American Dad: Volume 1

Having Family Guy cancelled may have been the best thing that ever happened to show creator Seth MacFarlane. The move by Fox prompted a massive Internet protest campaign leading to not only record breaking DVD sales but the show’s resurrection with more guaranteed episodes. It also enabled MacFarlane to get this second project off the ground. American Dad has been criticised — with some justification — for being too similar to Family Guy. After all, both series are essentially dysfunctional family sit coms featuring a mom, dad, brother, sister and two odd characters (in this case, a talking brain transplant recipient goldfish named Klaus and a mincing, martini-sipping Paul Lynde sound-alike alien known as Roger). But that, and the involvement of MacFarlane as a creative force and voice talent, is where the similarities end. American Dad is political satire first and foremost. During the course of the 13 episodes, spread out over three discs, it’s clear that MacFarlane is trying for something different from the gross and wonderfully politically incorrect Family Guy. He’s trying to make a statement about the state of the nation in the wake of George Dubya’s so-called "War on Terror.” And if it’s not clear from just watching, it will be after listening to the plentiful commentary tracks featuring MacFarlane and series writers and directors on 12 of the 13 episodes. There is also a raft of "making of” vignettes that will shed some light on where the inspiration for and intention of the show came from. While not as outlandish or offensive as Family Guy, American Dad does contain enough of that show’s edge to make it a winner. (Fox)