Featured TV on DVD Review: Family Guy: Volume Ten
Seth MacFarlane recently wrote, directed, starred in, and produced Ted, which was one of the biggest surprise hits of the year. However, it was Family Guy where the writer first became a major success. The show has been around for more than a decade, despite being canceled three times, and was one of TV on DVD's first major hits. This show helped prove TV on DVD was a viable market. Volume Ten hit the home market not too long ago, but has the show started to show its age? Is Seth MacFarlane being stretched too thin? Or is it still going strong?
This three-disc set begins with Halloween on Spooner Street, the fourth episode of season nine, and ends with Foreign Affairs, the seventeenth episode of that season. Halloween on Spooner Street is one of the better episodes on this DVD and features Stewie's first Halloween where he goes Trick'r'Treating, but some older kids steal his candy. Meg goes to her first high school party and hooks up. Finally, Peter and Joe prank Quagmire. Road to the North Pole continues the tradition of Stewie and Brian's road trip episodes, this one has a Christmas theme. After missing out on meeting Santa at the mall, Stewie convinces Brian to drive him to the North Pole. Arguably the best episode of the season, but not one of the best "Road To..." episodes. In New Kidney in Town, Peter develops an addiction to Red Bull and when Lois cuts him off, he makes his own and the main ingredient is kerosene. This destroys both his kidneys, so he'll need a transplant, or he will die.
In The Hand That Rocks the Wheelchair, Stewie falls victim to a bully and Brian tells him he's getting soft in his old age. So Stewie turns to science to make him more evil, but instead of making him more evil, it creates an evil clone. Meg helps out Joe while his wife, Bonnie is taking care of her father. Meg develops an infatuation with Joe, a dangerous infatuation. And that's about it. That's the only really good episode on the second disc. Friends of Peter G. starts out okay, but falls apart in the end. Trading Places isn't bad, but below average for the series.
The best episode of disc three is The Big Bang Theory. In it, Stewie uses his time machine to make Brian's life miserable. Brian figures it out and tries to stop him and the two get into a fight inside the time machine, which causes them to wind up outside of the space-time continuum. That's when things get weird. Tiegs for Two and Brothers & Sisters are both mixed, while Foreign Affairs is just a miss.
Extras on the first disc include audio commentary tracks on four of the episodes. There are also five-minutes of animatics for Baby You Knock Me Out, with audio commentary track and a 14-minute featurette on the music for Road to the North Pole. Finally there are four minutes of deleted scenes from four episodes. Disc two has an audio commentary track for one episode, Trading Places. There are also three scenes in animatronic form, a ten-minute making of featurette for Herbert & Franz: The Making of an Epic Fight Scene, and more deleted scenes. The final disc as an audio commentary track on The Big Bang Theory and there is also an animatic for that episode. There are deleted scenes for all four episodes. Finally, there is a 28-minute featurette on the real life Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony for Adam West.
Family Guy: Volume Ten is unfortunately more miss than hit, even if you count the double-length Road to the North Pole as two episodes. Also, the price-per-minute is a little high. On the other hand, there are better extras than most TV on DVD releases, so if you liked the previous couple of volumes, then this one isn't a bad deal in comparison.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Date posted: 2012-10-10