FAMILY GUY: VOLUME TWLEVE
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Seth MacFarlane as PETER GRIFFIN
Seth MacFarlane as STEWIE GRIFFIN
Seth MacFarlane as BRIAN GRIFFIN
Alex Bornstein as LOIS GRIFFIN
Seth Green as CHRIS GRIFFIN
Mila Kunis as MEG GRIFFIN
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Created by: Seth MacFarlane
BY KEVIN CARR
After being canceled twice and coming under fire multiple times for being offensive, “Family Guy” hasn’t just become a staple of American pop culture, it’s one of the most unlikely success stories of prime time television. Say what you want about Seth MacFarlane and his sophomoric humor (which I happen to like, thank you very much), the guy has built an empire.
Of course, his lesser series like “American Dad!” (which is quite brilliant in its own right) and “The Cleveland Show” (which isn’t nearly as awesome) have become the “Futurama” to its “The Simpsons.” At this point, “Family Guy” seems unstoppable. It celebrated its 200th episode in its twelfth season this past year, and I see no signs of the series stopping.
These 22 episodes, many of which are uncensored and include mostly offensive language bleeped out of the original FOX broadcast, are collected into Volume Twelve of the “Family Guy” series. If you’ve watched the show in the past, you know what you’re going to get. “Family Guy” should hold no surprises for you. If you don’t like it, take a pass on this one. If you don’t, you deserve to be offended.
Just as Volume Eleven had evolved to the point of being almost too introspective, but that’s to be expected for a series going on a dozen years. This continues in Volume Twelve, but that’s okay. When you’ve been on the air for that long, you deserve a bit of navel-gazing… so long as it continues to be funny.
Volume Twelve sees returns of common gags on the show, including a unique way to continue Peter and the Chicken’s epic battle, another “Road to” installment featuring Brian and Stewie heading to Vegas and a slate of guest stars.
The 200th episode “Yug Ylimaf” is impressive and pretty funny, though it’s not the gem in the bunch. There’s plenty of other funnier stories that don’t try to be so epic. In particular, I enjoyed “Ratings Guy” in which Peter learns to game the system as a Nielsen family, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” which offers a little more work by the MacFarlane gang to skewer religion, and “12 and a Half Angry Men” which sees Brian and Peter on a jury. Egads!
The Volume Twelve DVD still includes some nice special features, including deleted scenes in various stages of development, audio commentaries on select episodes, a handful of episodes with scene or full length animatics, and several features devoted to the celebration of 200 episodes of “Family Guy.”
200th episode bonus content includes the half-hour retrospective “200 Episodes Later” and the 200th episode table read. The final featurette is the 2012 “Family Guy” Comic-Con panel, which features a lot of good-natured (and not-so-good-natured) ribbing of the audience and each other.
Personally, I enjoy watching “Family Guy.” It really hasn’t lost its steam since I started watching the series in its fourth season. Like “The Simpsons” and “South Park,” I’m happy to see this adult-oriented cartoon continue for another dozen years.