Review of American Dad
Filed Under: Music & Film | Posted: 10/07/2007 at 2:07PM
Comments | Region: United States
"American Dad" is a funny animated comedy from Seth McFarlane who also created the very humorous and comedic "Family Guy". While Family Guy revolved around the life of Peter Griffin and his family in the town of Quarhog, American Dad revolves around Stan Smith and his family in the town of Langley Falls. Langley Falls is a fictional name from Langley which is the actual location of the CIA.
This comedy takes a lot of jabs at the paranoia associated with the right-winged agenda. Stan works at the CIA as an expert on weapons and serves as the "Deputy Deputy Director" meaning he works under the Deputy Director. He’s the epitomy of all right-winged nutcases always on the look out for "terrorist" activity and the "liberal agenda". For that reason, he has a lot of distrust towards his daughter Hayley who’s a legal adult and his liberal on a social and political standpoint.
Seth McFarlane got the inspiration on Stan through those anti-Communist propaganda films. Stan is basically the epitomy of right-winged extremism. He has a huge collection of guns as the National Rifle Association is a very right-winged group and advocages pro-gun rights. Stan has more guns and ammunition than the entire NRA combined. He once said that "Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Guns defend people from people with smaller guns." There is a point there but Seth McFarlane does a good job with Stan to show how pro-gun extremists tend to take it out of context to add to the paranoia.
His wife Francine is basically the "trophy" wife. Like all typical trophy wives, they tend to stay in the background. In comparison to George W. Bush’s Presidency, Lara Bush stayed in the background. Under Bill Clinton’s Presidency, Hillary wasn’t the trophy wife. She basically took an active role and eventually became a senator representing the state of New York. Francine represents how the wives of ultra-conservative politicians tend to remain in the background and doing nothing significant.
Hayley Smith is basically your typical ultra-liberal. She wouldn’t fit in as a Democrat due to her views. In a sense, she’s the polar opposite of Stan. Politically wise, Hayley would make a great member of the United States Green Party because that’s where a good number of the liberal radicals are part of. She smokes cannibus on a regular basis and is a vegetarian. The ultra-liberal advocates are trying to get the government to legalize marijuana nationwide. At the same time, she could possibly make a good member of PETA.
As Stan is hostile to liberal views, Hayley is hostile towards conservative views.
There’s nothing significant about Steve in my opinion. He mainly tries to raise his social status. Steve is the male counterpart to Meg Griffin. He basically spends most of his time playing Dungeons and Dragons. In a sense, Steve represents the youth of the nation that seems to be socially clueless about what’s going on in the government because they’re distracted by things such as MMORPGs.
The other two characters are my favorite. Klaus the talking fish is in a sense the equivalent to Stewie Griffin. In the pilot episode, he used to be a ski-jumper representing East Germany in the 1986 Winter Olympics. He’s still sore at the CIA for putting his mind inside a goldfish. Like Stewie, Klaus does a lot of plotting. Mainly he plots to get rid of Stan in order to have Francine for himself.
Stan’s explanation for the brain swap was funny. He answered, "What did you expect us to do, let East Germany win the gold medal?" It was during that time when Germany was still divided in two where the USSR had control of East Germany. Which is plausible in a sense since Stan is all anti-Communist.
Roger is an alien that saved Stan in Area 51. In a sense he’s like Brian Griffin, the family’s talking pet dog. Since he has to hide in the household, Roger has taken to smoking, drinking, and eating junk food.
It seems to be a funny enough show. But it doesn’t have that much humor as Family Guy. Family Guy definitely had a lot of things that made each episode funny. Asides from the plotline, Seth McFarlane did a great job at tieing in a good deal of randomness that didn’t become a deus ex machina. It was just random, nothing significant, but very funny. I hardly seen any of that in American Dad. Some of the characters don’t seem that different from their Family Guy counterparts.
But the show is still new, perhaps the show will get better within the years. However, it does a good job at poking fun at the neoconservative agenda.