PictureColour is clear and vibrant as you would expect. The picture is also very sharp, though I could see some haloing in places. Depending on your player - I changed mine half way through reviewing this disc - you will experience some herringbone effects where some colours meet. My older player displayed this distortion, but my newer one does not. Otherwise The Freakin' Sweet Collection offers a very consistent picture, despite the episodes originating from different seasons.
SoundSound is disappointing, mainly because of the stereo only track. There is a flat quality to some things that fail to engage the listener. Take the opening titles. These should be ear catching with formidable attack and attention grabbing dynamism. As it stands, the opening is somewhat without merit, coming across as an unremarkable sequence of dulled notes. It is almost like someone has applied a strong dose of THX post processing (which wasn't on, by the way...) to the titles. Dialogue too is sometimes a bit muffled and a little unclear, though the in episode music is unusually good. What Family Guy needs is a thumping 5.1 track to spice things up.
ExtrasSometimes one extra is so good you can forget the mediocrity of the others. With The Freakin' Sweet Collection, this killer extra is undoubtedly the Stewie and Brian commentary. It is not long before the language is more blue than Bernard Manning, Chubby Brown and Jo brand rolled together, and I might add, considerably funnier to boot. There really is some dialogue that is eye opening to all but the most hardened foul-mouthed pub-crawlers. Also, it appears that Seth has a few things to get off his chest, about DVD commentaries and TV in general, which reveal themselves during the banter between Stewie and Brian. I think everyone has heard an “hilarious” anecdote that is anything but on a DVD commentary, and this, amongst others, is spoofed with aplomb. The fact that Seth McFarlane does both voices and yet the commentary always seems like there are two people in the room is a fine tribute to the editor. There are other commentaries, too, with rather open discussions on what scenes were missed, why the studio didn't like some episodes. This is partly to do with the commentaries being recorded between Family Guy's cancellation and subsequent revival. Therefore there is more than an air of care “what the hell!” free attitude to proceedings. Very refreshing. American Dad is also a breath of fresh air, a preview of which is included as an extra. Funny and irreverent, the show is clearly aimed at the none Bush supporters in America, and pokes fun at some of Americas institutions.
VerdictDespite the disparate nature of the episodes, timing wise, Family Guy the Freakin' Sweet Collection is almost like a litmus test. If you find these episodes funny, then you most certainly like the rest of Family Guy. I would urge you to give it a try.
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