Family Guy "Season 9" DVD

Friday, 05 November 2010 15:29

Starting in January 1999, Family Guy was three seasons in to its run, when the oligarchs at the American Fox network decided that enough was enough. They cancelled the show.  What they hadn’t allowed for was the success of the series that was to follow upon DVD release. It did incredible sales numbers, and much like Futurama, which would pull a similar trick after it, Family Guy’s demise turned into a three year hiatus, and it’s been on-air ever since.

Like any show that pushes boundaries, the show proves to be a regular headache for network sensors Stateside – indeed, an episode due for the next DVD release, “Partial Terms of Endearment” remains untransmitted, considered as being unsuitable for Family Guy’s “family audience”.  Let’s be quite clear about this, as it’s something that some moronic adults have a problem with: just because this is animation it doesn’t mean it’s for kids.  And this release of “Season 9”, with a ‘15’ certificate, proves that point.

Family Guy 'Season 9' DVD set - Not Strictly As AdvertisedThe Griffins are described as the world’s most dysfunctional family, but there’s plenty of those in sit-com land, and indeed unfair comparisons are often made with The Simpsons.  Certainly there’s something about Family Guy’s death and resurrection which has released it of any potential storytelling shackles, something that Homer and Co haven’t yet mastered. 

Those who are familiar with Family Guy, and indeed the versions transmitted on television in the UK (or indeed Stateside), may well be in for a shock.  Thoroughly deserving its ‘15’ certificate, the ‘kid gloves’ are off with this release, with expletives galore.  Episodes are extended, characters allowed to say what they really feel, and you’d better make sure Granny isn’t in the room when you run an episode marathon.

Parents Peter and Lois still have their kids Chris (chubby slacker), Meg (frustrated activist), and baby Stewie (potential megalomaniac) to contend with. Indeed, in the season premiere “Road to the Multiverse” (halfway through this set, but more of that later), Stewie creates a remote control that takes him and sarcastic family talking dog, Brian, to a string of parallel universes.  The oddball couple finds the perfect place to live, where everything appears as if was animated by Walt Disney! However, following a rather excessive musical interlude about pies, things take a turn for the worst.

Meanwhile, life for the rest of the family is just as interesting when Peter regresses to learn that he was the founder of Quahog in a previous life; Lois becomes a Fox News reporter and struggles with her conscience over a Michael Moore exposé; and Meg becomes even more of a social outcast when Chris upscales on his dating choices and becomes popular!

EmmyTM Award-winning executive producer Seth MacFarlane and his team keeps the popular culture references cranked up to ‘11’ on this DVD set – my wife and I seriously wondered while watching this batch of episodes as to how many of the TV and film homage one-liners and scenes would be lost on the ‘Average Joe’.  Talking to many of the 18-30 adults in this target market, about such stuff, makes you realise that it’s us Baby Boomers who are being especially catered for with these hat-tips.

That’s not a bad thing, though. If on only a handful of occasions some of these ‘younger’ viewers actually make the effort to see the source material being parodied, then it can only be good for the cultural memory of our population. Too much classic entertainment is being allowed to decay into the vaults of history, with the lame defence that it was “before their time”. With DVD and Satellite/Cable Telly, and its entourage of archive repeats, that’s a load of nonsense anyhow.

This DVD set features 15 episodes, extended with censor-busting re-edits, as well as 48 deleted scenes. Disc Three begins with a clip that introduces the fact that The Cleveland Show is out there as a spin-off from Family Guy. Incidentally, The Cleveland Show has gained infamy on YouTube, due to Cleveland stating at the end of one episode that “9-11 was an inside job”.

More Star Wars Fun from Family Guy - It's A Trap in DecemberAside from the commentaries and deleted scenes (noted below in our episode guide), you also get on the third disc “The Road to the Multiverse”, a breakdown to the latest Hope and Crosby-inspired episode. This story was inspired by Sliders, which was in fact its working title! The Disney-inspired segment poached former Disney talent to realise it. In another scene they parody rival Robot Chicken, which is a bit of a hoot considering they constantly take pot-shots at each other, as both franchises regularly send up the “Star Wars” universe (indeed, Family Guy’s third special edition devoted to such tomfoolery, “It’s A Trap” being a homage to “Return of The Jedi”, is out on DVD and Blu-ray just after Christmas – hopefully watch this space for a review).

