Plot: What’s it about?
For over twenty years my favorite show on television has been “The Simpson’s.” I don’t think there’s many out there that would argue that America’s favorite yellow family has (and will have) a lasting impact on TV and pop culture in general. And, with the success of that show, countless others have sprung up to try and get a slice of that pie. While some succeeded (“King of the Hill” and “Futurama” come to mind), there have been others that were cancelled. And speaking of cancelled, “Family Guy” was one of those unfortunate shows that went the way of the dodo…twice. But, thanks to the fans, “Family Guy” is back and now is as strong as ever. In fact, Fox signed a five year deal for the show to remain on the air and paid creator Seth McFarlane over $100 million to boot. How’s that for irony? While “Family Guy” is funny, it’s far more crude than “The Simpson’s” but the point of watching something on television is to be entertained and I have to admit, “Family Guy” entertains me. With that said, let’s take a look at the Eighth season of America’s most avant garde family.
Like most other animated shows, there’s really no central theme as they zip through the season, though the season opener “Road to the Multiverse” is probably the most clever and unique of the season. That’s not to say that the rest of the season is bad, not by any means but there is more of a “hit or miss” quality of this show that’s not usually present on “The Simpson’s.” Peter is, by far, the lead of the series just as Homer is of “The Simpson’s” and it’s a good thing. Peter has a way about him that’s somewhat endearing, despite the fact that he’s completely crude and void of compassion for others. Episodes like “Peter’s Progress”, “We Love You Conrad” and “April in Quahog” stood out and arguably, the crude humor has hit a new high (or would that be a new low)? Still, we’ll be seeing much more of Peter and crew in the years to come and if you’ve any other sets in your collection, there’s no reason not to add this one as well.
Video: How does it look?
The eighth season of “Family Guy” is shown in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Supposedly the show is set to go to 1.78:1 widescreen for its ninth season (just like “The Simpson’s” did last year), so that’ll be a welcome change from anything full-frame. That said, colors seemed very vivid and bright. Animation has always looked great on DVD and this new to DVD offering is certainly no exception. Fine detail is a bit improved over the HD broadcasts that I usually watch and I’ve been spoiled by watching the new “Simpson’s” episodes in widescreen. Still, “Family Guy” looks great and as with the rest of the season’s on DVD, it doesn’t disappoint.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on this set is fairly impressive. The occasional use of the rear surrounds for some of the directional effects had my head turning a few times. Dialogue is very rich and robust and with this “uncensored” edition, don’t be surprised to hear a few four letter words – yes, this isn’t for children. The opening song sounds very good, coming out of all channels. Again, as with the video, the audio delivers on all accounts and viewers will not be disappointed in the least.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This set has a few extras, namely some deleted scenes and “Family Guy’s” karaoke is a rather interesting feature as well. There’s a look at the “Road to the Multiverse” episode as well. While I wish the creators of the show would do some commentaries for the episodes like they do for “The Simpson’s” it hasn’t happened on this season.