31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: FUTURAMA – THE HONKING

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Billy West (Sabrina: TTW)
Katey Sagal (8 Simple Rules)
John DiMaggio (Adventure Time)
Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons)
Maurice LaMarce (Frozen)
David Herman (Angel)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)

As part of his late uncle Vladimir’s last will, Bender has to spend a night in his family’s sinister old castle near Thermostadt, the capital of the Robo-Hungarian Empire. However, the castle’s holographic “robot ghosts” cause him to flee out into the night, where he is promptly run over by a mysterious non-hover car.

After returning to New New York, Bender begins to experience nightmares and blackouts, and starts to believe that the car has followed him home. In the city, mysterious tire tracks are discovered at places where Bender has been. Worried, he seeks “professional help” from a coin-operated Gypsy Bot machine. It informs him that he was run over by a “werecar”, the robotic equivalent of a werewolf, and has thus become one himself. He is cursed to keep running people over and eventually kill his best friend, Fry. The only thing that can lift the curse is to destroy the original werecar. That night, Bender indeed turns into a sedan that resembles the 1971 Lincoln from the movie The Car and goes after Leela. This angers Fry, who takes this as a sign that Bender does not consider him to be his best friend after all.hqdefaultAfter narrowly surviving Bender’s nocturnal rampage, the crew returns to the village near Uncle Vladimir’s castle. From there, they follow a trail of various bizarre werecars, until they ultimately find the original werecar: Project Satan, a demonic car built a thousand years earlier from parts of the “most evil cars in history” (such as Hitler’s Mercedes and the Manson Family’s Volkswagen transporter).
In the final act, Bender once again transforms, and this time goes after Fry, to the latter’s immense joy. A climactic fight ensues between Leela, Fry, Bender-car, and Project Satan. Project Satan accidentally drives into a large furnace, destroying himself and lifting the curse. The episode ends with Bender violently strangling Fry for taking his last beer, signaling their friendship has returned to normal—or what passes for it between them.futurama301thehonkingwn4.7379The Honking is a Bender-centric episode, but it’s one in which he’s actually not responsible for any of the action. For once, he’s a passive victim of any and all wrong-doing; it’s technically possible that he murdered his Uncle Vladimir (an idea that Vladimir mentions in his will), but since the robot died in his bed of apparent old age, and since the idea of Bender being the murderer is only mentioned as throwaway joke, I’d say his hands are clean. This is unusual, but makes for an entertaining episode

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REVIEW: PARADISE PD – SEASON 1

Paradise PD (2018)

MAIN CAST

Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
David Herman (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Tom Kenny (Super Hero Squad)
Kyle Kinane (Epic)
Cedric Yarbrough (The Boss)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Dana Snyder (Open Season 3)
Grey DeLisle (Bolt)
Waco O’Guin (Brickleberry)
Roger Black (Stankervision)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Rachel Butera (A Fowl American)

