Spun off some time ago from the better known and generally more accomplished Family Guy, American Dad enters into its sixth season. Stan Smith, a CIA-employed conservative and his wife Francine have two teenage children Hayley and Steve, as well as a grey-skinned alien named Roger and a man trapped in the body of a goldfish, named Klaus. Much hilarity ensues.

*****

Although it is not as strong or consistent a show as Family Guy, American Dad is not without its strengths and it clearly has a good following. Wisely eschewing Family Guy’s now trade-mark flashback/fantasy clips in favour of something a little more conventional, structurally, this sixth season is for the most part a lot of fun.

Tracking the arc of the season as a whole, the better episodes undoubtedly lie towards the beginning, with the mid-point episode Rapture’s Delight a particular high point. That episode finds Stan missing out on the rapture, then losing Francine to Jesus, before we catch up with him seven years later in a post-apocalyptic future where he must help Jesus to rescue Francine from the Antichrist. It is brilliantly written, imaginatively animated stuff, though it does make the drop in quality and imagination that besets the rest of the season a little more noticeable.

Towards the end of the season, Merlot Down Dirty Shame, where Roger gets drunk and tries it on with Francine and Bully for Steve, where Stan bullies Steve to toughen him up bring the quality up again, but it’s really the first half dozen episodes of the series that contain the biggest laughs and the most creative material.

No doubt this series will continue to run and run, as audience appetites for adult animated comedy continue and this is certainly adult-oriented. There is a lot of swearing, with the f-bomb being dropped every now and then, along with a liberal smattering of violence and occasional nudity. Not a complaint particularly, more an observation in the interests of providing information.

None of this is up there with the best of Family Guy, but then that is a pretty high water mark to aim for. It is good solid stuff and occasionally excellent and accordingly well worth your time. Season Six of American Dad is out now on DVD and you can buy or rent it here.

Extras: Audio Commentaries, Deleted Scenes, Rapture’s Delight Making-Of Doc, Montage of clips featuring damage to animals

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.