25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 3

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CAST (voices)

Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Critters)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Son of Batman)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (Carrie 2)
Jeff Fischer (Jennifer’s Body)

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NINETY NORTH, ZERO WEST

GUEST CAST

Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)

3The episode opens with children working in a mine as one of then discovers an egg-shaped gemstone. It is taken to Santa, who gloats about having one of the stones he needs. Meanwhile, Christmas Eve finds the Smith home decked out for the holiday, but the family members have been replaced with dummies and the actual family is in the basement preparing to go into stasis chambers to hide from Santa, as well as other holiday mischief that has occurred previously. As Jeff goes into stasis first, the family finds that Steve has placed his dummy in his chamber and vanished outside. They discover through Klaus’ inspection of Steve’s browser history that he has taken off to ride a Christmas train. As they set off in pursuit, Roger activates the booby-trapped Jeff figure, sending his chamber off into the sewer to be dumped in the ocean.4Arriving too late to stop the ride, they are dismayed when it returns empty and the parents have seemingly forgotten about their children. They find that candy canes given to the parents have drugged them. As they fear they won’t discover what happened to the children, an elf that was banned from the North Pole informs them that they have all been kidnapped by Santa. He tries to take them along in a second train, but it smashes into a mountain when the elf’s magic that had been removed fails to open the secret passageway. With one option left to find some Christmas magic to open the passageway, they travel to Baltimore where Jack Smith has given up on being Krampus and has become a bus driver, although he grudgingly agrees to help them. Meanwhile, Steve thinks working in the mine is just a holiday simulation of digging coal until he observes a boy collapse and is dumped into a crevasse. Trying to escape, he runs into Santa who at first believes he is there to stop his plot. When he comes to understand that it was simply chance that brought Steve to him, he orders his henchman to cut Steve’s throat with an ice skate but he is saved by the timely arrival of the family. They are quickly captured as well, but the arrival of a second stone puts Santa in the mood to toy with them, offering their freedom, until their indifference to his scheme results in orders to capture them again.2Santa details his plan to harness the powers of a slain Sumerian giant in order to become all-powerful by placing the stones back into the eyes of its stone remains. However, his plan backfires when the giant is reawakened, and sucks in much of the North Pole, including Santa himself. Trying to escape in one of the trains, Steve’s flat refusal to have any Christmas spirit only powers the train in reverse, toward the giant. His strong negative feelings soon propel the train at enough speed to sever the head from the giant, saving everyone. As the family celebrates having yet another of their unusual holidays which have become a tradition of their own, they set off with the surviving children as Jack/Krampus decides to stay behind and take over Santa’s castle. As the camera pans over the wreckage of the North Pole, Santa’s gloved hand is seen grasping the opening of the giant’s torso as he works his way free. 51Ninety North, Zero West is a worthy addition to American Dad’s list of Christmas entries that acts as another strong notch in the quality of this current season. Some great groundwork is set up here for the future of their holiday installments and it’s simply impressive that they’ve managed to mine so much out of the material at this point. This is the perfect Xmas gift from American Dad! to its audience.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 2

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CAST (voices)

Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Critters)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Son of Batman)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (Carrie 2)
Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: TNG)
Jeff Fischer (Jennifer’s Body)
Curtis Armstrong (Return to The Batcave)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

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GIFTED ME LIBERTY

5616cde899678During the annual “evil Santa” CIA gift exchange, Bullock becomes upset when it is revealed that someone did not bring a gift to the exchange and puts Stan in charge of discovering exactly who that person was. Following orders, Stan roughs up his co-workers until no one is left and comes to the realization that he was the one who forgot. Fearing Bullock’s wrath, he employs Roger in persona as a detective who abuses CIA resources and advises Stan to lie by simply choosing the next agent to be killed in the line of duty. However, when his choice turns out to leave a wife and family behind who will be cut off from his pension by Bullock in revenge, Stan wants to tell the truth but is dissuaded by Roger. Vowing to protect the family, Stan tries a second job but finds the work pays too poorly, so he tries for quicker cash by setting out to rob a bank, but ends up selling both sperm and blood until he is left in a near-death state. Giving up, he informs Bullock of the truth, who goes easy on him, but reveals an entire year has passed as Stan is shown that another “evil Santa” is underway as Roger puzzles over the broadcast month of the episode.acecroutonMeanwhile, after buying a vintage handkerchief used by a renowned ladies man, Steve scores a hot date for the Harvest Dance, only to find she has used him to get past her parents to really go out with her bad-boyfriend. But when other girls start to offer him cash to do the same for them, he latches on to a business opportunity, employing Klaus and Hayley to staff his “dating” service. But during a dance, all of the girls turn up sick and at least one of the bad-boys has died. The center for disease control raids the dance and finds Steve loaded with germs from the handkerchief, but is immune due to his sexual immaturity. For an episode that has two very simple plots in description, it’s exciting to see not only how much they do with both of them, but also the unexpected territory they push them into. As this season of American Dad! begins to wind down, it appears like it’ll actually be finishing as strong as it began

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 1

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CAST (voices)

Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Critters)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Son of Batman)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (Carrie 2)
Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: TNG)
Jeff Fischer (Jennifer’s Body)
Curtis Armstrong (Return to The Batcave)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)

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THE BEST CHRISTMAS STORY NEVER

