Family Guy: Volume 4 DVD

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Family Guy
Cast: Seth MacFarlane
Studio: Fox
Rating: 7.5/10

THE BREAKDOWN: A national phenomenon, “Family Guy” Volume Four picks up in the second half of the fourth season, featuring the same formula of outrageous, sometimes offensive but always hilarious storylines that will satisfy any fan of the Griffins and their cohorts from Quahog. Highlights include Peter starting his own television channel “PTV” and the “National Association for the Advancement of Fat People” (NAAFP), Brian going back to college, lifelong bachelor Quagmire getting married and a full run-down on the Griffin family history. “Family Guy” Volume Four features 14 episodes and arrives as a collectible three-disc set loaded with never-before-seen extras, including commentary on every episode with 43 deleted scenes; three featurettes: “A Director’s Life: Debunking The Myth,” “Peter Shin Draws Stewie,” “A Tour Of The Family Guy Offices;” 5 extended cut episodes with optional censored audio track, a Rom-enabled link to more exclusive content online and more.

THE STORY: Fasten your sofa belts for another fiendishly futile attempt at world domination for Stewie-and a diaper full of fun for “Family Guy” fans around the globe! Boasting laughs as big as Peter’s waistline, these 14 hilarious episodes from season four find television’s most outrageous animated family in all sorts of comically compromising situations, including Chris doing chores for a dirty old man, Meg working as Mayor West’s intern, Lois reuniting with her homicidal brother, Brian attending college, Stewie attacked by a poltergeist and Peter starting his own religion. Holy crap!

THE REVIEW: Volume 4 slaps together some of the funniest episodes of the Family Guy. It still doesn’t make much sense why Family Guy DVDs are volume sets and not seasons. It’s quite ridiculous—until you realize that the third volume was boring and the fourth volume is so much better. The part of the fourth season that is included in this set is great.

This set has more stories throughout and doesn’t consistent of a bunch of skits thrown together in hope of a story breaking out. That’s not to say this is an even affair. There are some very rough episodes. For every great episode, “PTV,” there is a “Petergeist.” Sometimes an episodes gets us roped in waiting for the brilliant bit to start to shine and then we are even more let down.

Disc 1:
Episodes
 “PTV”
 “Brian Goes Back To College”
 “The Courtship Of Stewie’s Father”
 “The Fat Guy Strangler”
 “The Father, The Son, And The Holy Fonz”

Bonus Features
 Extended version with optional censored audio track: “Brian Goes Back To College” and “The Fat Guy Strangler”
 Multi-Angle Scene: “Brian Goes Back To College”
 Audio commentary on every episode by Seth MacFarlane and other cast and crew members
Disc 2
Episodes
 “Brian Sings and Swings”
 “Patriot Games”
 “I Take Thee, Quagmire”
 “Sibling Rivalry”
 “Deep Throats”

Bonus Features
 Extended version with optional censored audio track: “Brian Sings and Swings”
 Multi-Angle Scene: “Patriot Games” and “Sibling Rivalry”
 Audio commentary on every episode by Seth MacFarlane and other cast and crew members
Disc 3
Episodes
 “Peterotica”
 “You May Now Kiss The… Uh… Guy Who Receives”
 “Petergeist”
 ”Untitled Griffin Family History”

THE EXTRAS: There are audio commentaries on every episode by Seth MacFarlane and other cast and crew members. Some of the episodes are more interesting than others but more often than not MacFarlane and company got it right. There are so many shows that release commentary on only limited episodes and this is definitely the way it should work.

There is an extended version with optional censored audio on the episodes “You May Now Kiss The…Uh…Guy Who Receives” and “Petergeist.”

“A Director’s Life: Debunking The Myth” – This featurette goes into the amazing amount of work put into the show from the writing of the script to the animation.

“Peter Shin Draws Stewie” – This featurette goes into the drawing of Stewie. This is actually more interesting for kids.

“A Tour Of The ‘Family Guy’ Offices” – This featurette is exactly as it sounds—a tour of the offices of Family Guy.

Finally there are forty-three Deleted Scenes. This is more about quantity than quality. Also, included are five extended cut episodes with optional censored audio track.

FRANKLY: Fans of the Family Guy won’t be disappointed—especially if they were disappointed by the third volume or the poor Stewie movie. The fourth volume delivers the goods in stellar fashion.

+ Charlie Craine