I admit it. I was late to the party. When Family Guy
initially premiered, I tuned in but the show just didn’t grab me. I tuned out after the third episode. Then
it was cancelled. Whatever. I don’t need to go into the history of the series but fast forward several years
(and revivals) later, I’m hooked like a fish. Family Guy has become an institution in its own right and is something
I look forward to watching as often as possible. (This is easy to do as it’s in syndication.) Praise aside,
let’s take a look at the latest DVD box set to hit store shelves; Family Guy Volume 9.
I’m not going to recap every single episode but I do want
to touch on a few highlights. I’ll give a brief synopsis to a few episodes with my thoughts in italics afterwards.
In “Dial Meg for Murder”, Meg goes to prison for
aiding the escape of her pen-pal boyfriend. When she’s released, the family realizes that sweet Meg is gone and
tough as nails Meg has emerged. She bullies the family to her whims. - It’s always good to see underutilized
characters get a chance to shine and Meg is no exception.
In “Extra Large Medium”, Stewie and Brian go missing
for several days in the woods. Lois and Peter seek the help of a psychic and after the boys are found, Lois becomes
obsessed with psychic phenomena. Peter, meanwhile, claims to be a psychic until he is gruesomely disproved. A
side story involves Chris summoning up the courage to ask out a classmate who happens to have Down syndrome. - Just
as in the previous episode, Chris gets a chance to shine this time. If you like the occasional political jab, there’s
a quick Sarah Palin joke here you’ll dig.
In “Brian Griffin’s House of Payne”, Brian
sells a dramatic TV pilot to the network, only to see his dream go up in flames due to studio interference. Next thing
he knows, his touching drama has become a sex farce sitcom starring….James Woods. - I always give props to
any celebrity willing to take a jab at himself and Woods has done so repeatedly on this series. Much love and respect!
In “Brian and Stewie”, the boys accidentally get
locked in a bank vault for a weekend. The 150th episode of the series is a nice departure as it focuses on the relationship
between the two. Both emotional and hilarious throughout its highs and lows, this episode will stay with you. -
Powerful dialogue from both leads, this was almost a peek behind the comedic curtain.
In “The Splendid Source”, a dirty joke from Quagmire
gets Chris suspended from school. Peter, Joe and Quagmire begin a quest to find the source of joke, backtracking through
everyone who heard it. This leads to a reunion with Cleveland and the foursome encounter the Secret Order of Dirty Joke
Writers. - First of all, it’s good to see the boys reunited with Cleveland. Secondly, whenever Peter
hears the joke that got Chris suspended, he craps himself…literally. Nice cameo from Freddy Krueger, too.
In “And Then There Were Fewer”, the major characters
from the series are all invited to a formal dinner party hosted by James Woods. What follows is a one hour episode in
the format of a ‘whodunit’ after a few bodies turn up. - We get a farewell to a regular minor character;
I loved the retro style of this episode as it invoked feelings of 80’s primetime dramas like Dynasty.
Another satisfying box set is capped by a handful of Extras.
My favorite is the recap of the San Diego Comic Con 2010 panel. I know that the series is not for everyone. Sometimes
the jokes can fly leaps and bounds over your head. But there is enough subtle humor to keep you laughing even after
multiple viewings. Seth Macfarlane once said that some of the jokes on the show are so obscure that only 1% of the population
would get it but those people would love him for it. I agree, as I occasionally find myself slapping my forehead and
thinking “No way they just said that!” Here’s hoping the show continues for years to come.
Special thanks to our friends at the FOX Broadcasting
Company for providing us with this review copy.