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Nate's DVD Collection ~ Family Guy Volume 1
This is where it all began. This is where creator Seth Macfarlane started what would become a cultural icon in the early twenty-first century. Although the original concept of Family Guy, which began as two animated films entitled The Life of Larry and Larry and Steve, is vastly different than what is presented to us in Death Has a Shadow, only a handful of people are going to know that. Live comfortably in your knowledge. But know that the vast majority, that is the people who are reading this and helping me to save up for the luxurious accommodations I'll be able to take advantage of when I'm finally institutionalized, are probably more aware of the episodes presented in this collection.
Family Guy: Volume 1 is a four disc package that contains the first two seasons of Family Guy. Starring the voice talents of Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis. (The voice actress who actually replaced Lacey Chabert as the voice of Meg Griffen) and Mark Henry.
Audio Commentary on Death Has a Shadow with Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein and David Zuckerman.
Audio Commentary on The Son Also Draws with Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein and Chris Sheridan.
Superbowl TV Spots
Audio Commentary on Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater by Seth MacFarlane, Chris Sheridan, Ron Jones and Seth Green.
Audio Commentary on Holy Crap by Seth MacFarlane, Chris Sheridan, Danny Smith and Steve Callaghan
Audio Commentary on Fifteen Minutes of Shame with Seth MacFarlane, Steve Callaghan and Lisa Willhoit.
Audio Commentary on Lets Go To The Hop by Steh MacFarlane, Steve Callaghan, Matt Weitzman and Seth Green.
Audio Commentary on He's Two Sexy for His Fat with Seth MacFarlane, Steve Callaghan, Chris Sheridan and Danny Smith
Audio Commentary on E Peterbus Unum with Seth MacFarlane, Neil Goldman, Garret Donovan and Greg Garcia
What I Like About It
One of the most frustrating things about renting or borrowing a DVD from anyone or anywhere is that you run the risk of setting yourself up for failure. You make some popcorn, maybe order a pizza, buy some soda. Then you pop in the disc and it's so scratched up that it takes an hour for “It Seems Today That All you See” to slowly skitch by.
It was the most frustrating aspect of trying to watch one of my favorite episodes Death's a Bitch, with Norm Macdonald as the voice of Death because basically I paid 2.39 to rent a crappy disc and there were no other copies at the video store. Such is life.
For those who have read my Family Guy: Star Wars review, it's no surprise that I am a huge fan of the show and most of Seth MacFarlane's work. (I still don't like American Dad) It was actually my best friend Kyle who introduced me to it a few years back and while I resisted it at first, it was the Death episode that got me hooked. That and Da Boom, which is on the same disc.
No episode of Family Guy would be complete without the running gags, satire, cutaways, and pop and sub-cultural references. And let me just add that while Seth MacFarlane even admits to drawing a lot of inspiration from other shows, including The Simpson, it's unfair to call it a direct rip off.
I love The Simpsons. Always have always will. I consider myself lucky to have seen the very first episode of The Simpsons when I was just six years old and I was overwhelmed with joy when Springfield, Vermont won the contest to become the “official” home of the Simpsons. (Eat that Springfield, Illinois. Booya!) And while The Simpsons holds a place in my heart, Family Guy stands completely on it's own.
There are things Family Guy will do that The Simpsons haven't touched in their entire 20-year run and lets face it, only Family Guy could win the ire of former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
What I Don't Like About It
If you look at the episode descriptions on the back of each case, you may wonder what show they were watching when they wrote these. It's not damaging to the show itself but it is pretty annoying.
Should I Buy This DVD?
Like MST3K this is another DVD set I recommend buying for no other reason than to at least show support for Seth MacFarlane and the amazing team he has worked together with over the years.
Some of these episodes are my favorites and it's hard to catch them on the air because as I've mentioned in previous articles, I don't always have access to TV. And those of you who maybe get an hour or two per month to sit down and watch it will know the frustration that comes from not getting to see an episode of your favorite show, or at least an episode you haven't seen a million times all ready.
Of course if you're like George Lucas, you could always Tivo each episode but if you don't have Tivo (And for the life of me I don't know who does) this box set is your best bet.
Can My Kids Watch This?
Although this show is geared towards adults, there's nothing here that your kids aren't going to encounter in school and in the real world. The heavy language is censored with “bleeping” which most kids are going to find funny as they know perfectly well what's being said.
I pretty much hold to what I said in Family Guy: Star Wars in saying that this isn't the worse show kids could be watching. But it's up to the parents in the end to decide what your kids will watch.