StoryTo the ranks of shows too brilliant and outrageous for prime time (The Ben Stiller Show, Andy Richter Controls the Universe), add Seth McFarland's Family Guy. This animated series, which debuted after the 1999 Super Bowl, simply sparked too much controversy and offended too many sensibilities to survive (Entertainment Weekly dubbed it "the Awful Show They Just Keep Putting on the Air"). That the Fox network also played hackysack with its schedule, ensuring viewers would not be able to find it, sealed its fate (it was cancelled in 2002). This boxed set containing all 28 episodes from the first two seasons is payback for the show's devoted cult following, who may be moved to echo the words of infant Stewie Griffin, the megalomaniacal 1-year-old bent on matricide and world domination: "Victory is mine!"
The dysfunctional Griffins of Quahog, Rhode Island, invite comparisons to The Simpsons. The testicular-chinned father, Peter Griffin, is a clueless oaf in the Homer mold. "Peter, what did you promise me last night?" asks his long-suffering wife Lois in one episode. "That I wouldn't drink at the stag party," he replies. "And what did you do?" she asks. "Drank at the stag part--oh ho ho, I almost walked into that one," he cackles. Other family members include teenage daughter Meg, a desperate high school social pariah; 13-year-old son Chris, a chip off his father's blockhead; and Brian, the family's sarcastic talking dog. But this series' true inspiration is football-pated Stewie (voiced by McFarlane, who earned an Emmy), who was born to be a Bond villain once he escaped his mother's "ovarian bastille." Family Guy recklessly ventured where The Simpsons feared to tread. In one episode, Meg's one and only friend turns out to be the member of a suicidal cult. In another, Death (voiced by Norm McDonald) becomes an unwanted houseguest. Each episode plays fast and furious with surreal flashes (in one episode, Peter turns his house into a puppet) and pop-culture references and TV, movie, and commercial parodies that invite repeated viewings. Freed from its own family-hour bastille and the whims of dim network executives, Family Guy can be appreciated at last on its own profane, sacrilegious, and irreverent terms. Welcome to the DVD family, Griffins. --Donald Liebenson
- Available subtitles: English, Spanish
- Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- 28 episodes from the first 2 seasons on 4 discs
- Commentary on "Death Has a Shadow" and "The Son Also Draws"
- Commentary on "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater", and "Holy Crap"
- Commentary on "Fifteen Minutes of Shame" and "Let's Go to the Hop"
- Commentary on "He's Too Sexy for His Fat" and "E. Peterbus Unum"
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
- Internet promo spots
- Number of discs: 4
- A Newbie Saying Hello Jun 5
Totlamad96 and 9 others watched Family Guy: Volume 1
Totlamad96 and 28 others own Family Guy: Volume 1
- Genre: TV
- Theme(s): Satire/Parody/Comedy
- Director: David Zuckerman
- Producer: Fox
- Length: 632 min
- Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Theatrical Release North America Jan 31, 1999
DVD Release North America Apr 15, 2003