Guest voices
Lisa Kudrow (Easy A)
The episode begins with the family in the town square. Roger is horribly depressed and drunk complaining that since landing on Earth sixty years ago he’s accomplished almost nothing; Stan, however, is overjoyed until he finds out that the Christmas tree has been banned due to its religious nature. He is further dismayed when more signs of secularism occur–the clerks at the mall aren’t allowed to say “Merry Christmas” and the town goes so far as to rename the annual attacker, the Christmas Rapist, the “Holiday Rapist.” Stan blames the whole thing on Jane Fonda–his logic being that her going to North Vietnam revitalized the “dying” hippie movement and that, since yesterday’s hippies grew up to be modern liberals, modern liberalism is her fault. Stan finally becomes so enraged that he destroys the tree and the presents; the kids and Roger are horribly sad and Francine is so mad she banishes him to the couch.
That night, Stan is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (a former Tooth Fairy named Michelle) who takes him back to 1970. Stan, however, runs away from her in an effort to find Jane Fonda so he can assassinate her thus changing the future. The Ghost, unsure where he has gone, goes back to the present to get Francine; the two then return to the past to find Stan.
Stan has tracked Fonda down to the set of Klute where he finds out that Donald Sutherland was the one who led her to politics and changes his plan to assassinate him instead. He finds Sutherland at a Hollywood party where he happens to meet Martin Scorsese and convinces him to give up drugs. Francine and Michelle then grab him and bring him back to the present where they are shocked to discover the street desolate with Soviet tanks patrolling. They eventually figure out what has happened–by getting Scorsese off drugs they stopped him from ever making the movie Taxi Driver; as a result John Hinckley, Jr. never saw Jodie Foster in the movie and became obsessed with her which resulted in him never trying to assassinate Ronald Reagan. This dented his popularity in the 1984 election as the near-death experience made him appear stronger; in the new reality he thus lost to Walter Mondale who then surrendered the country to the Soviet Union just 47 days into his Presidency. The group then goes back to attempt to fix what Stan did.
Stan decides to make the movie himself; however, he quickly alienates Robert De Niro and decides to make the movie with John Wayne instead. Stan and Francine follow Hinckley into a movie theater and watch the new Taxi Driver behind him. After the movie is over, Stan asks Hinckley what he thought of the movie and he says it was alright. Francine then asks him if he thinks Jodie Foster is attractive and he reacts very badly to this pointing out that she is 12-years-old. This means that the future remains unchanged. The Ghost then transports them to March 30, 1981, and tells Stan that the only way to fix the future is if he shoots Reagan instead. Stan is shocked; he is unable to shoot his favorite president. Francine reminds him how much he wanted Christmas and points out that it wouldn’t exist at all if the Soviets ruled; Stan replies that he doesn’t care about trees and presents but would be happy as long as he had Francine and the kids. The Ghost then informs him that in the alternate future Francine and Stan may never meet meaning also that Steve and Hayley won’t exist. Stan then decides that he must shoot Reagan and shoots him. Just as he does, the two suddenly transport back into their bed on Christmas morning, 2006.
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The two are relieved to find out that history is back to normal and, after fixing the presents and tree, the family enjoys a happy Christmas. The Ghost appears to Stan one last time to give him a gift for saving her job–a brand new gun she says she bought the previous night. When Stan asks how that is possible, as the Brady Bill requires a week long waiting period, she informs him that he only shot Reagan and not Brady meaning that buying guns is incredibly easy. Stan rejoices that he changed the future for the better (in his own eyes) and says “this is the best Christmas ever.” In a subplot, Stan buys a “Best of Disco” cassette for Roger. When he goes back in time to 1970, the tape falls out of his jacket and is found by Roger. Playing it to executives, Roger becomes fabulously wealthy by inventing the Disco era. However, in 1981, disco becomes “dead” and Roger loses everything. Upon returning to the future, Roger still talks of his time as the inventor of disco and the episode ends with that timeline still in effect.
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A great first Christmas episode for American Dad, Lisa Kudrow is brilliant thou when her character returns she does not voice it.

