Family Guy-Season 3 (2001)

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Released 2-May-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 462:51 (Case: 333)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Seth MacFarlane
Alex Borstein
Mila Kunis
Seth Green
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $36.95 Music Ron Jones
Walter Murphy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English 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 Smoking Yes, from both Brian and sometimes Stewie!
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

 With Family Guy-Season 8 confirmed for a September 30th, 2009 release, it's time for MichaelDVD to revisit this hilarious animated television series by reviewing Season 3, which first aired in the United States in 2001. Family Guy was actually cancelled midway through season 3 and the final episode premiered on Valentines Day, 2002. The show When You Wish Upon a Weinstein was initially produced in 2000, during the 2nd season of the show, but due to concerns over its content it didn't actually air on TV until November, 2003. This explains why Season 3 is referenced on the internet as airing on television from 2001 to 2003.

 For those not familiar with the show, it is about a dysfunctional middle-class American family, similar to The Simpsons, except that the dog and baby in this family are unique and stand out from the the other characters. Brian the dog is highly anthropomorphised, he walks on two legs, drinks martinis, smokes, is intelligent and witty, highly-cultured and represents the straight character of the show, providing reason and logic to Dad Peter's crazy plans and ideas (and sometimes Stewie's also). Stewie is a one-year old genius who is also highly intelligent, although he represents the main antagonist of the show, hell-bent on world domination and dreams of matricide, in later seasons the writers of the show have capitalised on him being Family Guy's 'breakout' character, as a result of his flamboyant personality. Fellow MichaelDVD site reviewer, Edward McKenzie provided the following synopsis of the main Family Guy characters in his reviews on Seasons 5 and 6:

 The Season 3 DVD contains 21 episodes spread over three discs. The 22nd episode of Season 3, When You Wish Upon a Weinstein, was released in Region 4 on the 2nd season DVD of Family Guy. Each disc contains seven episodes, four before the layer break and three afterwards, so the pause caused by the layer break does not occur in the middle of any episodes. Below is a short synopsis of the shows from Season 3. You can click on the Wikipedia links for a detailed overview of each episode if desired.

Disc One:

  • 1. The Thin White Line In search of a thrill in life, Brian becomes a police dog. However, Brian's drug-sniffing job leaves him addicted to cocaine, so he must go into rehab. When he discovers that the clinic isn't helping, Brian decides to do a little soul-searching and leaves the family for parts unknown.
  • 2. Brian Does Hollywood Brian moves to Los Angeles with his cousin after his drug rehabilitation and inadvertently becomes a film director. The family decides to visit Brian for support in his new career, though it turns out Brian is directing pornography. Not wanting his family to find this out, he tries to cover it up.
  • 3. Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington The toy factory at which Peter works is taken over by a cigarette company who hires Peter as the new president. He is then sent to Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist so they can create toys that encourage kids to smoke, and the entire family can't help but enjoy the perks that come with the job.
  • 4. One If by Clam, Two If by Sea Everything in town is destroyed in Quahog after a hurricane-except the Drunken Clam, which is turned into a British pub by a man who becomes the Griffins' new neighbour. Meanwhile, Stewie tries to teach his new neighbour's crass English daughter how to drop her cockney accent and speak properly.
  • 5. And the Wiener Is... Peter is intimidated by Chris's larger p**** and then becomes very self-conscious about his own manhood, joining a gun club to make himself feel more masculine. Meanwhile, Meg becomes a flag-girl, and when she is humiliated by the popular kids at school, Lois devises a plan for revenge.
  • 6. Death Lives On their wedding anniversary, Peter sends Lois all over Quahog on a scavenger hunt so he can go play golf. But when Peter gets struck by lightning and has a near-death experience, he meets Death again, who explains to Peter his marriage is in trouble if he doesn't have a revelation, and fast.
  • 7. Lethal Weapons Lois takes tae-jitsu lessons to fight back against the leafers (New York tourists) overtaking the town, but worries that her violence may be a bad influence on her family. When anger management only makes everyone even more angry, they engage in an all-out brawl to get it out of their system.