Another DVD extra is “Family Guy Karaoke”. This has the musical clips from the episodes with the song words (and a bouncing ball to indicate when to sing the lyrics), so probably not the ticket for those wishing to do the ‘full treatment’ to the songs – maybe next time we can have the vocal track faded out?  The songs included are: “Gotta Give Up The Road”, “Left Foot, Right Foot”, “Road To Rhode Island”, “Hic-A-Doo-La”, “You’ve Got a Lot To See”, “My Fat Baby Loves To Eat”, “You Do!”, “You and I Are So Awfully Different”, “Buy Me a Rainbow”, “You Have Aids”, “The FCC Song”, “When We Swing”, “Shipoopi”, “Noble Indian Chief”, “This Is One Fine Day To Be Nude”, “Evil Monkey Song”, “My Black Son”, “Drunken Irish Dad”, “Prom Night Dumpster Baby”, “Sodomy”, “Me & Jesus”, “I Like Farts”, “G-Chord”, “The Handi-Quacks Theme Song”, “The Pot Song”, “The Friendship Song” and “It’s A Wonderful Day For Pie”.

Now, the little sticking point, which was at first a minor problem which has grown to ludicrous proportions throughout the DVD releases of the series: this isn’t strictly “Season 9” of Family Guy.

It all went wrong from the “Season 1” DVD release onwards (which was actually all 7 episodes of Season 1 and seven from Season 2).  They got back on course for Season 3 but Season 4 was split over what were described as the “Season 4” and “Season 5” sets, although three episodes from Season 4 weren’t on either (in fact, “Stewie B Goode”, “Bango Was His Name Oh”, and “Stu & Stewie's Excellent Adventure” were edited together into a DVD ‘feature film’ called “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story”, released separately!).

The DVD set “Season 6” was Season 5’s first 13 episodes, and the “Season 7” set was the other five Season 5 episodes combined with the first seven Season 6 episodes (minus that season’s premiere, “Blue Harvest”, the first in their “Star Wars” trilogy, which was again released separately).

Season 6’s later episodes “Back To The Woods”, “Play It Again, Brian”, “The Former Life of Brian” and “Long John Peter” were added to the “Season 8” DVD set, along with the first nine stories of the actual Season 7. I gather that all this chicanery with episodes was so that no “Season” release was more than three discs in girth. Naturally, strict orthodox appreciators find this treatment a trifle galling.

So, to summarise, this new “Season 9” release is, in fact, the last seven episodes of the actual Season 7, together with the first eight episodes of Season 8.  Hope you paid attention there, I’ll be asking questions later!

The Family Guy Season 9 DVD set is out now, has a ‘15’ certificate, and a RRP of £27.99 – or get it for less at

A complete Family Guy Seasons 1–9 box-set (well, the seasons according to the UK DVD releases, that is) is also available, running across 27 discs, also including “Family Guy Uncovered”, again has a ‘15’ certificate, and a RRP of £169.99, or once more get it for less at


Family Guy “Season 9” - DVD Episode Guide

Seth MacFarlane as Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian, Glen Quagmire, Tom Tucker.

Alex Borstein as Lois Pewterschmidt Griffin, Loretta Brown, Tricia Takanawa.

Seth Green as Chris Griffin

Mila Kunis as Meg Griffin

Patrick Warburton as Joe Swanson

Mike Henry as Cleveland

Adam West as Mayor West


120. “Fox-y Lady

Lois stumbles into a new a job as a reporter for a TV news channel. Her first assignment is to investigative liberal filmmaker Michael Moore. When her story implicates conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, the scandal doesn’t get her the credit she expects. Peter sees a chance to use his wife's newly found status to pitch his own cartoon series.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Danny Smith, David A Goodman, Pete Michels and Alex Borstein


121. “Not All Dogs Go To Heaven

Stewie builds a matter transporter in his bedroom, and unites the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation – yes, ALL playing themselves. He bullies them into spending the day with him. Meg falls ill with the mumps, and takes the path of becoming a born-again Christian when she watches a religious TV show starring Kirk Cameron.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Seth Macfarlane, David A Goodman, Danny Smith and Greg Colton; Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


122.  Episode 420

Brian gets arrested for marijuana possession, which leads Brian to organise a protest on his behalf.  Peter and the boys accidentally kill Quagmire's pet cat, in one of the sickest subplots in the series yet.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Seth Macfarlane, David A Goodman, Patrick Meighan and Deborah Winslow; Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


123. “Stewroids

Joe has a young daughter, who takes it upon herself to give Stewie a good hiding. As a consequence, Stewie joins a gym with Peter, and is taking steroids before he knows it. His newly toned physique leads to even more trouble. Chris starts to date Connie D'Amico, and soon realises the similarity between popularity and physics: “what goes up, must come down”.

