"8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter"
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"American Dad!" (2005)
Animation,Comedy
USA / English
"From the creator of "Family Guy" comes a man who will stop at nothing to protect his country. "
The random escapades of Stan Smith, an extreme right wing CIA agent dealing with family life and keeping America safe, all in the most absurdist way possible.
Seth MacFarlane Stan Smith / ... (37 episodes, 2005-2008)
Wendy Schaal Francine Smith (37 episodes, 2005-2008)
Rachael MacFarlane Hayley Smith / ... (36 episodes, 2005-2008)
Dee Bradley Baker Klaus / ... (36 episodes, 2005-2007)
Scott Grimes Steve Smith (35 episodes, 2005-2007)
Mike Barker Terry / ... (18 episodes, 2005-2007)
Director: Scott Wood
Producer: Mike Barker,Carter Bays,David Hemingson,Diana Ritchey
Sporadically hilarious but has too many misses in there to hold a wider audience
Stan Smith is a CIA agent and holds the love of his glorious county above all else. He lives an All-American family life too, with a good white wife and his two children. Unfortunately for him his son is not the sporty American teenager he would like and his daughter is so left wing that he doubts her genetic makeup. Add to this an alien that he rescued from Area 51 and a goldfish with the brain of a German scientist and you have a tumultuous household.

Watching the first episode of this new series I must admit my first thoughts were why I needed a slightly different approach to a humour that was done well enough in Family Guy. However a few episodes in and the show began to settle into its own routine and feel. The CIA aspect and the rightwing mocking Stan essentially sets the tone of the series and many of the episodes have either his job or his politics as their focal points. Although this does provide MacFarlane with the targets he wants, it also limits the scope of the series and prevents it wandering too far. Eventually it will have to if it wants to survive and then I worry that the changes will be of necessity and not work as well. Anyway, for the first series it seems to have just about worked well enough to provide enough narrative to keep it moving, the question is whether it is funny enough.

Although hardly narrative or character driven, AD is more of a straightforward affair than FG, with the latter's "like that time I…" moments providing plenty of sudden humour. AD still has good lines and uses the support characters well to provide more off-the-wall moments but it can't get consistency down well. At times I'm laughing out loud, only for a few scenes later to be cringing in embarrassment as the misfires come in fast. It will appeal to those on the left with this style of humour but it is still an acquired taste and is unlikely to get as big a fanbase as Family Guy managed. The political right are correct to dislike it as, despite claims of Hayley providing mockery balance, it is very clear what MacFarlane thinks. As a non-American I'm totally fine with this because the right deserves all it gets, but again it does limit the scope of the humour slightly.

The cast are characters are OK without being great. Stan does what he is supposed to do (mock the political right) and is well delivered by MacFarlane. Francine is a bit washy and again highlights that MacFarlane seems to have problems with his female characters; Schaal does OK with it but rarely stands out. Grimes' Steve is enjoyable enough while MacFarlane's Hayley is actually a better character than I expected. As with Stewie though, the best lines are stolen by Roger and Klaus. Like the former, these two exist within their own world in each episode and can be relied on to produce the laughs. At first neither won me over as they just reminded me how good Stewie was but gradually both have cut their own rut. Roger is consistently funny and Klaus is sparingly used but used well.

Overall this is not a fantastic show but it lines up easy targets and knocks them down pretty well at the cost of being limited in scope. At times it is hilarious but there are also a lot of misses knocking around; it is the nature of the beast I suppose but it is still a problem. Worth seeing for Family Guy fans definitely but unlikely to have the wider appeal to grow as a series.

Personal
Seen it:Ja
Season:1-2:4
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Seen where:1
Storage device:TV-show
Loan
Movie
Musician: Walter Murphy
Running time: 30 min (including commercials)
Technical
Everything else:
Last modified: 2008-01-02 10:57:43