Family Guy Review
Family Guy: The Freakin' Sweet Collection is a celebration of the animated series which was cancelled after its third season (then picked up again by the same studio shortly after). The disc presents the five best episodes as chosen by series' founder Seth McFarlane and so should represent the pinnacle of what this series is all about.
Family Guy has for some time been the rather less fortunate cousin to The Simpsons in Fox's animated canon. Its easy to see why, too: Both have a less than intelligent father, comparatively normal housebound mother, a dog, two kids and one baby. So, what is to stop folk from thinking Family Guy is a me-too program fashioned after the ubiquitous Simpsons? Nothing, really, which is a shame as Family Guy has a lot to offer.
What really saves Family Guy from the mediocrity of tripe like King of the Hill is Stewie and Brian the talking dog. They are both utterly compelling comedy creations with Stewie in particular saying and doing stuff that has you shivering and laughing at the same time.
The design of animation and timing involved is as good as any I have seen. There is a scene worth the asking price alone where Peter, the father, tries to breastfeed Stewie. There is no dialogue, just pitch perfect timing and design providing a comedy moment deserved of a much larger audience than is current. The surprisingly adult, in vogue, nature of the humour continues throughout the rest of the disc, too. Those astute readers will notice the Not Rated symbol that this DVD has been given and that is for a reason. Mainly it is because of the close to the bone Stewie and Brian commentary (see extras) but there are others, too. When the episode Lethal Weapons opens with a news reader stating “...I speak for everyone when I say New-Yorkers and everything from that city can go and fornicate themselves with an iron stick,” or where Peter is caught watching a blue movie by his wife, you know the target audience isn't exactly the under 10's.
All is not perfect, though. The humour is more Americanized (sic) than is perhaps necessary, with some jokes falling short due to the unfamiliarity of the subject. There is also a rather heavy reliance on flashbacks in some episodes, lending a disjointed feel to them. Other episodes, like the fantastic Road to Rhode Island, get by without and seem to flow much better as a result.