DVD Extras: Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


124. “We Love You Conrad

Jillian, voiced by Drew Barrymore, Brian’s ex-girlfriend, is getting married. Brian is distraught, but is distracted when he meets Lauren Conrad, star of The Hills. Brian realises he may have met his perfect match, but can he ever get over Jillian?

DVD Extras: Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


125.  Three Kings

Peter hosts three adaptations of Stephen King stories. Firstly, 12-year old versions of Peter, Quagmire, Cleveland and Joe travel a railway track on a journey of self-discovery, narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. Secondly, Brian is injured in a car crash and is ‘rescued’ by Stewie, his ‘number one fan’. Finally, Peter and Cleveland befriend each other in prison.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Seth Macfarlane, Chris Sheridan, Alex Sulkin, Dominic Bianchi and Joe Vaus.


126. “Peter’s Progress

A psychic reads Peter’s palm, revealing that a previous incarnation was Griffin Peterson, a gentrified noble who vied for the attentions of Lady Redbush in 17th Century England, and in newly-founded American colony, Quahog. King Stewart (Stewie) reigns supreme, and the smartest dog in the region was the Court Jester. Army Lieutenants were just boys, and merry old England had a passion for sit-com How I Met Your Mother.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Seth Macfarlane, Chris Sheridan, Wellesley Wild and Brian Iles


127. “Road To The Multiverse

In a homage to Sliders, Stewie and Brian travel to different versions of Quahog, encountering different realities, and a combination of animation techniques.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Seth Macfarlane, David A Goodwin, Wellesley Wild, Greg Colton and Seth Green; Artist Commentary by Greg Colton, Paul Guerra, Darlie Brewster, Chris Finnegan and Mark Caballero; Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


128. “Family Goy

Lois finds a lump on her breast, and goes to the doctor’s for a cancer screening. It is shown to thankfully be benign, but her family medical history reveals some information about her lineage. Peter latches on to his family's new found faith, but is visited by the ghost of his father. This soon changes his outlook, and an old friend sets him straight.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Danny Smith, David A Goodman, Mark Hentemann, James Purdum and Alex Borstein; Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


129. “Spies Reminiscent of Us

Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd move to Spooner Street and quickly befriend the Griffins. When they find out that the actors really are “Spies Like Us”, Stewie and Brian get involved in a Soviet spying mission.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Seth Macfarlane, David A Goodman, Alex Sulkin and Cyndi Tang; Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


130. “Brian’s Got A Brand New Bag

Despite the teasing he gets for doing so, Brian dates an older woman. This gets even worse when she breaks her hip, and Brian has to be at her beckon call.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Seth Macfarlane, Danny Smith, Tom Devanney and Pete Michels; Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


131. “Hannah Banana

Stewie attends the Hannah Montana concert that is in town, and discovers a terrible secret about the teen star. Chris has to try and prove to his family that the ‘Evil Monkey’ he says is in his closet is real.

DVD Extras: Commentary by Seth Macfarlane, Danny Smith, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, John Holmquist and Walter Murphy; Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


132. “Quagmire’s Baby

When Quagmire has to take responsibility for a baby that Peter finds, it’s no wonder that it looks just like him. Stewie clones himself with terrible results, especially when Brian wants the same treatment.

DVD Extras: Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


133. “Jerome is the New Black

With Cleveland gone to his own show, the bar gang realise they need to find a replacement, and it’s only right that it should be another black guy. Jerome seems to fit the bill, but Peter is shocked to find that he and Lois share a secret. Brian offers to become their fourth member, he finds that Glen actually hates him.

DVD Extras: Commentary by John Viener, Brian Iles, Michael Rundle and Kevin Michael Richardson; Deleted scenes on Disc 3.


134. “Dog Gone

Brian accidentally kills another dog, and is shocked to find that no-one else cares. He tries to make people see that the life of a dog should be just as valuable as that of a human. Lois hires a maid, whose major fault is that she doesn’t listen to Peter.

DVD Extras: Deleted scenes on Disc 3.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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