FOX has just released Volume 6 of their popular animated series American Dad! on DVD. Included in this three disc set are all eighteen episodes from season six, which aired from September 2009 until May 2010. One of the longest seasons to date, season six is also the one where American Dad! replaced Family Guy as Seth MacFarlane’s most consistently funny series on television. While not every episode is fantastic, American Dad! is having a resurgence creatively, and is funnier now than it was in early years. If you have not been watching the show, Volume 6 is a good place to jump in and become a fan.
Among the episodes on this DVD release are “In Country… Club,” in which Stan (MacFarlane) takes son Steve (Scott Grimes) along on a Vietnam War reenactment that turns deadly real, and “Moon Over Isla Island,” where Roger (MacFarlane) becomes dictator of a Caribbean island as a favor to Stan. In “Shallow Vows,” Francine (Wendy Schaal) goes ugly, and somehow it’s sweet when her husband has his eyes removed so that he can stand to stay married to her. “Rapture’s Delight” finds Stan and Francine, devoted Christians, left behind after Jesus raptures his followers. In the season finale, “The Great Space Roaster,” Roger tries to kill the family.
Steve, the CIA agent patriarch, and Roger, the alien that lives with the Smiths, are usually the focus of the episodes, and provide the most antics. This is the season where Stan pulls pranks like a teenager, follows a rock band on tour, opens a stripper dry cleaning business, buys a racehorse, becomes a crack addict, builds a cyborg of himself, bullies Steve to toughen him up, and turns to President Obama for help after humiliating himself in front of the neighbors. Roger, meanwhile, temporarily moves out, remakes an 80’s movie, kisses Francine, reveals himself to be a steroid-using Olympic athlete, becomes a corrupt cop, and studies crime scene photography. If that sounds like a lot to cover in only eighteen half-hour episodes, wait until you watch! There’s even more!
Season six is the last season in which Hayley (Rachael MacFarlane) is single. While all of MacFarlane’s series do show some degree of character development over the years, in living situation, if not personality, it is rare that a main character would get hitched, making their spouse an important part of the show from then on. Hayley spends much of volume six interested in a koala bear named Reginald (Erik Durbin), but her stoner ex, Jeff (Jeff Fischer), does eventually return to win her back, sowing the seeds for their marriage early in season seven.
Interestingly, season six is also when the show went from digital to high definition. This DVD set gives you the ability to compare directly, as the first half of the season is still full frame and low quality, while the second set of nine episodes goes widescreen and enhances clarity. Also, episodes are uncensored, so bleeps and black boxes are removed. Viewers have been warned.
Like most MacFarlane releases, there are tons of extras on the discs. A number of episodes have commentary, though MacFarlane himself does not participate. Luckily, Matt Weitzman, Mike Barker, Matt Fusfeld, Jordan Blum, Wendy Schall, and lots of others are more than knowledgeable enough to take his place. Two commentaries feature The Interdisciplinary Collective for American Dad Studies, which rather than spoil what that is, I’ll let you find the treat on your own. Most episodes have deleted scenes, even if they are brief.
“Rapture’s Delight” gets special treatment, with a “Making Of” special and the broadcast script. This is a favorite episode of the staff, as well as viewers, and not just because religious people may consider it blasphemous. Rounding out the extras is a tribute short honoring all of the various animals that have met their end on the series. It’s darkly hilarious, so if you’re not easily offended, check it out.
American Dad Volume 6 is already in stores, so please go pick up a copy at your earlier convenience.