Bitch Please: American Dad

BY DI ARTS STAFF | JULY 21, 2009 7:15 AM

The Griffin Family reigns supreme over “American Dad”

“American Dad!” blows. Personally, I was excited when I heard about this new show coming out that seemed to expand on the early hilarity of “Family Guy.” Unfortunately, episodes of “American Dad!” amounted to near-exact copies of “Family Guy.” Plots, characters, animation, really everything, was severely unoriginal and generally not funny.

While “Family Guy” cleverly presents politically incorrect humor, “American Dad!” seems like an overzealous stand-up comic that got too drunk to maintain a train of thought. Each episode features an all too familiar hodge-podge family with the dimwitted, uber-American Dad, the supporting wife character, the socially stunted son and daughter, a talking pet, and a snarky, effeminate extra terrestrial alien.

The satire in “American Dad!” isn’t a bad concept, but it’s best left to “Family Guy” — along with the racist jokes, the religious lampoons, and generally offensive and funny grab-assing.

“American Dad!” is the perfect foil for “Family Guy”

FOX cancelled “Family Guy” back in 2002 (for the second time) due to indignant outrage from some viewers and FOX officials, partially because of the show’s liberalness. A majority of the audience was smart enough to realize that the jokes mocked everyone, Democrat and Republican alike. When MacFarlane created “American Dad!” in 2005, those angry viewers and FOX officials were appeased — not realizing that the show’s lead character, CIA agent Stan Smith, was the gun-toting, homophobic, anti-abortion conservative stereotype represented several times in “Family Guy.”

The pubescent son, Steve, travails with the family’s alien, Roger, get them into as much trouble as Brian and Stewie. The extremist hippie daughter, Hayley, and the sweet-but-simple blonde wife, Francine both directly and inadvertently make Stan’s life a misery. It’s funny stuff.

One can’t go in expecting the jokes of “Family Guy.” Given time, “American Dad!” can reel in its audiences.

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