 THE MOST ADEQUATE CHRISTMAS EVER

Guest Voices
Paget Brewster (Now You Know)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
J.K. Simmons (Burn After Reading)
Jane Lynch (Role Models)
Michelle
After Stan comes home from another dangerous mission, he finds that his family has decked the halls with boughs of holly and donned themselves with gay apparel, but just not to his satisfaction. He demands a grander Christmas starting with the search of a bigger and better tree in the forest. When his family has had enough, Stan powers on by himself, finds the perfect tree and meets an untimely end when it falls on him.
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His soul ends up in Limbo, where an ice cream man tells him that he will get a ride to either Heaven or Hell. However, Stan believes that it’s not his time and demands a second chance. Reluctantly, the ice cream man takes him to a courthouse where he can prove he deserves one. Unfortunately, Stan is assigned to Michelle, a lawyer who has a bad relationship with her father, the judge, and didn’t earn her wings. The prosecution is Scott LaRose, who has won many cases, allowing him to become smaller and cuter. Scott proves that Stan does not deserve a second chance because of his stubborn and arrogant ego, as evidenced when he took a pregnant Francine to Africa against their doctor’s advice;a baboon help her give birth to Hayley. Michelle tries exonerating Stan by showing him accepting Steve’s advice to give his kidney to a homeless man. However, Scott shows the rest of the clip, revealing that it was all a dream. Stan’s appeal for resurrection is denied. Worse, Michelle informs him that his family, except Roger, will die of hypothermia because he took the car keys.
 With the court refusing to at least help his family, Stan pulls out his gun, only to learn that Earthly weapons have no power in Limbo. Therefore, he grabs a Heaven gun, which can kill anyone and kidnaps Michelle to takes him directly to God. Stealing a chariot and evading the Archangels, they make it to Heaven. Michelle tries sneaking Stan in as a German man but when he speaks English, it rouses St. Peter’s suspicions. When it seemed like Michelle turns on Stan, she knocks out St. Peter to help Stan. They then sneak into God’s mansion, where Jesus is having his annual birthday. While Michelle mingles amongst the crowd, having never received an invitation.
Stan eventually finds God’s study and pleads Him to save his family. God refuses his plea, so Stan puts the Heaven gun to his head. God asks Stan if he knows better than the Almighty, to which Stan admits that he doesn’t and consents to God’s judgement. God then reveals that this was all a test for Stan to show some humility and agrees to send him back to Earth, all because it’s Jesus’ birthday. Stan thanks God, before requesting that He give Michelle her wings in gratitude. Then suddenly, God then takes the Heaven gun and shoots Stan in the head. Next thing he knows, Stan is back at the beginning of the episode. Using the lessons he’s learned in Limbo, Stan agrees with his family that all their decoration are perfects. As the Smith family hugs, Roger notices Michelle fly down to watch.

American Dad Christmas episodes are always a highlight to watch, Paget Brewster takes over from Lisa Kudrow from this point on, it’s nice that there’s some continuity between the xmas episodes.

RAPTURE’S DELIGHT

Guest Voices
Paget Brewster (Now You Know)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
Andy Samberg (Friends With Benefits)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Tom Kenny (The Batman)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Stan is upset when he cannot find his family a good seat for a standing-room only Christmas Day church service. To allieviate this, Francine takes him to have sex with her in the closet. When they come out, everybody in the church has gone, with their clothes left behind. Upon exiting the church, Stan discovers that he, Roger, and Francine are among those left on Earth during the Rapture (Stan and Francine because they had sex in a holy place, and Roger because he wasn’t human to begin with), while Hayley and Steve have ascended. Francine becomes upset when Stan cares more about ascending into Heaven than being with her and leaves him; she soon meets Jesus Christ in his second coming and becomes his girlfriend.
Seven years pass and the war between Jesus and the Anti-Christ reduces the world to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with the human race on the brink of extinction. The survivors have degenerated into savage bikers, militiamen, and prostitutes. Jesus travels by motorcycle to the war-torn city of Denver, Colorado and meets in a local bar with Stan, who has lost an eye and replaced one hand with a blade. Jesus convinces him to help rescue Francine, who has recently been captured by the Anti-Christ. Stan agrees to do so on the grounds that Jesus send him to Heaven afterwards. On their mission, they meet up with Roger, who for the past seven years has been trying to repair his spaceship in order to return to his home planet and escape the war. They get to the United Nations Building, where they find Francine bound in a manger.
Stan and Jesus meet with the Anti-Christ, depicted as an effeminate villain parodying The Riddler who claims to be the opposite of Jesus. When he tries to trap them, the container breaks apart; being the opposite of Jesus, he is a bad carpenter. After a drawn-out battle, Jesus jumps onto Anti’s back and breaks his neck. Anti survives and attempts to shoot Jesus but Stan takes the bullet for him, giving Jesus enough time to throw a cross-shaped shuriken into the Anti-Christ’s head, killing him. When Francine tears Stan’s shirt away to look at the wound, she sees that he has always kept their wedding rings, and he admits that he had in fact come to save Francine. He activates a bomb to destroy the lair and end the war once and for all. Francine tries to rescue him but Stan asks her to leave lest the explosion kill her too. Stan dies in the blast and is sent to heaven. When Michelle guides him to his own “personalized heaven”, Stan enters his home just the way it was at the beginning of the episode, the only difference being Klaus’ dead fish body being mounted on a plaque hanging on the wall.
American Dad’s version of the rapture is one of the best AD episodes of all time. Religious groups kicked off but it’s there lost.

