

Hell Comes To Quahog: After Peter uses Meg’s money to buy himself a tank, she gets a job at the new Superstore in town. However, the Superstore puts all the shops in town out of business and sucks up the city’s power supply. Brian and Stewie team up to save the town from the corporate giant.

Saving Private Brian: Chris is approached to join the military. Brian goes to the recruiting headquarters to voice his opinion, when Stewie signs himself and Brian up for the military. They pass Boot Camp and are shipped to Iraq, where they try to get honorably discharged by doing anything they can. Meanwhile, Chris decides to join a goth band.

Whistle While Your Wife Works: When Peter gets hurt and can’t work, his boss tells him he needs to speed things up. So Lois goes to the brewery to help him out. Meanwhile, Stewie finds out that Brian is dating a very attractive but not very intelligent woman. He tries to get Brian to break up with her, but Brian can’t do it.

Prick Up Your Ears: Lois discovers that Chris has some bad information about sex and she volunteers to teach a sex-ed class at the high school. Some parents become upset with her brutal honesty, and they have her replaced. A conservative Christian comes to Quahog and gets rid of the condoms at James Woods High. As a result, the kids find an interesting loophole. Stewie, terrified of the Tooth Fairy, decides to set traps to destroy him.

Disc Two:

Chick Cancer: Stewie ties the knot with his old flame Olivia, but their relationship quickly turns, and becomes normal dull marriage. It all escalates when they go on a double date with Brian and Jillian. Meanwhile Lois introduces Peter to chick flicks, so he decides to make his own movie with a plot based on every chick movie ever.

Barely Legal: Meg can’t find a date to her junior prom, and even though he is dating Jillian, Brian ends up going with Meg. At the prom, Brian gets drunk to make the night pass, but ends up making out with Meg. Meg begins to think of Brian as her boyfriend and becomes obsessed with spending every moment with him. Peter, Cleveland and Quagmire join the police force to help Joe, and end up saving Brian.

Road To Rupert: Brian sells Rupert at a garage sale. Stewie, who is upset with Brian, takes him cross country to Colorado to find his beloved teddy, and ends up having a ski-off to win back Rupert. Meanwhile, Peter loses his license, so Meg has to drive him around.

Peter’s Two Dads: After Peters dad, Francis, dies, Thelma tells him that his real father actually lives in Ireland. So Peter and Brian decide to head there in search of his father, who ends up being the town drunk. They decide to play a drinking game to prove his paternity. Meanwhile, Stewie acts out and Lois spanks him. Realizing that he likes being spanked, Stewie does whatever he can to get into trouble.

The Tan Aquatic With Steve Zissou: When a bully harasses Chris, Peter goes to his defense, but ends up beating him up. Peter realizes bullying is fun and begins to bully everyone in the house. Finally, Chris stands up to Peter and beats him senseless. Meanwhile, Stewie goes out without sunscreen and becomes obsessed with getting a tan. After Brian leaves him in the tanning booth for six hours, Stewie gets sunburned and fears he has cancer. While waiting for the results of his cancer screening, Stewie begins to live his life as if he had only days to live and drives Brian crazy with his demands.

Airport ’07: Quagmire takes Peter to work but Peter messes things up, causing Quagmire to lose his job as a pilot. After not being able find another job, Peter and Cleveland make plans to help him get his old job back. When the plan fails, Quagmire receives advice from his idol, Hugh Hefner.

Bill & Peter’s Bogus Journey: Peter helps Bill Clinton with his flat tire, and they soon become friends. They begin spending a lot of time together and Lois begins to believe that Bill is inflicting bad influence on Peter. But when she confronts Bill, they end up having sex. Peter, upset that his wife would do this, tries to get back at Lois by having an affair of his own, but soon realizes that he loves her too much to do so. Meanwhile, Lois and Stewie try to potty-train Brian.

Episode summaries courtesy of TV.com

The Video

This review disc is marred by an unnecessary 20th Century Fox watermark, and there are too many video inconsistencies to have a discernible grade.

The Audio

Not Available

Special Features

Deleted Scenes – A collection of close to forty deleted scenes. They are all just lumped together one after another so you can’t always tell what episode each comes from. Some are hilarious while others are just complete misses so it is kind of split as to whether these should have been left in or it was cool to leave them out. Still all are worth the watch since they’re reasonably short.

Animatic Episodes – Three full episodes in black and white and barely animated. There is no real animation as everything is kind of in slow motion and it appears that these are the very early sketches of the episodes and all sound was added to mostly still frames. The episodes are “Stewie Loves Lois,” “Prick Up Your Ears,” and “Chick Cancer.” Audio commentary by different artists is optional on all of them.

Drawing Peter – A simple five-minute segment teaching everyone how to draw Peter.

Toys, Toys Galore – This feature runs around sixteen minutes and goes into great detail about all the toys in the Family Guy line. Interviews with Seth McFarlane, other cast members, and people from Mezco Toys talk about any and everything dealing with the toys how it all got started to the number of figures created today. A pretty interesting watch so it’s worth checking out.

Freakin’ Sweet Promo – A trailer for Family Guy: The Freakin’ Sweet Collection.

Audio commentary – Each and every episode has commentary from various voice actors, writers, and other cast and crew members. Seth MacFarlane also sits on commentary on all episodes.

The Inside Pulse

Fans of the show are going to buy this set regardless of how far from the original concept the writers have gone. I would pick up this set simply for the fact that even the references and flashbacks are funny even though they bug me overall. The special features are nothing interesting, but like I said, this set will be bought for the episodes and that is enough to sell plenty. The animatic episodes are virtually cheaper versions of three you already get in real animation making them unnecessary. The “Toys” feature is fun and the deleted scenes are funny, but nothing too exciting. I have the previous four volumes and never quite enjoyed the commentaries from them, but I didn’t get the chance to hear those on this one so my opinion could change. Fans will want this set of course. Yet for those on the fence about getting it, you may want to rent it first and make sure all the episodes are to your liking.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Family Guy: Volume Five
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

THE VIDEO

THE AUDIO

THE EXTRAS

4
REPLAY VALUE

OVERALL
Incomplete
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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