Stan Smith, who works for the C.I.A. and is constantly on the alert for terrorist activity, will go to extremes to protect his beloved America from harm; as evidenced by the terror-alert color code on his fridge, and his frequent knee-jerk reaction of shooting holes in the toaster whenever the toast pops up. In addition to Stan's wife and teenage children, the Smith household has two rather unconventional members. There's Roger, the sarcastic space alien who rescued Stan from Area 51, who deeply resents the fact that he's not allowed to leave the house, and therefore, has been reduced to drinking wine and smoking cigarettes, and Klaus, a lascivious, German-speaking goldfish; the result of a C.I.A. experiment gone seriously wrong, where the C.I.A. tried to give a fish a German man's brain. Stan's son is a dorky teenager who tries to be cool. His wife has had a past life of sex and drugs.
Beginning with season four, in the opening sequence, you can see Barry, Toshi, and Snot looking into an adult store. See more »
In the Smith house there's a window at the stair landing that appears through most of season one, but is never seen again in subsequent seasons. See more »
CIA Health Insurance only covers visits to the Hopsital. That's a Hospital for Bunny Rabbits.
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The Credits end with a Security Guard from Fuzzy Door Productions waving and saying "Bye, have a beautiful time!" See more »
Up until the '08-'09 season, the opening credits featured a shot of Stan looking at a newspaper headline, which would be a joke headline relating to recent events. Episodes shown on Adult Swim have the headlines blanked out, leaving Stan looking at just white space. The credit sequence for new episodes for '08 - '09 eliminate this sequence altogether. See more »
On first glance, American Dad looks like a carbon copy of Seth MacFarlane's "other" show Family Guy. The animation is near identical, the lead character Stan Smith's knuckle headed optimism and in-your-face presentation doesn't so much recall Peter Griffin as grab you by the throat and scream in your face and Roger the alien and Klaus the goldfish work in much the same way Stewie and Brian do in the previous show. So far so very familiar, as though MacFarlane dressed up his fourth FG series with different characters when it was initially cancelled so as to stay on the air but stick with it, and American Dad will eventually reveal itself as a superior cartoon to it's predecessor.
Sure, the humour is once again a mixture of insightful witticisms, biting satire and odd bursts into toilet humour but rather than the chaos of Family Guy where the plot seems to revolve round the jokes, here the opposite is true. The flashbacks are almost totally absent and instead each episode features a structure and character development that is normally missing from the first show. Okay some of the episodes fall a bit flat but nevertheless, there are considerably more hits than there are misses and when it's good, it's brilliant. "A Smith In The Hand" for example is in this writer's humble opinion, the funniest thing MacFarlane and his team have ever produced.
What's more, American Dad is considerably more politically-orientated and everything you could conceive about the USA's current state of fear mongering and distrust is put beneath a microscope and parodied mercilessly. Stan Smith is a boorish depiction of all that paranoia rolled into one and some of his outbursts and overreactions are hilarious. Take the scene where he locks up his new Arab neighbours in his back garden for instance in a moment that scarily recalls the nightmarish conditions of Guantanamo bay yet still manages to be side splittingly funny or any of his numerous conceited one-liners ("only women have emotions son, they come from their ovaries").
Only time will tell if American Dad can outlive the shadow of it's far more successful big brother, but like the relationship between Futurama and the Simpsons beforehand, it's often a far funnier and considerably more focused show that deserves a wider audience. Highly recommended.
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