FOR WHOM THE SLEIGH BELL TOLLS

Guest Voices
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
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Stan Smith continues to reject the idea that Jeff Fischer is now a member of the family despite Francine’s suggestion that he should be included in their family traditions. Despite Francine’s objections, Stan gives Steve an Ak-47 assault rifle for Christmas and Steve accidentally shoots a mall Santa. Steve, in turn, is shattered emotionally and swears never to pick up a weapon again. Meanwhile, Roger goes off in search of the strongest whiskey possible and he is directed to a moonshiner in the Chimdale Mountains, named Bob Todd, who teaches him his ways.
Stan convinces Steve to hide the body from Francine and try to find out whom the Santa was with his fingerprint, but his DNA is not in the CIA database. Stan dismisses this and doesn’t investigate further. Francine quickly discovers the body, and as the family buries the body; she chastises them for not letting her cut off the hands and smash the teeth out; much to their chagrin. The next day they receive threatening letters, stating that someone knows what they did and that they will be punished. They watch the news and discover that no one really feels like it is Christmas, as if someone killed Santa. Feeling a little doubt they then dig up the body and discover it is gone. When an elf appears and tells them that it was actually the real Santa that they buried and that he was recovered and rejuvenated in a Star Wars Bacta Tank at the North Pole and vows vengeance on the Smiths, they decide to take refuge with Roger in the moonshiner’s cabin where Bob Todd lives. Jeff arrives to spend the holiday with Hayley, much to Stan’s displeasure. However, Santa soon arrives since Jeff wrote a letter telling him where they would be staying. Bob Todd reveals that his airplane-house is also an armory, which includes an M60 machine gun, two RPKs and an M16 assault rifle, to fend off an attack of endless waves of armed elves, flying reindeer, and an enormous snowman (reminiscent of a Cave Troll from Lord Of The Rings) led by Santa. Francine snaps Steve out of his fears, ordering him to “pick up a gun this instant and send these toy makers to Hell!” and the family proceeds to defend themselves.
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Santa tries to convince Jeff to abandon the Smiths, recognizing that he was not involved in their plot to hide his body, and by offering a relic from The Golden Compass. Jeff walks to Santa’s side, but then turns on him and is able to pull Stan who was injured to safety. While Jeff takes care of Stan; Jeff says he thinks Stan is an ass. But, the two agree on their love for Hayley, causing Stan to see Jeff as a true member of the family. The family is almost overrun, until Santa and his army are forced to retreat because they only had until Christmas morning to get vengeance. Santa disappears, leaving behind a letter warning them that he will return next year to take his revenge and kill them, while the Smith family realizes that they have found a new Christmas tradition.
Another episode that shows American Dad knows how to do Christmas specials well. The fight against Santa and his elves was EPIC!.

SEASON’S BEATINGS

Guest Voices
Andy Samberg (Friends With Benefits)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Stan hears of the church putting on the story of Christ at the mall and rushes to get the lead role, only to be told by Father Donovan that he is too fat. He is instead given the role of Santa Claus but when he finds out the Roger got the role of Christ attacks and beats him senseless. Shocked at the attack, church leaders around the world universally agree to kick Stan out of all religion. When Stan asks if there is any way to stay in the church, he is told it is almost impossible, given that the only three acceptable ways are to kill the anti-Christ, discover the Holy Grail, or donate large sums of money.Meanwhile, Jeff tries to talk Hayley into adopting a child. Hayley says no but Jeff adopts a child anyways and names him Nemo. Hayley at first is angry but is quickly charmed by Nemo. While Stan is watching Nemo, he discovers he bears the numerals 666 which is considered the mark of the beast and is convinced the child is the Anti-Christ. Stan gets Father Donovan to come see the marking and they agree to go to the orphanage where Nemo came from only to find it burned to the ground. as they search the remains of the orphanage, Father Donovan discovers Nemo’s birth papers. Nemo senses the Father’s discovery and causes the orphanage to collapse on him, severing his legs. Father Donovan is able to share that Nemo is indeed the son of Satan before he dies.
Stan, Roger and Jeff travel to the Vatican to obtain a set of sacred daggers to kill the anti-Christ. Although Stan is barred from entering, Roger and Jeff are able to enter the catacombs to search. Nemo sees them through the eyes of a rat and causes the catacombs to flood, washing Jeff away. Roger climbs out and finds the daggers and escapes with them after attacking a Cardinal. Roger and Stan return home to discover Francine putting up Christmas lights while a possessed Steve scampers around. When Stan tells Hayley that they need to perform a ritual killing of Nemo, she fights to protect him and ends up shooting Stan. Stan awakes in the hospital and finds everything is back to normal. He was accepted back into his church when it tuned out that Roger’s eggnog “pimp” cup was really the Holy Grail. Nemo was sent off to Alaska to be raised by Sarah Palin and become the future Anti-Christ.
A Strange but fun Christmas episode, another American Dad Classic.

 MINSTREL KRAMPUS

GUEST (VOICES)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
 As the holidays approach, Steve becomes a brat and Stan takes him to see his grandfather to be scared straight. Grandpa Jack tells him the story of Krampus, who punishes the naughty children at Christmas and Steve refuses to buy into it, as Jack tells how he captured the Krampus and keeps it in a copper pot in the basement. Steve starts opening his gifts early and Stan tries to hide them in the basement. There, he is called by the Krampus who talks him into being let out to punish Steve, but he kidnaps him instead and demands Jack so he can extract revenge. Stan tells his father what he did to Jack’s horror as he promises to use his CIA connections to get him out. Instead, Jack takes off.
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In the Krampus’ Castle in Bavaria, Steve is imprisoned to his surprise and spanked. Stan talks to Roger who brings up Santa, but Stan is nervous about confronting Santa after their last encounter. Despite this, they set off to the North Pole and are captured. Santa beats Stan as he tells what happened. Santa only agrees to help if they can kill Krampus and also promises to take him off the naughty list. At the Krampus’ lair, the household goods try to convince Steve that Krampus only punishes naughty children because he cares for their well-being. Steve realizes that it is the truth and discovers that the Krampus actually only intended to beat Jack to save him from being bad, but was captured in a moment of carelessness while eating strudel.Meanwhile, Hayley goes Christmas shopping but needs money. She goes to see Roger for a loan but he refuses her and gives her the help-wanted section where she spots a job at the airport. There, she bumps into Jack trying to flee as he tries to figure out why he should help the family. She gets the message through to him and he heads to Bavaria to save Steve. Santa and Stan arrive and take on the Krampus, killing the household items. As Steve tries to stop him, Santa shoots Krampus and finishes him off before turning the gun on Stan and Steve as he reveals himself to be the true bad guy due to being a partner in the toy business. As Santa tries to shoot Stan, Jack intervenes and saves Stan, injuring Santa who flees with his elves. As Jack lays dying, his and the Krampus’ blood intermingles, allowing Jack to become the new Krampus to punish naughty children.’
American Dad’s version of the Krampus myth, this episode aired a year late due to shootings in America but it was worth the wait. The ending was brilliant.

