In the UK Family Guy is incredibly popular. But American Dad, despite being also created by Seth Macfarlane and being very similar in style of comedy, has lived in its shadow.
I’m a big fan of Family Guy, but could never get into American Dad (admittedly only watching a short amount of it). But I have just finished watching the whole of the Season 5 DVD, and here are my thoughts.
Similarities To Family Guy
This is not a post comparing Family Guy to American Dad, however let me just say they appear to be created in exactly the same way, have a very similar setup (following the adventures of a man trying to navigate through family life) and have similar character voices and jokes. So they are similar, and it is impossible not to compare the two a lot of the time!
My favourite is definitely Stan, perhaps not surprising given he is the main character, but he has the funniest lines and all the best scenes. My least favourite is Roger (the alien) he just annoys me, with the exception being the opening episode ‘Phantom of the Telethon’ when he is very funny. I know I am probably on my own when it comes to Roger as he is a popular character with most people, but he doesn’t do it for me.
After watching only a few episodes I quickly worked out why American Dad is in the Family Guy shadow. Depth of characters. Apart from the Smiths you have very few funny characters. Whereas in Family Guy there are so many funny people apart from the Griffins; Quagmire, Joe, Cleveland, Mort, Mr Herbert, Tom Tucker, Adam West, the list goes on! Unfortunately the same can’t be said for American Dad.
Despite having the lack of depth of good characters, some of the episodes are pure gold! And well up there with some of the funniest stuff I have ever seen. Personal faves include ‘Phantom of the Telethon’, Live and Let Fry’, ‘Bar Mitzvah Hustle’ and ‘The Weiner Of Our Discontent’. They have the perfect mix of a funny story, packed with funny lines.
My favourite scene has to be in the episode ‘The Delorean Story-An’, when Stan swerves his car, and Steves head leans out and kills a hare, moments later a turtle comes across the hare and says “Andy, oh my god Andy! oh oh are you ok” and the scene unfolds as the turtle tells Andy they will finish the race together. It is an awesome scene.
There are 14 episodes in the season. And the DVD also has special features such as deleted scenes and unbleeped commentaries.
I really enjoyed the series. And the stand out episodes were funny as hell. If you like Family Guy I definitely recommend you get into American Dad because you will like it once you get into it. You can’t expect it to match up to the genius of Peter Griffin and co, but it really isn’t that far behind. Its downfall is definitely the depth of characters, but the stories, jokes and general humor of it are first class!