Plot: What’s it about?
Peter Griffin has been through it all, he found he was black, he became beautiful, he lost all the bones in his body, his show was canceled, the guy has had it rough. But he never gives up and even if it means fighting a chicken up and down the street, this is one guy who refuses to not make a scene. His wife Lois has a past of sexual freedom, his son Chris has a bigger penis than he does, his dog Brian is smarter than he is, and his son Stewey despises him. Oh and his daughter Meg, well the less said the better. Peter and his family have gotten into all kinds of new adventures, as Peter discovers his biological father, Stewey discovers the joys of being tan, and Brian discovers military service isn’t that all its cracked up to be. But these are some just some of the tales that await in this new collection of episodes, Family Guy: Volume Five.
I love this show. I know the stories are thin and the constant pop culture references mask the show’s lack of depth, I just don’t care because the series is hilarious. No other show is as unpredictable, random, or off the wall, Family Guy might not have depth, but it has plenty of laughs. I’ve looked forward to all of the Family Guy DVD releases, but none as much as this one, since this fifth volume has my favorite episode ever, Barely Legal. Stewey’s conversation with Brian about a certain whipped topping, Meg’s Fatal Attraction kick, and Peter as a police officer, this episode has it all. This release includes the first thirteen episodes from the fifth season, with Barely Legal and some other great ones on deck. As I am sure is the case with other fans, I would prefer full season sets, but these half season volumes aren’t that bad. The episodes here are uncut and uncensored too, so you’ll see and hear elements deemed unfit for network broadcast. The episodes here won’t win the show any new fans, but if you’re a Family Guy fan already, Volume Five is must own entertainment.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. The prints have minimal signs of wear, so debris and grain are never problems. This allows for a clean, crisp visual texture, so the show’s bright presence comes off in fine fashion. The Quahog atmosphere looks excellent, so the basic animation style carries well here. This is not always a very colorful show, but when needed, the hues have ample richness. I found black levels to be spot on also, which means there is no imbalance within the darker hues. So we have more than solid visual treatments here, as all the episodes look even better than when shown on television.
Audio: How does it sound?
I don’t have a whole lot to discuss in this department, since the show’s audio is basic and so is this presentation. There is no real power or depth to mention, outside of the music, which has a little presence at times. The sound effects don’t amount to much, but all of the needed elements are on full showcase in these tracks. In other words, the background noises sound good, but don’t expect much beyond the basics. The real focus is on dialogue, so the clean and clear vocals found here are a welcome fixture in the mixes. This release also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
All thirteen episodes have audio commentaries, as creator Seth MacFarlane is joined by various writers and cast members over the course of the collection. The tracks are decent, with talk of unused ideas, inspiration for the pop culture jokes, and other casual banter, so they’re worth a listen. Three episodes are presented in complete animatic form, which is awesome, plus audio comments to help shed light on the creation process. This release also includes sixteen minutes of deleted scenes, a featurette on how to draw Peter, and a look at the toy line based on the show’s characters.