Family Guy: Volume 7 (2008)

Genre(s): Animation / Comedy
Fox || NR - 305 minutes - $39.98 || June 16, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-06-25


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Seth MacFarlane (created by)
Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, Mila Kunis


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Episode Commentaries
  • Animatic Episodes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • 4 Featurettes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

“Family Guy” has always been a favorite of mine. I watched it all the time when I was younger and was ticked off when it got canceled after only a few seasons. However, due to strong DVD sales it was brought back and has been running strong ever since. It’s my duty as a reviewer to bring to you an incredible volume, known as Volume Seven, of Peter, Lois, Stewie, Brian, Meg, Chris, and their friends for their quirky antics and actions.

For those who are unaware of what the show is about, allow me to provide a brief summary. Peter (Seth MacFarlane) isn’t your typical father, as he’s loud, crude, and is drunk part of the time. He has tons of satire with everything he says, and uses “flashbacks” to tell some of the jokes provided in each episode. He’s married to Lois (Alex Borstein), a redhead who puts up with Peter since she loves him. Brian (Seth MacFarlane) is the dog and friends with Stewie (Seth MacFarlane) who is the baby of the family who can speak, although it’s unclear if the family can understand him or not. Meg (Mila Kunis) and Chris (Seth Green) are the other two children in this family. Meg is a complete outcast in school and life, as she is constantly the brunt of Peter’s antics and jokes while Chris is a bit of a loner with an evil monkey living in his closet. They have a few neighbors; Cleveland (Mike Henry), who is the sanest one of the bunch, Quagmire (Seth MacFarlane), the sex-craved one, and Joe (Patrick Warburton) with his wife Bonnie (Jennifer Tilly). Phew, big explanation, sorry, trying to cover all bases. Oh, and the show is completely animated, although that should be pretty obvious. Let’s get onto some of the episodes then, shall we?

Kicking off this volume is “Back to the Woods,” in which James Woods (James Woods) returns to haunt Peter for locking him in a box and shipping him off to a warehouse. Woods steals Peter’s wallet while he was at a Barry Manilow concert with his neighbors, and Peter realizes he’s in big trouble. Woods manages to yank Peter’s identity and identity theft’s Peter (I know, that sounds weird, but it’s the best I could come up with) and actually becomes Peter. To retaliate, Peter decides to steal Woods’s identity and tries to ruin his career. The ending to this episode is hilarious, as what happened to Woods before on the first episode he was in a few seasons ago is the exact same thing. Peter exclaims that next time if this happens again, to just go and do what they did to catch him again.

In “The Former Life of Brian,” Brian finds out that he’s the father of a rambunctious teenager whose mother he knocked up many years ago. The satire in this one is great, as though Brian being a dog and having a human son is just so stupid it’s funny. Brian however becomes a complete jerk and incredibly overprotective parent of his newfound son and it’s up to Peter and his neighbors to change Brian back to who he was. Peter has a few good quips in this episode, as does Stewie when he talks about the age of the kid and the whole dog year’s thing.

In the sixth season finale, “Long John Peter,” we are introduced to Chris’s new girlfriend Anna (Amanda Bynes) who he tries to win over throughout the episode. The hilarity ensues when he tries to hit on her but says all the wrong things to win her over, but she doesn’t care and goes out with him anyway. That is, until Peter tries to convince Chris that he’s being too much of a wuss and he needs to toughen up and treat Anna like crap, since that’s what all girls like in their lives. Anna breaks up with him, and the only way to see her again is to beat the living crap out of Brian with a chair since she works at the veterinarian’s office so he can see her again. This is one of the best episodes on the disc, as it shows the sensitive side of Chris but also how easily influenced he is by Peter, which isn’t a good thing as its obvious from this episode and nearly every other one.

In the first episode of the seventh season, and by far the best episode available on this volume, “Love Blacktually,” Brian dates a girl he meets in a bookstore. The problem is he wants to rush it but Stewie tries to persuade him otherwise. The joke of the episode is that Brian is taking advice from a child, and since he does, he screws up the relationship so bad that Cleveland somehow manages to land the chick and get engaged to her. Brian and Stewie devise a plan to get Cleveland’s ex-wife to come back into the picture so Brian can be with the girl again, but his plans fail miserably. Quagmire has one of his best lines in all the seven seasons so far in this line. While lying in bed Peter shouts to Quagmire “Hey Quagmire, you got a minute?” Quagmire responds with “Sure, I got a hand free.” Its hilarious lines like that that makes Quagmire one of the show’s outstanding characters.

