Family Guy: Volume Ten

Family Guy: Volume Ten
Featuring 14 episodes from the ninth season of the notoriously irreverent cavalcade of offense and non-sequiturs known as Family Guy, this box set resembles every other volume preceding it, only the supplemental features have reached maximum lethargy. Realizing that the greatest thing about Fox animated box sets of the Seth MacFarlane variety is their uncensored nature, the occasional commentary track and animatic do little to add to the overall experience. Only the addition of the "Road to the North Pole" music feature provides some insight, featuring the music creators and MacFarlane discussing how seriously they take songs, even when they're about deformed and/or mentally handicapped elves and flesh-eating reindeer at the North Pole. As for the episodes, season nine was a bit of a mixed bag. On the upside, it features a particularly strong Halloween episode where Meg and Chris inadvertently spend "seven minutes in heaven," while Brian and Stewie experience Trick or Treating, receiving a Cornish hen with gravy from Mayor Adam West. The obvious standout episode of this collection is the aforementioned "Road to the North Pole" Christmas special, which, despite its obvious anti-consumerist preaching, is astonishingly inventive in its musical execution and Holiday depravity. Cannibalism, home invasions and inbreeding are just some of the subjects tackled in this episode. Unfortunately, episodes about Foxy boxing, a Nazi neighbour and a self-help book bog down this set, replacing the standard laughs with blasé indifference to the surprisingly smug didactics. These missteps are mostly compensated for by episodes featuring things like Lois showing a porno of herself to a church full of people or Peter learning that sobriety is almost as bad as alcoholism. There's even an episode featuring, and mocking, the full music video for "Dancing in the Street," as performed by Mick Jagger and David Bowie. And, as is the standard for the latter editions of Family Guy box sets, some of the best jokes are included in the deleted scenes, which were likely a little too controversial for prime time TV. While an overall lazy release with some of the weaker episodes of the series, this set still delivers the desired impropriety to which we've all grown accustomed. (Fox)