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American Dad!: Volume 9
Score: 85%
Rating: TV-PG
Publisher: Fox Home Entertainment
Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 418 Mins.
Genre: Comedy/Adult-Themed/Animated
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0

American Dad!: Volume 9 once again lets us peek into the wild and wacky lives of the Smith Family of Langley Falls. There's a lot of insanity this season, including Hayley and Jeff now being married and living in the Smith household. Naturally, Roger will be taking advantage of this and has Jeff cleaning his attic bar, Roger's Place, on a daily basis and then robbing him of his payment as he walks home. Add to that Roger's odd crush he develops on Hayley after she sings in his bar, all sultry like, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Stan tries to break up the friendship between Snot and Steve by placing Snot in a fake witness protection program and, naturally, things go awry. Stan and Francine finally go on vacation at Francine's insistence that they spend some quality time together, but that won't stop Stan from taking on a killer assignment. Meanwhile, he's also spending a ton of time at the CIA men's club, so Francine decides to become "Frank from Chicago" for a while to see what all the fuss is about. Surely that will end well... We also get to see a bit of back story for Francine when we discover she was "Baby Frannie," the baby who fell down a well many years before. Francine has to rethink what she has done with the life that was saved when she was rescued.

Roger marries Stan's mom, which makes for some awkward family time, while Stan remembers a painful childhood memory of his father leaving during a hilarious stage production episode called "Blood Crieth Unto Heaven." This episode, in particular, is especially cool because each act is introduced by Patrick Stewart as himself, not playing the animated Avery Bullock. Funny stuff.

In addition to marrying Stan's mom, Roger's wealthy persona Max Jets gets out of jail and the family finds themselves fighting over his money, only to be outdone by a young gold digger. Roger also finds himself desperate to win Frannie's approval after she accuses him of buying all of the awards he possesses and he concocts a grand scheme to accomplish this.

One of the more shocking episodes finds Roger revealing his alien identity to Jeff, a known blabbermouth, and the lengths Stan will have to go to in order to keep the secret. Let's just say that Jeff finds himself in a rather awkward place following this episode and the season finale will have Jeff working together with Sinbad the comedian in an effort to get back to Hayley.

We also see Stan become Bullock's protégé only to have the CIA try to force him into betraying Bullock. Stan also embarks on a James Bond style mission against Black Villain AKA the school principal and Tearjerker AKA Roger. Frannie attempts to put some spark into she and Stan's sex life with a little spanking, but it gets out of hand when Roger instructs Stan on the merits of kinkiness. She also tries to get the family to stick to something for once in their lives by participate in Lent. This doesn't go well, as you can imagine. Finally, Frannie also gets a chance to reinvent Stan when he gets a bump on the head and she decides to turn him into the perfect husband, only to have that plan go completely sideways.

Last, but not least, we get to revisit Klaus' story when his body is discovered encased in ice and returned to the CIA. Sadly, as is Stan's way, he takes too long to get the little goldfish to his body and it begins to decompose, so Klaus must find a new body to inhabit to finally accomplish his signature skiing move, "Da Flippity Flop." Bet you'll never guess whose body he decides to take for a ride.

Overall, American Dad!: Volume 9 is hilariously funny, just like always, but I found it to be a bit over the top with the constant homosexual references. It seems to have been incredibly ramped up this season, although I didn't see last season so it may have started then. Almost every episode seemed to focus pretty heavily on homosexual gags and comments and I just don't recall this being a constant thing in past seasons. We all know Roger is a cross-dressing, sexually indiscriminate alien and that's fine. He is hilarious, but this season the content seemed to extend to almost every male character. I'm certainly not a prude, but it got tiresome pretty quickly.

There aren't any special features on American Dad!: Volume 9, but the episodes are funny and some are particularly memorable. If you are a fan of the show and didn't catch the episodes while they aired, you'll want to see them, but if you aren't necessarily collecting the series, catch it on Netflix.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins
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