The latest adventures of The Griffin Family have hit DVD! Fox Home Entertainment has released thirteen more episodes of Family Guy to DVD, but is this newest collection worth laying picking up? Aside from the fact that there are some genuinely funny episodes to be found on here, there just seems to be . . . not that many episodes. Just thirteen episodes when, based on previous releases, they have been known to stuff many more episodes in a volume collection. So, let’s move onto the synopsis, shall we?
Giggity, Giggity, Goo! The Griffin clan makes their triumphant homecoming when Family Guy – Volume 5 DVD Collection arrives September 18 from Fox Home Entertainment. A pop culture phenomenon with a widespread fan base stretching across the country, “Family Guy” Volume Five features some of the most offensively uproarious antics from the show’s past season. The outrageous and memorable moments include Stewie and Brian joining the army and heading to Iraq, Lois becoming the high school “sex ed” teacher and Peter’s turn as the local neighborhood bully. The season also features an all-star line-up of guests including Drew Barrymore, Carrie Fisher, David Cross, Phyllis Diller and the incomparable Adam West . Family Guy – Volume Five features 13 episodes from the first half of the hysterical fifth season in a collectible three-disc set loaded with never-before-seen extras, including commentary on every episode, 38 deleted scenes, featurettes, animatics with optional commentary and more.
It goes without saying that there are some great episodes on here, particularly episodes like “Stewie Loves Lois” and “Chick Cancer.” The humor is usually wacky and off-the wall, and considerably random. While South Park made excellent points about why the humor in Family Guy may not work all the time, there are times when it works beautifully, times when I am just rolling on the floor. Not every episode here is a home run, but there’s at least a few laughs to be had in every episode. I was even surprised to see the series takes a break from the Griffin-family dynamic to focus on some of the other characters, like the Quagmire-focused episode, “Airport ’07.” Plus, it was great for Chris to finally get some face time when he joins a Goth band in “Saving Private Brian.”
And of course, what season (or volume collection) would be complete without on of the Family Guy trademark “Road To” episodes, the acclaimed road-trip episodes focused on Brian and Stewie. This set included my personal favorite “Road” episodes, “Road to Rupert,” which features an amazing segment where Stewie is integrated into the classic musical “Anchors Aweigh” for a dance number with Gene Kelly (Fun Fact: An animated Tom Jerry originally danced with Kelly in this sequence, and his reflection can still be seen on the floor as Stewie and Kelly dance).
For fans of the series, this is another solid collection of episodes. They’re not all winners, as some episodes I found to be weak, like “Peter’s Two Dads” or the lazily titled “The Tan Aquatic With Steve Zissou,” but it’s an enjoyable collection.
But, the collection is too small. There are definitely not enough episodes on here. Thirteen episodes spread over three discs? That seems pretty weak when you look at DVD collections like pack twenty-one episodes into three discs, for example. I think Fox really dropped the ball here and, personally, I’d rather wait a few more months to get a complete collection of episodes, and then purchase a couple collections that are incomplete. The DVD collection is solid, when you factor in the extras and the presentation aspect, but the collection of episodes seems disappointing.
Like I said above, the special features are pretty solid, as they usually are for these DVDs. Every episode has commentary by Seth MacFarlane and assorted members from the cast and crew. On top of the thirteen commentaries, we have 38 deleted scenes, three “Animatic Episodes” with optional commentary, a “Drawing Peter” featurette, “Toys, Toys Galore” featurette. Rounding off the set is a “Freakin’ Sweet” Promo, a commercial for set of McFarlane picked favorites. They don’t break the mold with anything here, but it’s another good set of extras for the Family Guy DVD releases.
At the end of the day, I’d have to Recommend Family Guy Volume Five. While I was disappointed with the size of the collection, merely thirteen episodes, Family Guy Volume Five is a solid addition to anyone’s Family Guy collection. There’s some truly funny stuff in there, done in the usual style of their off-the-wall and usually random style. I do hope that Fox does figure out a better way to release these sets, since thirteen episodes is just not enough, especially when there are many more episodes ready to be put onto DVD. Regardless, and if you can find it for a solid price, go out and pick up the newest Family Guy release!
Family Guy: Volume Five hits DVD on September 18th, 2007.