Paradise PD (2018)If you enjoyed Comedy Central’s Brickleberry but found yourself wishing it were about 60% more raunchy, then Paradise PD is the animated sitcom for you. This new Netflix series from creators Waco O’Guin and Roger Black is cut from the exact same cloth, with the only differences being that it focuses on small-town cops rather than park rangers, and that the freedom of Netflix allows for all the profanity, gratuitous violence and casual nudity anyone could ask for. That latter element does wind up working in the show’s favor. Paradise PD is simplistic and derivative, but also aggressive enough that it’s sure to score some laughs along the way.Paradise PD (2018)The new series really does play like a remixed version of Brickleberry, to the point where you almost have to wonder if it would have been easier for O’Guin and Black to port that series over to Netflix rather than develop something “new.” It’s just as well this series is self-aware enough to poke fun at those similarities. Paradise PD features Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants himself) as Chief Randall Crawford, a chronic rageaholic forced to subsist on an endless supply of testosterone patches after his son accidentally shot off his testicles as a child. Said son Kevin (David Herman) is now the proverbial new kid on the force, while Randall’s ex-wife Karen (Grey Griffin) is now the mayor.Other main characters include Gina Jabowski (Sarah Chalke), a hyper-violent, over-achieving member of the force and Gerald “Fitz” Fitzgerald (Cedric Yarbrough), a recent transfer from Chicago with a nasty case of PTSD. Dana Snyder pulls double duty as the morbidly obese, flamboyant Dusty Marlow and the geriatric veteran of the force, Stanley Hopson. And because every adult-oriented animated sitcom needs a talking animal sidekick of some sort, Kyle Kinane voices Bullet, the drug-addicted, perpetually horny police dog.7cc3a1be59dfd4f62c3c24ab9b32d102Basically, every member of the Paradise PD team is a walking stereotype with only a character trait or two to distinguish them. Some of them grow and evolve over the course of these ten episodes. Randall comes the closest to feeling like a three-dimensional character by the end. Both Fitz and Dusty tend to be the most dependably entertaining when they’re put in the spotlight, the former because of his Peter Griffin-like attention span and penchant for flights of fancy and the latter because each new challenge feeds into another of his many psychological neuroses.Paradise-PD-Gina-Jabowski-Likes-It-When-Dusty-Explains-About-History-520x245But despite the fact that every main character is given the chance to headline at least one episode, too many fail to rise above those initial stereotypes. Gina is always “the angry one.” Hopson is always “the old one.” Bullet is just a slightly amped-up version of every talking animal sidekick. And despite being ostensibly the main character of the series, Kevin winds up being the blandest of them all. He’s a straight man in a series that has little use for one.paradise1Fans of the Family Guy school of humor will respond most strongly to Paradise PD. It’s similarly fueled by gross-out humor and pop culture references, which is where the show’s strengths come in. As reference-heavy as the series can be, it’s not nearly as beholden to cutaway gags as Family Guy is. The absurd plot developments usually serve the story in some way or another. And because Netflix doesn’t have many content restrictions getting in the way of the scatalogical humor, Paradise PD is free to be as inappropriate as anyone could ask for.Paradise-PD-has-an-large-ensemble-cast-1486203Paradise PD is definitely not an animated sitcom for everyone. If you crave the intelligent political satire of South Park or the finely-honed characters of Bojack Horseman, you won’t find much to chew on here. But if you’re content with the mindless zaniness of shows like Family Guy or this show’s own predecessor, Brickleberry, Paradise PD is for you.

REVIEW: DISENCHANTMENT – SEASON 1

Disenchantment (2018)

MAIN CAST

Abbi Jacobson (The Lego Ninjago Movie)
Nat Faxon (Life of The Paerty)
Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls)

Nat Faxon, Eric André, and Abbi Jacobson in Disenchantment (2018)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Billy West (Futurama)
Maurice LaMarche (Team America)
Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons)
David Herman (Angel)
Matt Berry (Christopher Robin)
Jeny Batten (Discount Fitness)
Rich Fulcher (The Mighty Boosh)
Noel Fielding (The Mighty Boosh)
Lucy Montgomery (Badly Dubbed Porn)
Lauren Tom (Futurama)

In the canon of shows created by Matt Groening, Netflix’s Disenchantment is markedly closer to Futurama than The Simpsons. Developed by Groening and golden age Simpsons showrunner Josh Weinstein, this foray into a medieval fantasy world starts small on a big canvas, then starts to paint outwards. Although it quickly develops into an ensemble sitcom, this approach starts with a more straightforward protagonist. As the first daughter of the financially embattled kingdom of Dreamland, Princess Bean (voiced by Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson) is a single young woman who longs for some individual freedom outside of her landed status.But like Homer Simpson and Bender B. Rodriguez before her, she’s more interested in having a drink and a good time than singing to animals like other fantasy princesses. Much to the chagrin of her dad, King Zøg (John DiMaggio at his most John DiMag-nificent), Bean spends her days tooling around the kingdom and getting into misadventures with her elf friend Elfo (Nat Faxon) and her personal demon Luci (Eric Andre).4E7C158100000578-0-image-a-7_1532261217715The first season of ten episodes landed on Netflix. Unlike Groening’s previous shows, Disenchantment is lightly serialised, with more plot elements recurring across episodes than his usual network sitcom mode of restoring the status quo at the end of the half-hour. The extra-long first episode, A Princess, An Elf And A Demon Walk Into A Bar, ends on a cliffhanger that’s picked up in the following episode, but it appears as if the continuing story elements wax and wane throughout the run.disenchantment-netflix-escape-from-dreamland-excl-globalFunnily enough, the show is immediately better when it hews closer to the running time of a Netflix show. If this were going out on a traditional network, it could be even tighter, but the marked uptick in comedy from the first episode to the second is in part due to it being ten minutes shorter. Creative freedom is great and all, but like BoJack Horseman and Kimmy Schmidt before it, this shows why a quicker running time is generally a better thing for TV comedy. The other issue that Disenchantment has to overcome early on is finding a unique selling point. From Monty Python to Shrek, plenty of other creators have ploughed the fantasy-comedy trough before now, so it takes a couple of episodes for the show to find its groove.Disenchantment-photo-screenshot-600x361This is positioned as “Simpsons meets Game Of Thrones” and you can definitely see the influence of the latter show. In the first seven episodes alone, there are marriages, incestuous ruling couples, bloody coups, murderous plots, and more. Dreamland’s castle even has a handy Moon Door like the one at the Eyrie, which plays in much the same way as the trapdoor in Mr Burns’ office. Groening and Weinstein also push past their network constraints with some more violent slapstick than we’re used to seeing from their shows, even in the bloodiest Itchy & Scratchy shorts. We get a taste of this in the very first episode when Elfo leaves his happy woodland realm for the first time and learns about war by crossing the battlefield of an epic clash between gnomes and ogres, and over the following episodes, there are a number of laugh-out-loud climactic sight gags to enjoy.disenchantmentWhile the show sometimes leans a little hard on this, its most endearing quality is that it never gets overpowered by any of the weaker stuff, because it always has so much going on per episode. In the strongest, best-plotted episode of this run, Bean starts out attempting to find a job and contribute to society but winds up in the Dreamland equivalent of a slasher movie riff, which also crosses into the territory of Get Out, Indiana Jones, and a well-known Grimm fairy tale. Theshow is certainly more polished than Groenings other shows were at their outset, but it’s doomed to suffer from being compared directly to either of them. It’s not as consistently funny all the time, but it hits the ground running and its characters and style are more than entertaining enough to get us interested in further adventures.

