DVD Review: Family Guy Freakin Sweet
I'm not going to sit and elaborate on the plots or anything since I'm assuming 99% of the forum readers have watched at least one episode of "Family Guy" so I'll get right to the DVD itself.
The DVD is five episodes hand picked by Seth MacFarlane, which are the following:
- Wish Upon A Weinstein (with the packaging booasting "never aired on network TV" multiple times)
- Road To Rhoad Island (complete with the Osama Bin Laden joke)
- To Love And Die In Dixie
- I Am Peter, Hear My Roar
- Lethal Weapons
All the episodes except for "Weinstein" also have "all new commentaries" for this DVD from various people who worked on the show. Oh, except for "Road To Thoad Island" which is actually Brian and Stewie. However these commentaries are not really new as Brian refers to the show being "cancelled" several times during it, along with several "recent events in the news" which date this commentary. So this only confirms that in fact commentaries have been recorded for all episodes made thus far (asides from "Weinstein"), and it looks like Fox is deliberately holding most of these back for "best of" compilations like this. Slick move on their part.
Now with that all said and done, I must say that the commentaries with the various staff and voice over talent (MacFarlane, Sheridan, etc) is on par with the commantaries on the two boxsets. In other words a lot of irrelevent yacking, stupid comments, and very little actual insight into the episodes themselves. The Brian/Stewie commentary is slightly better however, Brian at times tries to comment on what a section is playing homage to but most of the commentary is Brian and Stewie making nasty comments at anything and everything. In fact this commentary alone justifys that "not suitable for people under 18" warning at the start of the DVD.
Video and audio wise on the disc its idential to the boxsets since all they did was just ripped the files off of the boxset, added the extra audio track for the commentaries, and threw it on. The video quality is clean, the audio is nice, and its good overall so no complaints. Sadly however Fox decided not to go the extra mile with the menus as they did with the boxsets - we are greated with a simple static menu of Peter in the robot suit from "The King Is Dead." While it still works, the menus on ths disc miss that extra nice touch with the theme song playing in the backround with various clips of the show mixed in. It wasn't much but it added a little something extra to each disc that got me warmed up for watching it. Oh, and I must comment on this - yes the DVD does come with an insert. In this day of age when it seems like fewer and fewer DVDs are coming with an insert, it is a nice feeling to see one included with this release.
The remaining extras are quite frankly a joke. The best extra is the "American Family" preview. Running at five minutes it appears to be the first five minutes of the pilot episode. Personally I wasn't too impressed with what I saw, but its hard to judge a show fully by a five minute preview.
Next up on the extras is Seth talking about "American Dad." Running at a brisk seven minutes this plays out like an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) that just gives a basic overview of what we saw in the five minute preview and why it will be a good show to watch.
Finally the most anticipated extra on the disc is the "Family Guy Season Four Preview." Clocking in at a few seconds shy of 16 minutes I was hoping fora good rundown of what the next season would be like, and even some small teaser clips thrown in. Instead the first 10 minutes are devoted to explaining why this DVD exsists by having Seth explain why he picked these episodes. This is followed up by Seth talking about the first three seasons for a several minutes before we finally get to him talking about the fourth season.. with two minutes left on the running time. The last two minutes or so has Seth bragging about how "no show has been resurrected after being cancelled before" and such while we see a montage of clips from the first three seasons shown. What a letdown, I hardly call this a preview.
Overall I'm very mixed on this disc. On one hand I feel its a good cheap primer for people who have not seen an episode of "Family Guy" and who want to see what Seth feels are the show's strongest episodes. While yes one can easily tune into the reruns on Cartoon Network, again this disc is a good cheap way for Fox to attact more people to the show (or at least a good rental). However I feel that this DVD is a fraud to the devoted diehard "Family Guy" fans like Shane and myself are. Nearly all this content could of been easily included in the boxsets, so there's no excuse outside of the greed of Fox Corporation of why it was not. Even more interesting however is when I placed the disc in my DVD-R drive the volume label came up as "FAMILYGUY_BESTBUY" so it makes me wonder if at some point this was going to be an "exclusive" release for Best Buy stores. Make you wonder....
So I rate this disc a good consideration to own/rent for potential "Family Guy" fans but advoid for fans who already own the boxsets.
Listen. Think. Rant.
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