Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Black Sheep does TV: FAMILY GUY Volume 10

Due to some logistical reasoning that must have something to do with the show's cancelation and subsequent triumphant return to television in 2003, FAMILY GUY does not release complete seasons on DVD. Instead, their compilations are categorized in volumes and they consist of chunks of sequential episodes that may end up stretching over a couple of seasons. Their latest release, FAMILY GUY VOLUME 10, consists of 14 episodes, which make up the remaining episodes from the show's ninth season, except for their third and final STAR WARS send-up, entitled "It's a Trap!" You may have to buy that one separately but you will certainly have plenty to enjoy if you just start with this collection, which contains some of the finest FAMILY GUY episodes I've ever seen.

Even FAMILY GUY creator, Seth MacFarlane (who gave us TED this past summer and was just announced as the next Oscars host), admits that the show is losing steam in its later years. I would tend to agree with him but even though the show may not be as uproarious as it once was, it can still knock them out of the park from time to time. Who can forget the first time Peter Griffin, everyone's second favourite working schlepp (Sorry, Peter; Homer will always come first), tried Red Bull for the first time? Not only is the spoof of Madonna's "Ray of Light" video that follows his first sips endlessly hilarious, but before the episode, entitled "New Kidney in Town", is done, the show will go to an emotional place that is not only unexpected but highly palpable. The potential loss of a cartoon character should not feel that real. And only FAMILY GUY could get away with the audacity it requires to suggest Stewie Griffin is actually responsible for the creation of the universe, in the brilliant episode, "The Big Bang Theory". In yet another time travel episode, Stewie and Brian find themselves outside the space time continuum and only an explosion will get them back to the world they just left. It is such a smart concept that it should remind MacFarlane that his baby ain't dead yet.

At this point, I don't expect too many FAMILY GUY converts to appear out of nowhere. You either get the humour or you don't. (My mother does not get it.) And while their DVD releases may not be selling the staggering amounts they once did (Volume 1 & 2, sold together, remain the second biggest TV season on DVD in history), fans will continue to complete their collections until there is no more family fun to be had. Years from now, when they inevitably go off the air again, you will not regret adding FAMILY GUY VOLUME 10 to said collection.

Review copy provided by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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