REVIEW: BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT

CAST (VOICES)

Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek)
Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless TV)
Anthony Head (Buffy)
Chrtis Coz (American Dad)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Grey DeLisle (Bolt)
Bob Joles (Puss In Boots)
Yuri Lowenthal (Legion of Super Heroes)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Jokes)
Kari Wuhrer (Eight Legged Freaks)

Bruce Greenwood in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)In Victorian era Gotham City, Bruce Wayne is operating as the bat-garbed vigilante, the Batman, who is feared by the guilty and the innocent alike. One night, Batman saves a wealthy couple from being robbed by three orphans (Dickie, Jason and Timmy) and defeats their handler, Big Bill Dust. At the same time, Ivy, an orphan turned exotic dancer and street worker becomes the latest victim of Jack the Ripper. The murders keep happening night after night; citizens of Gotham believe the Batman and Jack to be the same man. Stage actress Selina Kyle, a protector of the women from “Skinner’s End”, verbally attacks Gotham policemen James Gordon and Chief Bullock for their inaction in stopping Jack. Later that night, Selina acts as bait for Jack. It works, but Jack gets the upper hand during their fight until the arrival of Batman. After escaping, Batman asks Gordon to help him bring the Ripper down.Jennifer Carpenter in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)At the Monarch Theatre with his friend Harvey Dent, Bruce meets Selina and the two bond at the Dionysus Club. Bruce realizes that not only were the two of them taken in by Sister Leslie, but that some of the murdered girls were orphans formerly under Leslie’s care. Bruce rushes out to save Leslie from the Ripper but is too late, as Jack has already murdered her. At the crime scene, Bruce finds a bloody Dionysus Club pen, meaning Jack has to be one of Gotham’s wealthy. At Sister Leslie’s funeral, Bruce is met by Hugo Strange, claiming he knows the killer and wants to meet with Batman. Bruce also is met by Marlene, an old woman who claims she saw him sneaking around when Sister Leslie was killed. Alfred stops the three orphans from pick-pocketing him and decides to help them. At Arkham Asylum, Hugo is attacked by Jack and is killed by his own patients. Batman chases Jack on top of an airship in a fight that leaves Batman wounded as the airship explodes and Jack escapes. Batman is chased by police, only to be saved by Selina when he is nearly cornered. After seeing Batman is Bruce Wayne, she takes him to her home where they spend the night. The next morning, after the death of Marlene is discovered, Bruce is arrested by Gordon and Dent, who believe him to be the Ripper.Kari Wuhrer and Scott Patterson in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)Sent to Blackgate Penitentiary, Bruce is met by Selina, urging him to reveal he’s Batman to clear his name and help save the girls from Jack. When he refuses, she decides to tell Gordon herself, revealing she has one of his batarangs. Bribing a guard to deliver a coded message to his manor, Bruce escapes after staging a prison fight. Bruce meets with the orphans, who deliver him his suit and a steampunk motorcycle. Selina meets with Gordon at the Gotham City World’s Fair and discovers to her horror that Gordon is Jack the Ripper. Batman discovers this too when he is at Gordon’s home and discovers his secret room exposing his gruesome hobbies and past as a butcher. Batman also sees Gordon’s wife, Barbara-Eileen Gordon, with scars on the left side of her face that has made her into a lunatic praising her husband for treating her sins as a woman. Selina is injected with a drug but manages to use the Fair’s searchlight to create a Bat-Signal. Batman arrives and fights Gordon into a Ferris wheel, where Gordon reveals his holy work is to rid Gotham from what he sees as filth, from the poor to the criminals but also immigrants and anarchists. The Ferris wheel lights on fire and begins to collapse. Selina escapes, while Batman watches as Gordon burns himself alive. Luckily, Batman and Selina are saved by Alfred and the orphans. As they escape, they watch as the World’s Fair burns down, hoping it will be replaced with something better.Scott Patterson and Jennifer Carpenter in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)While I will say I’m not familiar with the source material, I did enjoy the movie a lot. I liked the setting, the references to the time period, the characters, the action, pretty much all of it. I also give them props for making Jim Gordon the villain, I was thinking it would just be Dent or some variation of Victor Zsasz or Joker, but they took a chance and I think it worked. Another great adition to The Dc Original Animated Movie.