DREAMING OF A WHITE PORSCHE CHRISTMAS

Guest Voices
Peter MacNicol (Ghostbusters 2)
The family goes to the mall to get their picture taken for the family Christmas party invitation and Stan half-heartedly shops, just picking up whatever he can grab. When Francine points out that she is wearing a sweater that matches the one he picked out, he has to return it. When he bumps into Principal Lewis, he insists he come to the party since his antics excite everyone. When Stan is ignored at the party except for running errands, he wishes he had Lewis’ life while placing the angel on the tree.When he wakes up the next morning, he finds that his wish has come true although Roger is still his companion, apparently due to touching Stan’s bottom at the moment of the wish. He starts to enjoy his new life but decides he needs to consult with Lewis to get an idea of how to further enjoy it. But when they find Lewis, they discover that he has inherited the family. This causes Stan distress and he tries to wish things back without luck. Roger speculates that he might need to learn a lesson first but Stan refuses to be that patient and confronts the family, although they don’t recognize him as their dad and husband. When Lewis reveals that he has also become a CIA agent, Stan takes his gun from his own accustomed place and takes the family back to his home, holding them at gunpoint.
As the CIA arrive, Stan desperately tries to get the family to remember him. Francine feigns remembering to get them turned loose and they go free to the CIA, who then lob gas at Stan. He tries to flee, but is caught when leaping off of a bridge and is riddled with bullets. Having apparently learned his lesson, an angel meets Stan and takes him to an ideal dream family that is not his own. Stan realizes that things are not correct and calls for his angel. He reveals that the dream family is his real family and the one he knows was given to his as punishment. When he wants to return to the family he knows, he is rejected. Opening gifts with the family, he finds he is still a bad father and when Roger arrives without knowing who he is, he tries to convince him and eventually succeeds in winning him over by telling him about his crazy habits. To try to reverse the wish, he has Roger place the angel on the tree and make a wish, but gets a Porsche instead. Stan tries to get the family to wish he wasn’t around, but fails. Gazing at a wine glass that looks similar to what Francine wanted, he makes note of a small dirty spot and finds that his new wife hates her cleaning being criticized. He gets her to wish they weren’t married and then places the angel on the tree, allowing Stan to go back to the family he knows, although Snot tries to pass himself off as a family member as well without luck.
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The latest American Dad they decide to do there version of It’s a wonderful Life with a few neat twists. It once again proves American Dad knows how to celebrate Christmas and makes people look forward to the next one.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE RAGE: CARRIE 2

CAST

Emily Bergl (Blue Jasmine)
Jason London (Untold)
Dylan Bruno (The One)
Amy Irving (Alias)
J. Smith-Cameron (Man on a Ledge)
Zachary Ty Bryan (Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)
John Doe (Roswell)
Rachel Blanchard (Snakes on A Plane)
Charlotte Ayanna (Training Day)
Justin Ulrich (How High)
Mena Suvari (The Losers)
Eli Craig (Zombieland TV)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Dad)

Barbara Lang paints a barrier around her living room to protect her telekinetic daughter, Rachel, from the devil. Barbara is soon institutionalized for schizophrenia. Years later Rachel, living with foster parents, talks with her best friend Lisa, who has lost her virginity to Eric, a football player. The football players have a game where they sleep with girls and receive points, revealing Eric never cared for Lisa. After Eric rejects her, Lisa commits suicide.

Rachel discovers a photo of Lisa and Eric. She tells school counselor Sue Snell and Sheriff Kelton that Lisa and Eric slept together. Kelton looks into charging Eric with statutory rape. Walter, Rachel’s dog, is struck by a car, but Rachel flags down Jesse as he drives past. After taking Walter to an animal hospital, they get coffee. Learning that Rachel gave Kelton the photograph, Eric, Mark, and several other football players attempt to intimidate her into not talking. They become victims of her powers and flee when her foster parents arrive. Sue meets with Rachel. When Sue asks about moving objects with her mind, Rachel screams, and a snow globe on Sue’s desk shatters; Sue realizes Rachel is telekinetic. Sue brings Rachel to the original high school where the disaster took place years before and tells Rachel that Barbara revealed to her that Rachel and Carrie White had the same father; to protect her, she did not tell Rachel. Rachel does not believe her. Jesse pursues Rachel, angering popular cheerleader Tracy. Jesse convinces Rachel he was unaware of her attack, and Rachel agrees to date him.disenchantment-part-2-netflixThe Senior D.A covers up the statutory rape because of the political influence of the families of the players. Encouraged, Mark plots to humiliate Rachel for what she did to Eric. He apologizes to Jesse and offers his parents’ cabin so Jesse can spend the night with Rachel. The two share a romantic evening, and Rachel loses her virginity, both unaware that a hidden video camera is filming them. After a football game, one of the players, Brad, and his girlfriend Monica invite Rachel to a party at Mark’s. She leaves with Monica, while Jesse is sidetracked by Tracy, who attempts to seduce him. Rachel is with Jesse’s friends when the football players reveal their sex game and claim that Rachel was added to Jesse’s list, making Rachel believe Jesse never cared for her. They also play the videotape and abuse her. As it triggers Rachel’s telekinesis, she closes the doors and kills most of the party-goers. Sue takes Barbara from the mental hospital and goes to Mark’s house. As Sue peers in the door, Rachel kills both Sue and Brad.

