American Dad (Fox 2005-2014, TBS, 2014-present)
This is another animated sitcom that is aimed at the older viewer. A while ago, I reviewed Family Guy, and this piece has been rather successful, with about 500 views. That show was created by Seth Macfarlane, and after a short while it became a big success, so in 2005 Macfarlane went to co-create a new series that was in a similar outrageous style.
American Dad centred around the Smith family who lived in Virginia. The main character (also voiced by Macfarlane) was Stan Smith, who is a CIA agent who is rather patriotic. He would always make sure that no-one was a threat to America, and he seemed to be suspicious of everyone. If there isn’t trouble happening, he’ll cause it. Somehow his wife Francine puts up with all of this. The original opening sequence always featured a different headline on Stan’s newspaper.
Stan also has two children. Daughter Hayley is at the different end of the political spectrum to her dad, and they often argue about the government’s policies. There is also son Steve, who is in his early-teens, and he is an example of being at that age where he is rather confused to put it mildly, as he is beginning to discover girls at school and is rather excited about it, although none of them are interested in him, and he often says things like “I almost touched a girl’s boobie!”.
There is also Roger the alien. Stan discovered him one day after he escaped from the CIA and decided to keep him in the house rather than send him back to his distant home planet. He has a rather flamboyant personality and likes to wear different outfits, and he also likes to enjoy wine and opens a bar in the attic. Klaus the goldfish has the brain of a German athlete, and often watches on rather bemused by all the rather unusual antics.
As the episodes go by, Steve befriends Roger and they form their own detective agency as Wheels And The Leg Man, Hayley meets and then gets married to the layout Jeff, and Stan’s long-lost one-eyed dad turns up. There weren’t that many other regular characters, but they included the two local news presenters who are also a couple, Stan’s boss Deputy Director Bullock, and Steve’s circle of rather nerdy friends included Snot (I was very disappointed when I discovered that wasn’t his real name), Toshi, and the rather rotund Barry.
Having enjoyed Family Guy over the years, I thought that I would give this one a go, and there have been many memorable moments and a lot of ambitious ideas, including alien abductions and film parodies. The show was originally shown in this country rather late at night on BBC2 and BBC3, usually in a double with Family Guy, and that continued when both shows moved to ITV2.
Lots of episodes of also been released on DVD, and there are plenty of extras including deleted scenes. There have now been 17 series of American Dad, with not far short of 300 episodes, and there seems to be no plans for it to end currently. I do wonder sometimes if the show’s only still going so they can think of more peculiar looks for Roger, but all these years on it still has plenty of energy.