First season review.
In my continuing mission to decide if the first three seasons of Family Guy are better than the later ones we move onto the second season. The first season turned out to be pretty decent, but was a little lack lustre in the earlier episodes, only really taking off after the halfway mark.
The second season marks an expansion to the cast with the addition of Adam West as, well, Mayor Adam West and Mila Kunis taking over from the lovely Lacey Chabert as Meg. Both of these changes prove to be fantastic, especially Adam West - who gives a wonderful self-deprecating performance as a deranged and frankly idiotic version of himself. Also, as I mentioned previously the change from Lacey to Mila allowed the show to take a more aggressive direction with the character of Meg, Lacey made her very sympathetic. But while Mila is accomplished at playing an unpleasant and shrill individual with great comic effect, the second season doesn't really take advantage of this, Meg remains somewhat normal and is treated (mostly) like any other member of the family.
The running order for my DVD set is different to the one listed elsewhere; as such I'm never quite sure which episodes are from the first and second season, but the set I have here contains Da Boom, Brian in Love, I Am Peter, Here Me Roar, A Picture is worth A 1000 Bucks, Fifteen Minutes of Shame, Road to Rhode Island, Let's Go to the Hop, Dammit Janet!, There's Something About Paulie, He's too Sexy for his Fat, E. Peterbus Unum, The Story on Page One, Wasted Talent, Fore Father and When You Wish Upon A Weinstein.
Some of the best running gags make their first appearance in this season; Adam West being one of them, but the excellent series premiere Da Boom also introduces the Chicken Fights, overly extended and exciting action sequences which occur between Peter and Ernie, the giant chicken. It also contains a few of my favourite one off TV Show spoofs, especially 'Sherry and the Anus'. Unfortunately it also introduces the terrible running gag of 'overly long moments' which is most typified by Peter scraping his shin in Wasted Talent. I've never found a single of those moments funny, I find them highly irritating and boring instead. Waste of my precious seconds those scenes are.
The best episodes in this season are Da Boom - with it's superb plotting and hilarious Dallas reference at the end; Fifteen Minutes of Shame - which partially parodies reality TV shows and partially attacks shows who replace an actor but keep the same character (something with Family Guy is guilty of, making the joke a double whammy); the amazing Let's Go to the Hop - an episode with a great musical number and one of the best stories in the season; He's Too Sexy for his Fat and Wasted Talent - with the brilliant (if over used) parody of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But on average the season is a lot tighter and better than the previous one, the pacing on the stories is stronger and the tempo of the show beats better. Likewise the voice acting has improved, and while the actors haven't found their exact groove yet they're getting there.
The second season shows a vast improvement over the previous one, which (as I've said before) is always desirable, a show should get better as time passes, not worse. You expect each season to show improvements otherwise there really wasn't much point to having a new season. This is the case here as the second season contains some of the best episodes in the show and a introduces a lot of the best running gags - alongside one really duff one (see above).
But it's the presence of Adam West who makes this such a great season to watch, he's dynamite!
As before, there are none on my version, but I believe later editions have some.
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Run time: 333 mins
Soundtrack: English 2.0 Surrounf
Subtitles: English HOH
*I wonder if I can manage to get to 101 DVD reviews before Rev/Views reaches the two year mark. Worth a try.
First season review.