American Dad 8.1 Review - "Love, AD Style"

rating: 3

American Dad! has often been viewed as second-tier McFarlane. Not as good as Family Guy, but better than The Cleveland Show. Me, I enjoy all three, and while I recognize that American Dad! stumbled quite a bit in its first season or two, it€™s far better now, and holds its own as one of the funniest shows out there. While the season opener didn€™t quite live up to what I expected for it, it was still quite decent and acceptable. I just wish it had been more. The plot centered on Roger opening up his own lounge in the attic and hiring Haley to sing for him. This goes well until he starts to think he€™s in love with her. The B plot has Stan deciding to get a new car (to be exact, a €œHummie COK Guzzler€). He€™s offended when the salesman offers him a low trade-in price for his old SUV and takes it upon himself to sell it. This goes as well as you€™d expect. There were several laugh-out-loud moments in this episode. I loved that COK stood for Carbon, Oxygen and Potassium (look on a periodic table), and the suggestion that another C should be added was amusing. I also really loved the bit where Stan, while trying to sell his SUV, ends up with a woman and a lion on fire. Plus it was great seeing the return of Stelio Kontos (Stelio€STELIO KONTOS!), and the final scene with Roger wearing Jeff€™s skin was pretty damn epic. Anytime Roger goes insane and embarks on one of his little plans that winds up in horrible death and violence is a good time. In many ways, however, the episode in general felt like low-hanging fruit. All the targets were easy and there wasn€™t much that was notably edgy or memorable here. The jokes worked well overall, but weren€™t anything great. Throughout the episode, I kept feeling that something was missing. Maybe it€™s that there was actually enough material here for two separate episodes. They could have done one with Roger obsessing over Haley, spoofing various stalker movies and the like, and then another with Stan going slowly mad trying to sell the his SUV; something that might have ended with him basically running an entire used car lot to sell just one vehicle, or perhaps running one in competition with Stelio€STELIO KONTOS! As it is, I think both stories suffered by being put together in the same episode. Those complaints aside, I still think this was a good, solid, entertaining story. I just think that it could have been much, much more.
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Chris Swanson is a freelance writer and blogger based in Phoenix, Arizona, where winter happens to other people. His blog is at wilybadger.wordpress.com