|Family Guy: Volume Four (2006)
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, Seth Green, Adam West, Patrick Warburton
Probably the first thing you need to know about this three-disc collection is that it’s literally volume four, not season four – in other words, it contains episodes 14-27 of the show’s fourth season. In order to have the complete season, you’ll need to buy Volume Three, too; both sets together will run you about $50, which is roughly 1/5 of what it costs to get any season of “The Simpsons.” This is all sorts of uncool, seeing as how it was DVD sales that brought the show back from the dead after it had been cancelled by Fox, but that’s what loss-leader sales at Best Buy are for.
This is the season that marked “Family Guy’s” famous resuscitation after a two-year layoff, and if you’re a fan, you know what to expect – largely nonsensical plots, barely strung together by random gags and pop culture references. If anything, the time off seems to have elevated the writing; these episodes include a fairly brilliant musical poke at the FCC, a 20-minute “A-Team”gag, a loving tribute to Arthur Fonzarelli, and a sizeable cameo from Frank Sinatra, Jr. There are still questions about the show’s worth, of course, and whether you find it inspired, lazily disjointed, irreverent or simply un-PC for the sake of being un-PC will probably have everything to do with your general worldview. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, nothing here will change your mind.The set’s extras are plentiful, if not exactly essential, including a handful of featurettes, the obligatory commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and multi-angle views. Still no foldout poster of Mila Kunis, sadly, but there’s always next season – er, volume.