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Animation hasn’t been redefined and revitalised since the late ‘80s arrival of Matt Groening’s The Simpsons - a show in which morals and etiquette were thrown out of the window all in the name of entertainment.

The show prided itself on humour that appealed to all ages, as well as being a satire on modern day life and celebrities…disgracing them along the way of course.

But now there is another animation to jostle for the same crown, and it comes with the name Family Guy, created by Seth MacFarlane who also contributes his vocals to some of the characters.

It revolves around the Griffin family and their madcap adventures…the Griffin household includes two teenagers, a cynical dog who is smarter than everyone else, and a megalomaniacal mutant baby who makes numerous attempts to eradicate his parents and siblings. Heading up this eclectic household is Peter Griffin, who does his best to do what’s right for the family, but along the way, he makes mistakes that are the stuff of legend...

This DVD release is a two-disc set comprising all 15 episodes from the second series.

Family Guy: Season 2

The Episodes
Da Boom / Brian in Love / I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar / A Picture Is Worth 1,000 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 / When You Wish Upon a Weinstein

If anyone expects a politically correct drama about the more sane things in life, please walk away now. Instead, those of you who enjoy politically incorrect satires, with a slightly surreal touch, then grab yourself a copy of this DVD.

Family Guy is fortunately very amusing, and very well made. Each episode is a scathing yet entertaining romp, with quirky situations and quick-witted dialogue. Characters are shaped, set-pieces are created, and relationships made as the second series takes its course.

The animation quality is quite good - better than South Park (mind you, everything is…), slightly inferior to The Simpsons - and it is safe to say this works best as an animation, rather than a live-action show.

Yes, it may be Yank-ish, but it is also very enjoyable, and after all, for every hard-hitting drama people need light-hearted relief, and this certainly does the job.

Family Guy: Season 2

Video
1.33:1 Standard. Like most TV shows, this is presented in fullscreen, so any hopes of high-resolution widescreen are officially dashed. However, for standard 4:3, this is good quality: no compression signs, fairly good colour definition and no glaring artefacts to sully the viewing experience.

Family Guy: Season 2

Audio
Dolby Digital 2.0 (English). Although advertised as a 5.1 soundtrack, Family Guy: Season 2 only comes with a more bog-standard 2.0 soundtrack. Again, it isn’t as bad as some may think, as although the front channels are the only ones used, they do try and envelope the viewer as much as possible through high ambience levels and crisp audio quality. For what we get, this is good, but yes, a 5.1 would of course been the preferred choice for any serious DVD aficionado.

Family Guy: Season 2

Extras
What extras? Like the first season, 20th Century Fox don’t give us as much as a trailer on this release. Oh wait…I forgot the tantalising menus (see below) and episode access that are classed as ‘extras’. Thanks for that.

The menus are mainly static, although the odd visual event will be triggered. Anyhow, they are as basic as you can get, and therefore easy to navigate.

Overall
Some people may be offended by the clearly mature humour on offer, others however will respond with an enthusiastic cry for more…in which case, they (and me), will be pleased to know that yes, a third season was made and is on its way to R2 DVD.

The repeat value for the season is good too, very good in fact. Each time you watch, there will be some kind of amusing visual joke or witty quip that at times will make you laugh ‘til it hurts.

The DVD itself is quite good presentation-wise - more than adequate video and audio - but it is let down big time by the complete lack of extra material. The folk across the Pond are getting commentaries and other titbits on their release, so why do us Brits always get short-changed?

Although this may not be the highest quality DVD ever, because of the content, which, when combined with the low RRP, makes this a recommended purchase.


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