Family Guy (1999)
20th February 2002
Met Peter Griffin, the original Family Man. He is a big lovable oaf who always says what's on his mind and thus manages to offend most people he meets. He works on the assembly line of Happy Go Lucky Toys and he's hardly what you'd called 'employee of the month' material and lives for his favourite TV shows. Together with his wife Meg his three children Meg, Chris and Stewie plus pet dog Brian they live in Rhode island and make up the Griffin family.
Peter's wife Lois is a modern housewife and, before meeting and falling for Peter, was a Rhode Islane heiress. She gave up any hope of the family millions when she fell in love with Peter, and naturally her family were far from happy with her choice. Lois certainly loves her family whilst the latest edition to the clan, Stewie, is far from happy with the arrangement.
Meg Griffin is a sixteen year old girl who's going through a tough patch in life. She is losing a constant battle of trying to fit in with the "in" crowd, or any crowd for that matter, and like most teenagers she is deeply embarrassed by her father and his antics in public. Chris Griffin has only just become a teenager and he's already achieved his Dad's waistline and love of food. He even likes the same television programmes as his father and he's naturally Peter's favourite. Although he's not the outdoor kind he has a secret talent for drawing.
Stewie Griffin is the latest edition to the family but he's a baby unlike any other. Stewie already has a goal in life - total and utter world domination. If it weren't for his lack of toilet training and reliance on his parents for his nourishment he would have surely succeeded in his dastardly deeds before the age of two. The final member of the family is Brian. He is undoubtedly the most balanced and sensible member of the family and he likes nothing better than a dry martini before getting Peter out of his latest mess. Unfortunately for the Griffins Brian is the family dog!
All fourteen episodes of season one are presented over two discs with a total running time of over five hours. Unfortunately, there's no sign of any extras.
Season One Episode Guide
- Death Has a Shadow
- I Never Met the Dead Man
- Mind Over Murder
- Chitty Chitty Death Bang
- A Hero Sits Next Door
- The Son Also Draws
- Brian: Portrait of a Dog
- Peter Peter Caviar Eater
- Running Mates
- Holy Crap
- If I'm Dyin', I'm Lyin'
- Love Thy Trophy
- Death is a Bitch
- The King is Dead
The picture is outstanding and completely flawless. The colours are amazing rich and vibrant without a hint of colour bleeding or saturation. You can certainly tell that plenty of money has been thrown at this series and the stunning images produced by this DVD really do mark it out as top notch. It blows The Simpsons away and even manages to exceed the excellent images produced in Futurama.
Unfortunately, similar to the above mentioned animated series the sound is only presented in stereo. Never the less it is reasonable enough with some clear and precise dialogue, although Christopher's dialogue was sometimes a little hard to understand. Mind you, that could just be down to him being a teenager!
Although the menu system is not scored there is a nice introduction to the family. Following that the menu is a rather static affair, although the family manage an occasional twitch as they sit in front of the television. The menu system itself is reasonable enough and easy to navigate through. However, this is yet another disc that doesn't offer a 'play all' option.
The similarities to another dysfunction family are startlingly similar but Family Guy it is aimed at a much more mature audience from the off. The jokes are fresh, extremely funny and more "in your face" than The Simpsons. These normally include superb flashback scenes (normally involving Peter and a dodgy hairdo) and perfectly placed pregnant pauses in the dialogue.
The creative team of Seth MacFarlane and David Zuckerman must have had a great time dreaming up these wacky scripts. However, there are no signs of storyboards let alone audio commentaries. It's just a great shame that a opportunity was missed with the complete lack of extras. The best role in the programme, and the one that gets the most laughs, is reserved for the tyrannical and super intelligent baby Stewie. He's forever inventing dastardly gadgets and he'll stop at nothing in his attempts to rule the world (how many other babies do you know who were born along with a map of Europe?).
Rather regrettably, by not watching in their billions, the ever fickle American viewing public (or should that be the executives) forced Fox to pull the plug on this classis series. However, this was a rather large oversight as their primary animated series The Simpsons has become so stale that new episodes don't even manage to raise a laugh. However, after much outcries and civil unrest (Ok, maybe not the unrest) Family Guy has been resurrected from the dead and a new series born. Hurrah! Let's just hope the same happens to Futurama too.