The little show that nobody wanted to watch in 2001 came back with a vengeance in 2004. After being canceled just 3 years prior, Family Guy hit DVD and took the world by storm, eventually making it’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, one of the top paid people in all of television… and now we can’t get rid of him. In between his gigs hosting awards shows and making episodes of Family Guy, Seth has also managed to put out a full length feature this year with “TED”, which is basically what would happen if Brian from Family Guy moved in with Mark Wahlberg. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but I imagine it will be coming to Blu-Ray/DVD shortly. But I digress, let’s talk about Family Guy.
Family Guy Volume 10… holy $%@T are we already on volume 10? It seems like just yesterday I was watching the show religiously on Sunday nights, laughing at all of the ridiculous jokes and wincing at some of the terrible flashback scenes. At it’s core, that’s the premise of Family Guy, jokes and flashbacks. Each episode has a main storyline which then reminds the characters of things that happened in the past, but rather than just tell those stories about the past, we flashback and actually see those things happening. It’s not a bad way to do the show by any means, but I think it’s starting to run it’s course. Like I said above, I used to be an avid fan of the show, I used to watch it every Sunday night when it would air and buy all of the DVDs… I can’t really say the same thing anymore, but when I was asked if I wanted to review it I jumped at the chance to see what I’ve been missing out. Was I disappointed? No, not really. Did I expect a bit more after all this time? Maybe, but I’m not sure why. Any show that’s been on the air for over 10 years begins to run out of ideas after a while, even The Simpsons has run it’s course and needs to call it quits. One of the few cartoon shows that still seems relevant is South Park, but there’s a reason for that. Matt and Trey create each episode in a week, which allows them to include current events and topics in each new episode, so that when the episode airs, the things they are making fun of literally just happened. I understand that not all shows can do this, hell, pretty much all shows except for South Park can’t do this, but that’s why other shows begin to run stale. Family Guy is still extremely funny at times, but you can definitely tell that Seth has begun to move on to other things and is getting bored with the show. At least it appears that way to me, and honestly it’s not just volume 10 that seemed like that, it’s been a while now.
The best part of this whole DVD set is the fact that the 13 episodes are uncensored and extended. So things that couldn’t be said on TV and things that were cut out due to the fact that a TV show can only be 22 minutes long, have been added back in making it seem like you’re watching all new episodes. Combine that with a fairly decent amount of special features and you’ve got yourself a DVD set that will keep you entertained.
The video and audio on the set are just what you would expect from an animated show. It doesn’t need to be in HD for you to still get a very crisp and clean picture. All of the episodes are presented in widescreen as well which is nice, some of the earlier sets are in full frame which is always a bit annoying on a widescreen tv. The audio is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital, the voices are crystal clear which, really, is all that matters in a DVD like this.
There are a decent number of extras on the set starting out with a handful of commentary tracks with Not-Seth MacFarlane, but mainly writers and directors. There are only 6 of them on the disc, so not every episode has one. There are a few deleted scenes as well, but nothing that really stood out to me or was that interesting; there was a reason they were cut. Throw in some scene animatics and three decent featurettes that dive into the music, the creation of an epic fight scene and Adam West’s induction into the Hollywood walk of fame, and that about wraps up the set.
If you’re still a fan of Family Guy then you won’t be disappointed with this new volume of episodes. I miss the days of old family guy, but you’re always going to get that one jerk who lives in the past and claims that the old shows were better. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy watching these new episodes for the first time, because I did, I was just expecting a bit more.