American Dad!-Season 1 (2005)

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Released 23-May-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Audio Commentary-Cast/Crew - All Episodes
Featurette-All In The Family - Creating American Dad
Featurette-Episode 2 - Threat Levels - Table Read/Animatic Comparison
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-The New CIA
Trailer-Superbowl Pre-Game Promo
Trailer-Family Guy
Web Links
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 273:04 (Case: 299)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Pam Cooke
Seth MacFarlane
Caleb Meurer
Scott Wood
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Seth MacFarlane
Wendy Schaal
Scott Grimes
Rachael MacFarlane
Dee Bradley Baker
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

“Shoot him! Shoot him! Shoot the Cookie Monster! Oh, look at him – he doesn’t love cookies! He never swallows! He just chews them up and lets them fall out the side of his mouth! What a waste!”

    This show is brilliant – I haven’t laughed this hard since the first time I watched Fight Club. If that gives you an idea of what this show is like, you should also be able to work out whether or not you will like it.

    Series creator Seth MacFarlane, who is also responsible for that lovable cartoon travesty (I mean that in a good way) The Family Guy, came up with American Dad! while reeling from the cancellation of his earlier series (little did he know that huge DVD sales would revive The Family Guy from cancellation heaven). Apparently determined not to face another cancellation, it seems that MacFarlane went all out with American Dad! to create a series that was offbeat hilarious, without the high-brow lateral humour of his earlier series, thus making a show that is more appealing to a wider audience.

    The show is about a dysfunctional family (a topic for many comedy series), which truly makes the Simpsons look like a well rounded happy family, centred around a father who works for the C.I.A. A brief dramatis personae is as follows:

    The first 13 episodes of the first season of American Dad are spread across these 3 discs. I do not intend to give you a full run down of each episode, mostly because I don’t want to spoil things for you. You can get complete summaries at TV.com amongst other places:

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

    The first thing to note is this – why are there only 13 episodes here? Nearly all sources on the Internet show that the first season is 23 episodes long, and are in a slightly different order to those set out above. See TV.com and the IMDB for yourself. Very bizarre. While the US release is the same content wise, the release over there is called “Volume One” in contrast to “Season 1”, as we have over here. This “Season 1” labelling is misleading to say the least. At least the US is up front about only being half of the first season.

    That said, don’t let this minor point put you off checking this show out – I’m a tad sensitive about misleading statements lately only because I’ve been taking on major electronics corporations regarding their warranties. In this case, even if it’s just the first half of the first season, you’ll be screaming your head off if you’re anything like me.

    Trying to fault this show is like trying to fault the Mona Lisa – sure, it’s weird, and offbeat, but there’s just something so appealing about it that equates to masterpiece.

    If you are tossing up whether to buy this show or not, all I have to say is grab it. I’ve watched the whole lot twice now, and I still crack up each time – indeed, I laughed til I was hoarse the first time I watched this, and it takes something very, very wrong before I laugh that hard. If your sense of humour is black, bizarre and off the beaten track and you’re tired of The Simpsons and grossed out by South Park you need to get this now.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented here in 1.33:1, Full Frame, this is the original broadcast aspect ratio of the series.

    As with all animation transferred to DVD this is slightly prone to aliasing. If your monitor is capable of processing something that it knows is a video source, maybe switch it over to that. I found this gave a slightly smoother image than where the screen was processing it as a film source.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, and no film-to-video transfer artefacts other than the aforementioned aliasing. That artefact is not too distracting.

    There is no dirt on the print.

    Subtitles are available in English for the Hearing Impaired. They are white with a black/grey border and quite accurate.

    All three discs are dual layered. Despite there being 5 episodes on the second disc, I still didn’t spot any dual layer pauses.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Audio is available in English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround encoded at 448Kb/s. It’s a very good, dialogue-driven soundtrack with some good surrounds.

    Dialogue is very well rendered – never missed an inflection.

    Not an awful lot of surrounds, but this is a sitcom not an action movie. There’s still some good stuff here, but the important thing is – no faults.

    Subwoofer use is as needed.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, static and silent.

Audio Commentaries

    Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, all episodes have commentaries by the cast and crew. These guys are quite amusing, so you can generally get a chuckle or two just out of listening to these commentaries.

Disc 3

Featurette: “All In The Family - Creating American Dad” (20:36)

Featurette: “Threat Levels – Table Read / Animatic Comparison” (39:31)

Deleted Scenes (15:54)

Featurette: “The New CIA” (3:00)

Trailer: “Superbowl Pregame Promo” (1:30)

Trailer: “Family Guy ‘Bored’” (0:30)

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I do not have an R1 copy for an exact comparison, but from what I can tell the content is the same. The difference is only in the NTSC picture format, the region coding and the title. Buy whichever is cheapest.

Summary

    American Dad! is the funniest thing on TV. More widely appealing than its MacFarlane contemporary (though not to dismiss The Family Guy as anything other than quality and brilliant comedic TV) this show is a must. Grab it and laugh your lungs out.

    The DVD set is excellent, even if it is only the first half of Season 1.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Friday, December 22, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS92, using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS60 WXGA 3LCD Cineza Projector (10,000:1 contrast ratio) with 100" Longhom Pro-Series Micro-Textured White Matte PVC 1.78:1 16:9 Fixed Mount Screen with Black Velour Trim. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersJensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
Season 1 debarcle - Steveo
Haley Smith??? - REPLY POSTED
Pilot was terrible, quality ramps up dramatically from there. - grug (there is no bio.)
Season 1 -