Rachel later kills Monica and Eric. While distracted by her mother’s voice, Marks shoots Rachel with a flare gun as she falls into a pool, causing a sensor to extend the cover. Rachel pulls Mark into the pool, and, with the cover fully extended, uses his spear gun to free herself while he drowns. When Barbara sees Rachel’s current state, she believes Rachel is possessed and flees. Rachel prays for help to die.

Jesse and Tracy find the house in flames and their friends dead. When Rachel sees Tracy, she kills her. The videotape of Rachel and Jesse is still playing; when he sees it Jesse tells her he did not know they were taped. Rachel calls him a liar as a notebook hits him, opening to the score page. Jesse says he loves her, but she does not believe him until she hears him say it on the videotape, realizing he told the truth. When the ceiling collapses over Jesse’s head, Rachel pushes him out of the way and is pinned. She tells him she loves him, and they kiss. Rachel pushes him out of the house before allowing herself to be consumed by the flames.
A year later, Jesse is at King’s University, sharing his room with Rachel’s dog, Walter, which he kept as a memory of Rachel. He is haunted by what has happened.MV5BMTUwNjI3OTY4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzQ1MzU1MzI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1484,1000_AL_This is a very underrated horror sequel I feel, its actually very good movie with a good story that’s similar to the original but with a few more added twists, the character in the movie is related to the original Carrie in a way which links it up with the original movie, the young cast is pretty good and its fun to watch unfold up to the bloody finale which this time is at a party, the budget is pretty decent too with some cool kills at the end as she unleashes her powers, some good gore scenes in places, overall its worth picking up if your a fan of the series, most of the movie has a cool rock soundtrack too, there are certainly worse sequels out here.

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – DVD SEASONS 11-15

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST (VOICES)

Christina Milian (Bring it On 5)
Patrick Stewart (American Dad)
Nana Visitor (Star Trek: DS9)
Carrie Fisher (Star wars)
Dana Gould (Mob City)
Arianna Huffington (The Cleveland Show)
Christine Lakin (Valetnine’s Day)
Bill Maher (A Million Ways To Die In The West)
Ashley Tisdale (Scary Movie 5)
David Boreanaz (Bones)
Gary Cole (Chuck)
Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad)
Adam Carolla (Two Guys and a Girl)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Jessica Stroup (Ted)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Cheryl Tiegs (The Brown Bunny)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Drew Barrymore (Poison Ivy)
Meredith Baxter (Family Ties)
Julie Hagerty (Airplane)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Chris O’ Dowd (St. Vincent)
Tara Strong (Batman: TAS)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk vs)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Scott Grimes (American Dad)
Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher TV)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)
Joel David Moore (Bones)
Jessica Barth (Ted)
Marlee Matlin (My Name Is Earl)
Sara Fletcher (Icrime)
David Herman (Futurama)
Ellen Page (Super)
Ricky Gevais (Ghost Town)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Scott Bakula (Chuck)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit)
Anna Kendrick (The Voices)
Martin Spanjers (8 Simple Rules)
Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Sandra Bernhard (2 Broke Girls)
John De Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Will Sasso (Anger Management)
Emily Osment (Mom)
Megan Hilty (The Good Wife)
Jessica Biel (New Girl)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Giovanni Ribisi (Ted)
Emma Roberts (Scream Queens)
Chad L. Coleman (Arrow)
Tony Sirico (Goodfellas)
Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers)
Liam Neeson (Batman Begins)
Lauran Bacall (The Big Sleep)
Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror)
Keke Palmer (Scream Queens)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass)
David Thewlis (Harry Potter)
Hank Azaria (The SMurfs)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Julie Kavner (Rhoda)
Yeardley Smith (As Good As It Gets)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Maya Rudlph (Bridesmaids)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty)
Lucas Grabeel (Smallville)
Ana Gasteyer (What A Woman Wants)
Glenn Howerton (That 80s Show)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Nat Faxon (The Descendants)
Harvey Fierstein (Mulan)
Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)

Season 11 is really the reamaing of episodes of season 9 but by now you get use to the dvd season. great epsiodes and more greats jokes and anyones fair game, be it the spiritual, who get assaulted in “Brian Writes a Bestseller,” as the dog writes a quickie self-help guide, but can’t defend it against Bill Maher’s questions, pretty much any minority and Meg, the family’s socially-awkward daughter, who not only tries to weasel her way into wheelchair-bound Joe’s life, but hooks up with her brother. Nazis, a standard part of the show after so many years, get their moment to shine as well, as the neighborhood pedophile Herbert recognizes Chris’ new friend as a war criminal, setting up an epic old-man fight, and perhaps one of the few times in history where you might find yourself rooting for a kid-toucher.
One of strangest jokes is where Peter is reminiscing about 1985, and notes that it gave us the gayest music video ever, before showing nearly half of David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s “Dancing in the Streets.” As it plays, you start wondering when we’ll get back to the show, before beginning to question if we’re ever going back. And then you start questioning how the video ever came into existence. Then you ask, how did they get the rights to use it in the show this way? Then you kind of forget you’re watching Family Guy. Then you kind of wish you were watching the video again, but that was the point of the episode doing it to mind screw you.

