American Dad! Volume 7 is now on DVD. This three disc set contains all 19 episodes from season six, which aired during the 2010-2011 television season. Among the episodes included in Volume 7 is the landmark 100th episode of the series.
For some time, Family Guy has been growing stale. Which makes American Dad!, Seth MacFarlane’s second effort for the network, stand out even more. With sharp writing and unexpected plots, Volume 7 will prove to viewers that American Dad! should be the most celebrated part of Animation Domination, at least for now. This is truly a great batch of installments, and the show exhibits no sign of slowing. While some stories do put the parents in stereotypical sitcom situations, the gags and lengths to which things are taken set American Dad! apart from anything that has come before it.
Volume 7 of American Dad! begins with an important change. “100 A.D.” finds Hayley (Rachel MacFarlane) eloping with long-time, on-again off-again boyfriend Jeff (Jeff Fischer). For those who don’t think cartoon characters can grow, as many similar series seem to treat the people in them as static for a show’s entire run, this is a way for American Dad! to break the mold. By the time the dust settles, Hayley and Jeff are married, and Jeff moves into the Smith household, where he still remains, two seasons later.
This development is bad news at first for Steve (Scott Grimes), as in the second part of the two-part season opener, entitled “Son of Stan,” Stan (Seth MacFarlane) clones Steve so that he and Francine (Wendy Schaal) can see which one of their parenting styles is better. With the responsibility of raising Hayley off of them, all of their efforts turn to the younger child. Luckily for Steve, Hayley and Jeff’s eventual return to the nest does deflect some of this new found focus.
Other highlights of Volume 7 include “White Rice,” where Francine recovers repressed memories and becomes a stand-up comedian; “The People Vs. Martin Sugar,” in which Stan serves on a jury trial involving Roger (also MacFarlane); and “For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls,” in which Santa Claus seeks revenge on the Smith family for killing him. “Fartbreak Hotel” finds Francine assuming a new identity, “School Lies” sees Roger sell a senator’s daughter to a drug lord, and “Jenny Fromdablock” has Roger take Snot’s (Curtis Armstrong) virginity. Finally, in “Flirting With Disaster,” Francine takes a job at the CIA. Unlike Jeff and Hayley’s marriage, this development does not last.
The bonus features are few, but fun. There are audio commentaries on many of the episodes and deleted scenes, too. A short portion of the American Dad! Comic Con 2010 panel is also included. Best of all is “I (Heart) Patrick Stewart,” which involves a number of the cast and crew talking about cool it is to work with Patrick Stewart, who voices Stan’s boss, Bullock. It is quite possible that many AD! fans are also Stewart fans, so they should delight in this.
In summary, American Dad! Volume 7 is a great collection, full of fantastic episodes and some wonderful extras. Definitely pick up a copy.