American Dad!
American Dad!
Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman, Seth MacFarlane
Animation, Comedy

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American Dad! - Review

This Review was written following only one rule - binge-watching the tv-show for around 10 hours with a lot of popcorn and then wirting down the thoughts - so you can trust this review is honest and truthful.

Seth MacFarlane Continues His Success With "American Dad"

The animated series, "American Dad!" comes from the minds of Seth MacFarlane and Mike Barker who had already worked together on MacFarlane's popular "Family Guy" show. The series has had a chequered production history with the show being canceled by its first broadcaster, Fox after season 11. The show was picked up by TBS which began airing new episodes of the show from season 12 onwards with 261 episodes in total.

"American Dad!" tells the story of the Smith family which is headed by the patriarch, Stan, a CIA operative who has a history of bringing his work home with him. Stan is married to Francine, a housewife who is often bored with her life and looking for adventure. Francine has a mysterious past with various revelations about how she has lived her life in the past shocking Stan and her children when revealed to comic effect.

The show opens with Stan having brought two of the subjects he was supposed to return to CIA custody living with the family. One of these is a pet goldfish which is actually the brain and vocal cords of a former East German ski jumper who was set to win the gold medal at the 1986 Winter Olympics before the CIA intervened and transferred his brain to a goldfish. The other member of the family who was brought into the home to escape the CIA is Roger, an alien who adopts different roles around the Smith household and the local community.

Each episode of "American Dad!" is its own stand-alone story but the show itself also continues a series of story arcs for each character which can last more than a season. For example, Stan and Francine's daughter, Hailey is married to stoner Jeff who spent a large amount of time in space after he was hoodwinked into taking the place of Roger when he was supposed to return to his home planet. During this period of time, Jeff was given his own storylines when he was stranded in space with the comedian, Sinbad.

The Smith children provide many of the stories covered over the 261 episodes produced to 2019 with the life of teenager Steve taking up many episodes. Steve is part of a wider group of friends who are looking to take advantage of Steve's Dad's work with the CIA to help them live more impressive lives and attract teenage girls. Steve is often partnered with Roger the Alien who often leads the teenager into dangerous or immoral situations. Other characters which have made recurring appearances in "American Dad!" include Deputy CIA Director Avery Bullock who does not fit into the stereotype of a CIA director. Instead, Bullock has inserted himself into the lives of the Smith family in many ways including his relationship with Hailey Smith.

For the first ten seasons of "American Dad!" the show was overseen by co-creator Mike Barker who developed the show alongside fellow "Family Guy" writer Matt Weitzman and Seth MacFarlane. Barker also acted as a voice actor for the show with MacFarlane stating he had less input on "American Dad!" than he did on "Family Guy" with Barker and Weitzman the driving forces behind the animated series.

Matt Weitzman began his career as an actor after graduating from college before turning his hand to writing. The majority of the work of Weitzman has been limited to providing material to animated series such as "PJ's" and "Father of the Pride." Weitzman took control of "American Dad!" as showrunner at the end of season ten and oversaw its move from Fox to TBS.

Seth MacFarlane is well known as the creator of a range of a number of animated TV shows, sitcoms, and comedy movies. MacFarlane began his career straight after college with a move to the legendary Hanna-Barbera where he worked on shows including "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Johnny Bravo." MacFarlane would go on to develop and successfully pitch his idea for "Family Guy" to Fox executives which premiered on New Year's Eve 1999. Since then MacFarlane has become one of the best-known comedy stars in the world with credits including the movie, "Ted."

A consistent collaborator of Seth MacFarlane is Sir Patrick Stewart, the actor best known in the U.S. for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." The actor began working as a journalist in his home county of Yorkshire in the U.K. but was constantly drawn to acting with local community groups. Stewart eventually gained entry to the Old Vic Theater School in the U.K. and began his classical training. Working with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the start of his career, the actor found fame in the early 1980s when he appeared in a series of BBC dramas including "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."

There is some controversy over the exact nature of each season of "American Dad!" based on the fact the series began life as part of the "Animation Domination" series of pilots created for Fox. Upon its release in 2005, "American Dad!" began life with a pilot written by the creators of the show, MacFarlane, Barker, and Weitzman. Veteran animation director, Ron Hughart took the helm as director adding to earlier credits including "The Ren & Stimpy Show." The latest season was released in early 2019 and has 22 episodes broadcast originally on the TBS network.

Reviews for "American Dad!" have been mixed throughout its 14-year run on Fox and TBS with many critics stating the show is something of a rehash of the "Family Guy" formula created by Seth MacFarlane. However, others have stated "American Dad!" takes a more surreal approach to humor and includes many absurd themes which are not seen in the more traditional sitcom, "Family Guy." The premiere episode of "American Dad!" pulled in around 15 million viewers and remains the most watched episode in the history of the series.

Beginning work as a journalist at the age of 15, "American Dad!" actor, Sir Patrick Stewart neglected his role as a journalist in favor of his acting career. According to Stewart's brother, the Shakespearean actor would attend rehearsals during his work time and invent the stories later published in the newspaper. The ski jumper trapped in the body of a fish character, Klaus has become one of the most popular in the show but he was originally intended to be French and named Francois.

American Dad!
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