 This season is a pretty strong one. It has the mean-spirited episode is Screams Of Silence: The Story Of Brenda Q and it’s not only the strangest episode on the season but one of the strangest of the entire series. Basically Glenn’s sister gets into an abusive relationship and he, Peter and Joe decide to take care of the problem. The episode gets increasingly darker as it plays out and the ending, which is presented straight and without any obvious irony or attempt at humor, is pretty grim. The crew should get credit for tackling a serious social issue with at least some semblance of seriousness but is this really the right format to raise an issue like this? Opinions will vary, obviously, but this episode is twisted.

Aside from that, it’s more or less business as usual. There are some fun celebrity cameos here, the most obvious one being Ricky Gervais who provides the voice of a dolphin who helps Peter out and then demands a ridiculous amount of favors in return. The Lottery Fever series opener is a fun one which shows not only how Peter behaves after winning the lottery but how those around him will leach off of him when he does. We get to see Brian take mushrooms before a hurricane hits the town and then watch him trip out and see some seriously bizarre hallucinations. The Back To The Pilot episode also stands out as we see Stewie travel back with Brian in tow to January 31, 1999 (which was the broadcast date of the series’ first episode). This shows how the series has changed over the years and also how in just as many ways it has stayed the same.

Quahog news anchor Tom Tucker gets the spotlight in Tom Tucker: The Man And His Dream in which we learn about his acting career. It seems he played Michael Myers in Halloween IV and once Peter learns that, he and James Woods get involved in resurrecting his thesping profession. In Killer Queen Peter and Chris wind up at fat camp where a serial killer is at work, while back in Quahog, Stewie is terrified by the artwork of Queen’s New Of The World album cover. H. Jon Benjamin from Bob’s Burgers and a bunch of other great credits does a guest voice here. Stewie falls for a girl named Penelope, voiced by Kate Blanchett, in Mr. And Mrs. Stewie but of course that can’t end well even if she shares his love of weapons and math. Tea Party is another stand out. When Peter tries to open his own business and gets shut down, he becomes an advocate for small government and takes hardcore conservative Tea Party ideas to ridiculous extremes with predictably funny results.

All in all, this is a pretty great season. It’s also fairly daring, not that the show has ever really shied away from controversy but they definitely push things on a visual level here. That’s not a bad thing, so long as you’re accepting of the fact that as offensive as the series can be, it’s an equal opportunity offender and it provides a great opportunity to laugh at the absurdity that is all around us on a daily basis.

So how does this season hold up? In a lot of ways, it’s more of the same, but at the same time, by being more of the same there’s a certain expectation of unpredictability that this collection consistently meets and occasionally exceeds. You get to a point in the show where you expect the unexpected, and there’s a whole lot of unexpected to appreciate this time around. The season starts off strong with Into Fat Air where Lois runs into an ex-boyfriend who boasts about his family’s accomplishments. This gets Lois feeling competitive and before you know it, the Griffins are climbing Mount Everest. Shades of Alive run deep in this particularly perverse episode. The show takes on the Nielson Ratings in Ratings Guy. When the Griffins are selected to a Nielson family, Peter goes for a blatant abuse of his power to shape TV to his liking but is then tasked with trying to set things right. It’s actually a pretty amusing take at the fickle viewing habits of the general public. The health care industry and its corporate ties are taken on in The Big C when Peter finds out that his father in law has been keeping the cure for cancer his corporation has discovered secret in the name of making more profits off of treatment. As irreverent as this series gets, this episode will at least get you thinking.Family Guy (1998)The seemingly obligatory time travel episode in this season is Yug Ylimaf and once again Stewie and Brian cruise back in time and goof off. It’s old hat at this point but there’s comfort in familiarity. We get to learn more about Joe’s disability when the man who shot him and confined him to a live in a wheelchair goes on the lam and Peter, Joe and Quaigmire hunt him down to get revenge. The Jesus, Mary and Joseph! episode lets Peter tell us his own version of the Nativity Story in what is essentially a Christmas episode gone awry. Nothing is sacred, fans know that by now. Quagmire is the focus of The Giggity Wife, an episode that shows what happens when Glenn marries a skaggy old hooker on a trip with Peter and Joe. He realizes quickly that this was a horrible idea but she won’t grant him a divorce. Glenn tries to convince her that he’s actually gay, with Peter’s help. In Chris Cross the elder Griffin son swipes some money from his parents to go out and buy some cool new sneakers. When Meg finds out, she blackmails him but Chris quickly has his fill and decides to go live down the street with everyone’s favorite pedophile, his old friend Herbert. Meanwhile, Stewie convinces Brian to help him track down Canadian songstress Anne Murray. In Call Girl Lois uses her voice to make some extra money as a phone sex operator and in Turban Cowboy Peter befriends a Muslim and then converts to Islam. Phone sex might not be so topical these days, but the Islam episodes pushes some buttons in some clever ways.