  • Disc Two:

  • 8. The Kiss Seen Around the World Meg applies for an internship at Quahog 5 (due to her crush on news anchor Tom Tucker), but so does the annoying Neil. When she is reluctantly driven to kiss Neil, he broadcasts the word of their "love" on the news. Meanwhile, a bully learns not to mess with Stewie when he steals his new tricycle.
  • 9. Mr. Saturday Knight Peter's boss, Mr. Weed, dies during a dinner with the Griffin family, and the toy factory is demolished as a result. Now unemployed, and failing to find himself other jobs, Peter decides to live his dream of being a Renaissance fair jouster, where he must defend his family's honour from his jerkwad idol..
  • 10. A Fish Out of Water After nearly two weeks of unemployment, Peter decides to begin a new career as a fisherman, but faces problems when he has to pay off a boat loan, so he tries to catch the bounty for a legendary fish. Meanwhile, Lois takes Meg to the beach for spring break, but Lois ends up having more fun than Meg.
  • 11. Emission Impossible After delivering Lois's sister's newborn child, Lois and Peter decide to have another baby, prompting Stewie to do whatever he can to stop it, even if it means shrinking himself and wiping out every sperm in Peter's testicles. However, when he meets a sperm just like himself, Stewie begins to reconsider.
  • 12. To Love and Die in Dixie The family moves to the deep South when a criminal threatens to kill Chris for witnessing his crime. There Chris befriends a kid named Sam, whom he is forbidden to see by Sam's father when Peter questions the accuracy of a Civil War re-enactment. But there seems to be more to Sam than meets the eye...
  • 13. Screwed the Pooch The family visits Lois' parents, the Pewterschmidts, where Brian takes out all of his pent-up sexual energy on the Pewterschmidts' prize-winning racing greyhound, Sea Breeze. A custody battle then ensues when Sea Breeze is revealed to be pregnant, and Brian is threatened to be neutered.
  • 14. Peter_Griffin: Husband, Father...Brother? While teaching Chris about his Irish heritage, Peter discovers that he has a black ancestor. When this affects his social status and he finds out that his ancestor was a slave to Lois's family, Peter fights back. Meanwhile, Stewie tries to learn mind control from the school cheerleaders.

  • Disc Three:

  • 15. Ready, Willing, and Disabled Joe feels discouraged after failing to catch a thief during a chase, so Peter tries to get his self-confidence back by entering him in a handicapped people's decathlon, but with Joe still helpless, he rigs his drinks with steroids. Meanwhile, Chris, Meg and Stewie fight over $26 in a money clip.
  • 16. A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas It's Christmas time in Quahog, a time when Lois' plans for a perfect Christmas blow up in her face, causing her to break down and go berserk. Stewie uses his role as the baby Jesus in the town play to be good for Santa, about whom he has become paranoid, and to bring Lois back to Earth.
  • 17. Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows Brian gets a DUI and is forced to care for a bitter, old woman who used to be a jingle singer. After discovering the woman's brighter past, Brian tries to brighten her life. Meanwhile, Peter grows a beard and discovers that a family of rare swallows have housed themselves in it.
  • 18. From Method to Madness Stewie signs up for an acting class, where he's paired up with a stuck-up child star named Olivia. They become a hit, though the fame quickly sets in and they soon start bickering. Meanwhile, Peter and Lois object to Meg dating a nudist, though later have second thoughts after seeing her upset.
  • 19. Stuck Together, Torn Apart Peter and Lois are advised to go through a trial separation after Peter becomes jealous over Lois reuniting with an old boyfriend, and he hooks up with Jennifer Love Hewitt. Meanwhile, Stewie and Brian get stuck together after Stewie plays around with industrial-strength glue.
  • 20. Road to Europe Stewie becomes obsessed with a British kids' show and runs away to be part of the cast, and Brian gives chase in an attempt to bring him back. Meanwhile, Peter and Lois go to see a Kiss concert, where Lois reveals she knows nothing about the band, much to Peter's humiliation.
  • 21. Family Guy Viewer Mail#1 Brian and Stewie host a special episode of Family Guy, featuring three non-canon stories created from viewer requests:
    No Bones About It - A genie comes to Peter to grant him wishes; his last wish makes it so that he has no bones and must deal with life as a lump of lard.
    Supergriffins - The Griffins are exposed to nuclear waste and gain superpowers, which lead them to terrorize the city.
    Li'l Griffins - Tot-like versions of Peter and Quagmire try to out-brave each other in a haunted house to impress Lois in this Little Rascals parody.
  •  A further reference to the Season 3 episodes can be found here at TV.com. With guest stars such as Kiss, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Tony Danza, Alyssa Milano (in a hilarious scene where she threatens to sue the show!), Will Ferrell, Dakota Fanning, Ray Liotta, Adam West, Rachel MacFarlane, Fred Willard, Michael Winslow, Bob Barker, Waylon Jennings, Wallace Shawn (with his distinctive voice playing the character of Stewie's half-brother), R.Lee Emery, Brian Doyle-Murray, Peter Gallagher, Peter Frampton, Patrick Duffy, Hugh Laurie (yes, the actor that plays House!), Haley Joel Osment and Leif Garrett, Family Guy provides fans and viewers with a clever parody of American celebrity, modern culture and society. Sometimes, the references to American culture can become lost on international audiences, but this did not diminish my enjoyment of Season 3, with so many guest stars willing to make appearances, often at their own expense! Another animated series that Seth MacFarlane created that is closely related to Family Guy in style and substance is American Dad! and both shows are currently showing back-to-back, currently at the time of writing this review, on Channel Seven on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10.30 p.m. Do yourself a favour and check both shows out!