REVIEW: DR. DOLITTLE 2

CAST

Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop)
Kyla Pratt (One on One)
Raven-Symoné (The View)
Kristen Wilson (walking Tall)
Norm MacDonld (Screwed)
Lil’ Zane (Good Streets)
James Avery (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
Andy Richter (Quintuplets)
Jeffrey Jones (Howard The Duck)
Steve Zahn (Daddy Day Care)
Lisa Kudrow (Bad Neighbours)
Michael Rapaport (The 6th Day)
Isaac Hayes (South Park)
Andy Dick (2 Broke Girls)
Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
David Deluise (Stargate SG.1)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Michael McKean (This Is SPinal Tap)
Frankie Muniz (Agent Cody Banks)
Bob Odenkirk (How I Met Your Mother)
Mandy Moore (The Princess Diaries)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)

Lucky the dog (Norm Macdonald) explains Dr. John Dolittle’s (Eddie Murphy) gift of talking to animals. John comes home from France and gives his wife a present from Paris. He also gives his daughter, Maya (Kyla Pratt), a chameleon, named Pepito. Also, Charisse’s (Raven-Symoné) sixteenth birthday is coming today. She is also not doing well in her classes. As a punishment, John takes her phone away. Later on, Charisse’s boyfriend, Eric (Lil Zane), comes over and decides to join the family at the birthday party. A possum (voice of Isaac Hayes) and a raccoon, Joey (voice of Michael Rapaport), tell the doctor that their boss, the Godbeaver, wants to see him. He meets the God beaver (voice of Richard C. Sarafian) who shows him that the forest is being cut down. John plans to save the forest to get an endangered female Pacific western bear together with a male to save their species.At a circus, John attempts to get Archie, the surviving male member in his species, to go out into the forest to teach him to become a real bear. Reluctantly, he agrees but John knows that Archie doesn’t know what kind of bear he is and never acts as a real animal. Then, after taking his family on a vacation to the forest for the rest of the month, John makes a deal with a female bear named Ava to not make any decisions for the month and promised to turn Archie into someone she will love. While he unsuccessfully trains Archie, John hires the local forest creatures to make an attempt to stop Charisse and Eric from making out. But during the training, he ignores Lisa for the next few days. Then, John tells Archie that he will find a way to win Ava’s heart. Every animal in the forest watches as John dances with Lisa, and as the two attempt to embrace, Lucky accidentally blows it. Archie attempts to get Ava’s attention by singing her a song while imitating John in a smooth voice and on a tree branch, but blows his attempt when he is too heavy for the branch to hold and he falls down.Archie refuses to come out of his new-found cave because of humiliating himself in front of Ava. Archie proclaims that it was hard but John knows how hard it is when his wife grows mad at him. Frustrated with John’s insults, Archie hits John, making him fall on a muddy hole, and he begins to listen to his “inner bear”. Later on, he spends the rest of the day with Ava, whose relationship with another male bear named Sonny isn’t very well. Lucky attempts to win the affection of an attractive female wolf (though throughout the film, Lucky attempts to get her attention two times but both are unsuccessful). This attempt was successful as Lucky urinates around her territory and she is about to go out with him but one of her packmates came and finds Lucky urinating part of the pack’s territory and they leave, much to Lucky’s dismay. On the other hand, Ava is forced to leave Archie by Sonny (voice of Mike Epps).Afterwards, Mr. Potter, the owner of two logging companies, attempts to make a deal with John, and when Archie arrives, he tells John he has his “big finish”, knowing that he will win Ava about John telling him to listen to his “inner bear”. Back at the cabin, Charisse is beginning to hate living in the forest and is annoyed with her family talking to the animals, though John doesn’t know what is bothering her. Meanwhile, Archie goes after a bee hive on a fallen tree at the edge of a tall hill, and despite commands from John and attacking bees, he manages to get the hive.In a game of hide and seek with Ava (who dumps Sonny), Archie is shot by a tranquilizer dart fired by Mr. Potter’s apprentice. John later learns that Archie had somewhat destroyed the back of a restaurant in the woods. After getting information from a weasel (voice of Andy Dick) of what happened, John visits Archie in a jail and tells the bear that he may be too dangerous to be set free and is going to be sold to a Mexican circus. Then, John realizes that Charisse has developed her father’s gift of talking to animals, though it has been in her for two weeks now. Later, John held a meeting for every animal in the forest to not give up without a fight no matter what kind of animal expression they have. Everyone agrees to do it in order to free Archie. The animals, led by Charisse, Eric, and Maya, rebel against the loggers and every animal around the world goes on strikes as an effort to free Archie. Mr. Potter and his apprentice are then attacked by some of the animals at the company, such as a swarm of rats, a fleet of pigeons, a pack of wolves, and Mr. Potter’s apprentice is then attacked by the swarm of bees outside the building, while Mr. Potter is cornered by Ava and Joey. Then, when the animals refuse to have twelve acres in their home, the strike keeps growing (even animal pros, such as racing horses and jumping whales are getting on the act). As a deal is made, the Dolittles and the animals have saved the entire forest outside of San Francisco. At the end, John and Charisse become closer while Archie and Ava mate and have two cubs (a boy and a girl).The movies have lots of funny moments and are great for all ages to enjoy, the digital enhanced animals are brillant and take the show to a higher level.If you enjoyed the first one i highly recommend this one.