Alright, so you’ve seen I’ve given this season a 4 and ľ stars out of 5, so you must be wondering which episode is the one that brings down this season. That episode is “Road to Germany.” I’ve never been a big fan of the “Road” episodes in which Brian and Stewie are the primary characters, as in my opinion neither are too strong on their own without Peter or the rest of the family or neighbors to back them up. Mort (John Brennan) accidentally slips into Stewie’s time machine and travels back to the WWII era. Mort is jewish, hence where the comedy is supposed to be. It just doesn’t work for me, as the premise itself is hilarious, but it just doesn’t work in the end. I don’t think I laughed even once. Granted there were moments where I did somewhat chuckle, but not to the extremes that I did in the rest of the twelve episodes.

That being said, “Family Guy” is still one of the best shows on television to date, and I hope it continues to be just as funny. The flashbacks are great when the cast does them, as even after watching every episode, I still laugh at everything that happens. Peter, Stewie, Brian, Chris, Lois, and there’s someone I’m forgetting. Oh well, the entire family seems to too anyways.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Episode Commentaries (13) are well-worth listening to for fans and newcomers to the show. MacFarlane is hilarious in every one that he’s in, as are the rest of the characters. Green bashes on MacFarlane nearly every chance he gets, and Henry uses his characters voice constantly to hilarious affects. Borstein is only in one commentary for some odd reason, and the strange exclusion of some of the other characters from the show (Kunis, West, etc) is a bit odd. Overall though, I’ve listened to every single one of the commentaries and they are hilarious, entertaining, and provide chuckles along with background on the episodes and how they came to be.

Commentators include creator Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green and various members of the crew.

Deleted Scenes (11 minutes): There are more than twenty scenes that range from Adam West making an appearance to a few cut scenes from James Woods and other cast members. Just like the other volumes, these are fairly hit and miss in terms of entertainment value, but as a fan I say watch them as though there are a few hilarious ones thrown in for good measure.

Animatic Episodes (65 minutes): Love Blacktually, Long John Peter, and The Man with Two Dogs are shown in black and white, similar to how they are drawn. I didn’t find this all too exciting, so I’d recommend passing on it.

Take me out to Place Tonight (12 minutes): Frank Sinata Jr. is the main subject of this one, as is the musical scene that he played in the episode. It’s entertaining just seeing and hearing how the episode was made, so watch it.

Family Guy Cribz (16 minutes): This is a bird’s-eye-view of the offices of the Family Guy writers. They joke around and show you their places of work, including their collections of random memorabilia.

Family Guy Comic-Con 2008 (23 minutes): The cast and writers of the show sit down at Comic-Con 2008 to talk about the show and upcoming episodes. They talk about the sequel to the hilarious Blue Harvest which is still due out in 2009, and answer questions from the audiences. MacFarlane and Green are entertaining and funny in this, so be sure to watch it.

Family Guy Art Show (5 minutes): The cast and crew of the show showcase some of their artwork which some donate to a hospital for charity. It’s short and there’s not much here in terms of fun, so I’d pass.

All of the episodes have an Original Televised Episode option in the special features option. These are the episodes that were originally on the Fox network without the scenes added in that are on the DVD.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

As an animated show, “Family Guy” has always looked primarily the same as it did for the past few seasons. In comparison to previous volumes, there’s not a whole lot that’s different. Detail is decent, as is the color palette for the show. Flesh tones are also appropriately done and there were no issues what so ever with colors being overblown or scenes having colors dry out. There weren’t any issues either with the contrast of the show, as each episode looked exactly how it should. I’m also pleasant to report that there were no signs of grain, which is a huge plus to me. All in all a phenomenal transfer from Fox as usual.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track accompanying the show isn’t necessarily demo material, but there’s nothing actually wrong with it. Surround use is used maybe a handful of times throughout the series, and even when it is used there’s no real “oomph” to it. It’s primarily a front-heavy track, as that’s where almost all the dialogue comes out. There’s nothing wrong with it though, as the dialogue that comes out sounds excellent and I didn’t struggle to hear the characters say their lines. It’s a great track for what it needs to do, and that is just keep the punch lines coming.



.::OVERALL::.

This, like the other seasons, are day one purchases for fans of the series. Volume Seven is no different as it sports an incredible special features package and only one episode that isn’t up to par in comparison to the rest of them. The video and audio qualities are also above-average, which helps makes this an even easier decision. If you haven’t caught onto one of the best shows to date, pick up Volume Seven and start loving one of the best television shows on earth.