As the season comes to a close, in the Bigfat episode we find out what happens when Peter, Joe and Quagmire go on a trip to Canada. Peter goes missing for months and when they finally find him, he’s lost the ability to communicate like a ‘normal person.’ Total Recall is another ‘Rupert’ inspired episode where Stewie and Brian try to get the teddy bear back after a recall is done. Peter and friends try to save their favorite bar in Save The Clam while Peter takes up farming in Farmer Guy, but soon gives that up in favor of dealing meth. Road To Vegas sees Brian and Stewie clone themselves and head to Vegas where they have completely opposite experiences from one another and last but not least, No Country Club For Old Men gets the Griffin’s into a posh country club when Christ strikes up a romance with a girl who comes from the wealthiest family around. This doesn’t sit well with Carter, who winds up getting the boot.

It’s all pretty much non-stop insanity but hey, it wouldn’t be Family Guy if there weren’t a lot of guest voices, right? Right! Popping up throughout this collection are such luminaries as Elizabeth Banks, Ryan Reynolds, Sofía Vergara, Giovanni Ribisi, Jessica Biel, Drew Barrymore, Will Sasso, Emma Roberts, J.J. Abrams, Sandra Bernhard, Cheryl Tiegs, Anne Murray, Bill Maher, Sharon Osbourne and quite a few others. And we’d be remiss not to mention the mighty Robert Loggia shows up here too. There’s a lot of fun to be had in this set so long as you go in with an open mind and remember that pretty much every one from every walk of life is fair game.  This marks the second time a full season of the show has been released in one set (season 13 12 had the full season 11 on it). In prior years Fox, in its infinite wisdom, would release sets that had half of one season and half of another on it. It has really been a minor point because in terms of following the show, it is not like it ever has season long story arcs that need to be followed. You just have to have seen a prior episode to get a reference if they call back to something. But for those of us who do get the DVDs it has often meant paying the same price for a set with a partial season on it. So it is nice that they have come around to doing what they should have in the first place. It also makes for a pretty funny joke this season in one of the episodes.

As far as the show itself goes, it is pretty standard with what it has been doing the past few years. It can get repetitive with some of the gags (they do like vomit), but I do think they are still entertaining on a consistent enough basis to keep fans of the show entertained. This season has the controversial story line in the middle involving Brian (chances are everyone knows what it is and the cover of the DVD set basically gives it away) that definitely shook the show (and the fans) up. It also sees the return of Cleveland after the Cleveland Show’s cancellation. Like the show always has, it makes fun of pretty much any topic, and because the DVD is uncensored it replaces some of the tamer jokes from the broadcast version with harder edged versions. It is also worth noting that nothing gets bleeped out on the DVDs, so expect all the swearing to be in every episode.

 


For those who get the DVD set, as far as extras go, there are deleted scenes from every episode, a couple episodes showing the full animatics with the dialogue, and a short feature on the Brian storyline with show runners and Seth Green talking about the fan reaction. Pretty standard for what has been included before

This is really season 13, its the season featuring the Simpson/ Family Guy Crossover. The hour in Springfield started off in poignant, self-referential fashion, with Seth MacFarlane and co. recognizing that this was probably a “one time shot.” Cue the slew of Easter eggs and references for fans of The Simpsons, and the fan-service is appreciated for the most part. There are guest appearances from Apu (once in his natural habitat, and once as Stewie’s prisoner), and hilarious scenes with the likes of Cleveland and Quagmire meeting their Simpson counterparts.

The entire premise of this episode (an attempt to put the rumors of any Family Guy vs The Simpsons feud to rest) hinges on each show taking some low blows and wearing it’s respective heart on it’s sleeve. Whether it’s The Simpsons (or Duff Brewery’s) longevity, which invites criticism about it’s consistency, or Family Guy’s (and Pawtucket Brewery’s) questionable originality and knack for what may seem like “pale imitation,” this episode takes stabs at both parties involved. The argument begins in a bar at the start of the third act, and spirals out of control into an absurd, and probably overlong, classic chicken fight.Comic-Con-Family-Guy-The-SImpsons-Crossover-SG-21

Other highlights in the set include,

The 2000 Year Old Virgin where Jesus shocks peter by saying that he has never had sex. Determined to change this, Peter enlists the help of Cleveland, Joe and Quagmire so Jesus can lose his virginity for his 2000th birthday.

Stewie, Chris, & Brian’s Excellent Adventure where Stewie and Brian invite Chris on a journey through time to help him pass a test that is his only hope of finishing ninth grade, and the three end up stuck in 1912 aboard the Titanic.

and of course the Fight Irish episode where Peter claims that he could beat Liam Neeson in a fight, but his skills are put to the test when Neeson himself actually shows up. Meanwhile, Stewie is annoyed with Lois when she becomes a class mom and starts paying more attention to other children.

Another classic season with great jokes and great guest stars, The Simpson Guy being the biggest highlight now we can own it on dvd