 

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: REINFORCEMENT

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CAST
Josh Keaton (Superman/Shazam)
Thom Adcox-Hernandez (Under Siege 2)
Xander Berkeley (Beware The Batman)
Steve Blum (The Boxtrolls)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Robert Englund (The Batman)
Crispin Freeman (Fast Sofa)
Elisa Gabrielli (South Park)
Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars Rebels)
This show does not mess around when it comes to using any and all characters from Spider-Man’s history!  I was very impressed and excited to see fairly obscure criminal underworld characters Blackie Gaxton and Patch appear in this episode.  This episode featured the return of the Sinister Six, albeit in a new configuration, with Mysterio and Kraven standing in for Doctor Octopus and Shocker. With that many villains, it’s not surprising that this was an episode with a ton of action, as it quickly turned into one prolonged chase/fight scene for Spider-Man.I loved how this fight moved from one environment to another, traveling to some very different places, from an ice skating rink to a pier, to a department store. Once again, this show proved to be one of the best on TV when it comes to action scenes, with a ton of visually exciting moments that sometimes are so quick, they beg you to rewind the DVR. Such a moment occurred when Spider-Man jumped to avoid a bunch of hurled tires while fighting Electro – and while he dodged some, he actually contorted himself right through the center of one, in a blink and you miss it moment. This was an episode that really reinforced Spider-Man as a clever and creative sparring partner for any of the villains he takes on. Whether it be using those aforementioned rubber tires to trap Electro, or goading Rhino onto ice not strong enough to hold him, or spraying perfume on the scent-sensitive Kraven, our wall-crawling hero was in top form here and it was incredibly fun to watch.
On a more bizarre but no less entertaining level, you also had the moment where Mysterio unleashed his mechanical bats at Spidey, and they could be heard squeaking stuff like, “Rematch! Rematch!”, clearly eager to get another shot at the guy who had beaten them two episodes ago.
Understandably, an episode this action-heavy was a little light on character moments, but the ones we got were solid. Peter’s already stuck debating between Liz and Gwen, so it was very funny when Mary Jane was trying to give him advice, only for him to begin daydreaming, thinking, “Would you look at her… She’s gorgeous!”

CHRISTMAS 2017 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)
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.
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.
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.