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    Transfer Quality

    Video

    The overall video quality is better than Season 1, but not as good as more current season releases by 20th Century Fox.

    The aspect ratio is 1:33:1 fullscreen.

    The video quality of all the episodes of Season Three is slightly blurry, with slight aliasing at times as a result of this.

    Colour is bold and vibrant, as would be expected for an animated series. Season Three was the last season that Family Guy used traditional animation in its production. From Season 4 onwards all shows of Family Guy were done with computer animation.

    There are no MPEG artefacts in the transfer on the 3 DVD's.

    Subtitles are presented in white and are easy to follow because they are encased in a black, bold background to distinguish them from the main animated feature.

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

    Audio

    Unlike Season 1, and like Season 2, Season 3 carries a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. Region 4 releases from Season 5 onwards are encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1

    The main soundtrack is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded at 192 kbps.

    Dialogue is clear. There are no synchronisation issues.

    Music is mainly confined to the opening and closing credits and during scene transitions, but this is spread across the main front channels and can be picked up in the back channels

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack is utilised in all the main surround channels.

    The Subwoofer, however, is not used at all with this soundtrack.

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

    Extras

    Main Menu Introduction

    The main menu allows the viewer to choose their episode of choice on the disc.

    Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Each episode has four chapters and a subtitle option. There are no extras other than this unfortunately. Chapter breaks should have been provided for the opening and closing credits, these get a bit tedious after awhile, especially when you view the episodes back-to-back!

    R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 United States release of the third season of Family Guy is labelled Family Guy-Volume 2. There are commentaries for six episodes (Mr. Griffin Goes To Washington, Death Lives, Mr. Saturday Knight, Ready, Willing and Disabled, Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows and When You Wish Upon A Weinstein), deleted scenes, the original pilot pitch and a six-minute feature entitled Uncensored where Seth MacFarlane and the main cast openly discuss the show.

    The original Region 2 United Kingdom release was identical to the Region 4 Season 3 version. However, a multi-pack release of seasons 1,2 and 3 entitled Family Collection contains extras from the Region 1 release (the pilot pitch and three featurettes - behind the scenes, uncensored and series overview) and 14 commentaries across the three seasons. The Region 1 release of Family Guy-Season 3 is the best version available on DVD.

    Summary

    Family Guy is a hilarious animated comedy that is well worth watching and owning on DVD. Season 3 does not contain the best episodic highlights from the series in comparison to shows from Season 1 and Season 2, but overall the quality of the shows are still good. The strength of the DVD sales of the show is what brought it back on television after it was initially cancelled.

    Unfortunately, the Region 4 release of Season 3 contains no extras, but Fox has thankfully rectified this travesty from Season 4 onwards with audio commentaries, deleted scenes and featurettes included in support of the show. If you want to check out the special features of the first three seasons, you may wish to get the Family Guy-Uncovered DVD 2-disc release which was initially released in a box set package but which is now available separately.

    Ratings (out of 5)

    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    Plot
    Overall

    © John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
    Monday, August 31, 2009
    Review Equipment
    DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 019), using HDMI output
    DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
    Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
    AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
    SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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