American Dad: Volume 5

American Dad: Volume 5
American Dad is a low rent Family Guy, without the bizarre non-sequiturs and occasionally clever satire, taking the more obnoxious and bland elements to create a show that succeeds more so by association than individual merits. Even the central family comes across as brainstormed and marketed, with the titular dad (Stan) being a Republican CIA agent, whose children (Steve and Hayley) share none of his interests, filling the dork and liberal hippie quota, respectively. Worse still is the homosexual alien they have living in their house, a replacement for the similarly aggravating Stewie, running around in wigs, taking over the narrative of most episodes with odes to Dogfight and The Stuff. The 14 episodes included with this three-disc set are comprised of the latter half of season five, starting with the politically-minded CIA telethon episode and ending with the one where Stan goes out with a bunch of colleagues who keep assaulting and kidnapping passers-by. Oddly enough, watching only a little bit of the show is slightly annoying and boring, since there are no laughs to be had, aside from the fart toy in the "Bar Mitzvah" episode. But after watching it in succession, it becomes sort of comforting, in that bland and innocuous Friends sort of way. There's even the occasional witty gem within, like when Roger takes over the neighbourhood homeowners' association and gives Stan a taste of Republican oppression by placing him in the minority, teaching lessons through example. But mostly there's tedium, with some jokes about the love of trans-fats and the hilarity of Stan and Francine couple swapping with the gays across the street, which is fine as a diversion, but nothing worth noting or seeking out. The DVD set comes with some pop-up video trivia on the "Bar Mitzvah" episode, where they point out many of the background jokes, such as a man using an oversized ATM to pay a hooker, along with an hour-long drinking game, which features one-minute clips from throughout the entire series. There are also many deleted and extended scenes, along with commentary tracks on every episode. (Fox)