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'Family Guy' Volume Four DVD

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Family Guy Volume Four DVD

Family Guy Volume Four DVD

Twentieth Home Entertainment

The Bottom Line

By the fourth season, Family Guy is no longer the underdog. Watching these episodes didn't make me feel as if I belonged to a secret, extra brainy cult like I used to feel, but more like a fish following the mainstream. Family Guy still tells stories about things other shows won't touch, like vasectomy and publishing your own porn (fan fiction, anyone?). But by now the show has hit its stride and is becoming predictable, when it used to be so fresh and unpredictable. Fans will want to own Family Guy Volume Four for the extras. Casual watchers may want to just rent it.
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Pros

  • Fabulous bonus features.
  • Sharp episodes like "PTV" and "You May Now Kiss The… Uh… Guy Who Receives"

Cons

  • Fans will start to find episodes to be formulaic.
  • I'm not crazy about these half-season DVD releases.

Description

  • Multi-Angle Scene of "Brian Goes Back To College," "Patriot Games" and "Sibling Rivalry."
  • "A Tour Of The Family Guy Offices," "A Director's Life: Debunking The Myth" and "Peter Shin Draws Stewie" featurette.
  • Extended version with optional censored audio on "You May Now Kiss The, Uh, Guy Who Receives" and "Petergeist."
  • Extended version optional audio track of "Brian Sings and Swings," "Brian Goes Back To College," and "The Fat Guy Strangler."
  • Watch a trailer for Family Guy: Volume Four

Guide Review - 'Family Guy' Volume Four DVD

By now, most everyone knows the story of Family Guy. Back in 1999, it was hilarious but under-appreciated. After many schedule changes, and starts and stops, Fox cancelled the show. But after Family Guy broke DVD sales records, and became the most popular cartoon on Adult Swim, Fox brought it back to life. Now the show is a hit.

Family Guy Volume Four finds television's the Griffins in all sorts of comically compromising situations, including Chris doing chores for a dirty old man, Meg working as Mayor West's intern, Lois reuniting with her homicidal brother, Brian attending college, Stewie attacked by a poltergeist and Peter starting his own religion.

My favorite episode from this batch are "PTV," where Peter starts airs his own shows on public access (my favorite of which is the Side Boob show) and the FCC cracks down on him, not only on TV but in his own life.

Another favorite episode of mine is "The Fat Guy Strangler." Being prejudiced against fat people just isn't talked about, but this episode sheds a harsh light on that problem. At times the episode tries to show people who are fat as being victims of unfair bias, but other times just out and out makes fun of them.

These kinds of episodes of Family Guy are the ones I relish because they make you wince when you watch them. There are episodes in this volume, however, that feel phoned in. Family Guy is becoming a greased wheel, churning out shows too easily, with no edge, a la The Simpsons in recent years.

But the bonus features are the real stars of this DVD set. The commentaries are chock full of great insider stories, and include a wide variety of folks, even guest stars. There are extended versions of episodes, deleted scenes, and fun featurettes. I especially liked watching "A Director's Life: Debunking The Myth" featurette to learn more about the animation process.

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