Family Guy, Volume Eight

Family Guy, Volume Eight
Now, I'm all for bucking convention when it comes to matters of social etiquette and tradition, but when it comes to televised DVD box sets, I like things boxed in complete seasons so that I know where to look for the episode I want when I want it. I'm not sure what this "volume" nonsense is all about with Family Guy, but this box set has seven episodes from season seven and eight episodes from season eight. Of note are episode "420," wherein weed is legalized in Quahog, and "Road to the Multiverse," which features multiple styles of animation while Stewie and Brian jump Sliders-style in between potential dimensions. Little deterioration in quality is evident as the series progresses, sticking with its format of an American nuclear family tackling everyday situations in an irreverent, pleasantly offensive manner, taking comedy from non-sequiturs and rampant impropriety. And even if many of the storylines are pretty bland and unmemorable, like Chris's reluctant bonding with the evil monkey in his closet and Quagmire's discovery of an unknown daughter, the randomly inserted gags deliver a laugh or two each episode. Most memorable from this collection are Peter's efforts to apply the lessons of Roadhouse to everyday life, a joke about mentally retarded roosters, Palestinian alarm clocks and the implication that Miley Cyrus has a DVD burner for a vagina. There's nothing revolutionary going on, but at least the show still manages to shock while remaining topical and pulling out obscure '80s references. In addition to the special feature about the complicated animation that went into the "Multiverse" episode, there are commentary tracks on almost every episode where the writers discuss who came up with what gag and what jokes were thrown in at the last minute. The DVD also features both the original televised episodes along with the uncut and uncensored versions, which prove mainly that infrequent, but well-timed, utterances of the word "fuck" are in fact funny when it comes to cartoons. There is also a karaoke supplement with what appears to be every song ever featured on Family Guy, along with deleted and extended scenes, such as Trisha Takanawa baked out of her mind talking to a flower. (Fox)