Since I was only sent the final disk of this collection for the purpose of this review, I will not be able to review any of the episodes. I am, however, able to give you a glimpse into the extras contained on the final disk. Family Guy Volume 5 is being released as a three-disk set containing 13 episodes spread across the first two disks along with their commentary tracks, leaving the remainder of the extra features to land on the final disk.
I will refrain from commenting on the audio/video aspect, as the disk I did receive was a promo copy and not a final release copy. I suspect that this is close to, if not the same, as what you will find on the store shelves, but I do not want to mislead. Before checking out the extras, here are is the episode list and commentary participants.
- Stewie Loves Lois: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Kim Fertman, David Goodman, Mike Henry, and Mark Hentemann
- Mother Tucker: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Tom DeVanney, David Goodman, James Purdum, Chris Sheridan, and Leann Siegel
- Hell Comes To Quahog: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Kirker Butler, David Goodman, Dan Povenmire, Chris Sheridan, and Danny Smith
- Saving Private Brian: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, David Goodman, Seth Green, Charles Song, and Cyndi Tang
- Whistle While Your Wife Works: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Drew Barrymore, Steve Callaghan, David Goodman, Chris Sheridan, and Kara Vallow
- Prick Up Your Ears: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, David Goodman, Susan Makkos, and James Purdum
- Chick Cancer: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Rachel MacFarlane, Pete Michels, Chris Sheridan, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild
- Barely Legal: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Kirker Butler, David Goodman, Mila Kunis, Zac Moncrief, and Danny Smith
- Road To Rupert: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, David Goodman, Mark Hentemann, Patrick Meighan, Dan Povenmire, and Andy Tauke
- Peter’s Two Dads: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, David Goodman, Mike Henry, Walter Murphy, and Cyndi Tang
- The Tan Aquatic With Steve Zissou: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Kevin Biggins, David Goodman, Mark Hentemann, Danny Smith, and Julius Wu
- Airport ‘07: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Tom Devanney, David Goodman, Mark Hentemann, John Holmquist, and Danny Smith
- Bill & Peter’s Bogus Journey: Commentary by Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Steve Callaghan, Andrew Goldberg, David Goodman, and Joseph Lee
The season has definitely had its ups and downs. However, I still find myself consistently cracking up at the off the wall humor and the gags that have nothing to do with plot — pretty much what South Park made fun of it for. Episodes such as "Stewie Loves Lois" with the disastrous prostate exam, "Saving Private Brian" with Chris joining a goth band, "Barely Legal" featuring Brian and Meg dating, and the Quagmire-centric "Airport '07," are great examples of the hilarity that can happen during a typical episode.
Now, let's take a look at the extras:
Deleted Scenes. There are 38 deleted scenes totaling sixteen and a half minutes, thankfully with a "play all" function. Even without any context (heck, many of the gags in the episodes have no context), most of these are pretty darn funny. Most likely they were primarily cut for runtime. Some of the best include "Enola Gay," "Hope and Rape," "Peter Blows up Delta Burke," "Fat Kid Fishing," "Kelly Ripa," and "Gay Car Alarm." Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if some of these find their way into future episodes.
Animatic Episodes. These episodes each have a commentary track. For those of you unfamiliar with animatics, an animatic is a visual scratch track used by the animators to put the episode together. Think of it as storyboards that have been animated. These are pretty cool to see, although it would have been nice to see some sort of side by side with the finished product. Still animatics are eminently more watchable than a series of straight storyboards. The commentary tracks are also pretty good as the participants reminisce on the making of the episode, cut segments, and jokes that they scarcely remember.
- Stewie Loves Lois. The animatic features a couple of scenes that were cut including Tom Tucker doing a Mr. Rogers as he leaves the news desk, a sequence with Stewie meeting Colin Farrell on a street corner, a bit with Emperor Hirohito, among other odds and ends. Commentary with Anthony Argusa, Dominic Bianchi, Mick Cassidy, Mike Kim, and Dave Woody.
- Prick Up Your Ears. This episode features the fantastic Adam West cat launcher attack. That makes me laugh to no end. Cut sequences include Chris and friends ransacking an adult video store, Peter conducting an orchestra playing the old Mario Bros. theme, a Kraft protester who sets himself on fire, and Mr. Herbert's Farrah Fawcett photo with Chris' face pasted on it. Commentary with Chad Cooper, Mark Covell, Steven Fonti, Brian Iles, and James Purdum.
- Chick Cancer. This episode features Peter falling in love with chick flicks, resulting in him making a movie of his own. Cut scenes include Brian's girlfriend and the introduction of her friend (voiced by Drew Barrymore), a scene from a child's program called "Mazey," and Stewie doing a School House Rock bit. Commentary with Andi Klein, Phil Langone, Annie McMillan, Pete Michels, and Perry Zombolas.
Drawing Peter. This runs for five minutes and we watch one of the animation directors go through drawing a rough Peter and then trace over that to get a clean drawing of Peter. I have seen this type of thing on other disks and they are always pretty cool to see just how easy they make it look.
Toys, Toys Galore. This runs for sixteen minutes and gives an overview of the toyline. They talk about how the company was selected, the making of the molds, and which characters are most popular. It was kind of cool, but not terribly in depth. I learned more about the making of figures from a recent episode of the Geeks On podcast. Worth watching once.
Freakin' Sweet Promo. A brief commercial hawking the set of Seth McFarlane picked favorites.
Bottom line. I don't understand why Fox decided to release this season split while raising the MSRP. Sure, they want to make money, but it ruins the track record of earlier releases. If you want a sampling of how happy the public is, take a look at some of the Amazon comments. Still, I love the show and will likely pick it up somewhere down the line. The extras are pretty cool, particularly the animatics, and the deleted scenes contain a big bunch of laughs.