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Archive for April, 2010


Sundays With Seth: All ‘American Dad’ Edition

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Can you imagine ‘American Dad’ without Roger? It just wouldn’t work at all. Episodes with Roger in a pivotal role are generally at least twice as funny as those without him, which is probably why we’re seeing more and more of him. That said, this week Klaus actually got himself pulled into a pretty solid B-story, which is a rarity.

Klaus is a character that’s written much like Meg on ‘Family Guy,’ as if Seth MacFarlane and company have no idea what to do with him, but since they’ve established him as part of the family, they’re kind of stuck with him. But this week, working in tandem with Haley, Klaus actually got to do something, and that something turned into hilarity. Disturbing as all hell, but hilarious nonetheless.

Whereas Roger is a psychopath (or a sociopath, we really don’t know that much about him), without being particularly evil, Klaus is just lonely. So lonely, in fact, that he’ll do almost anything to be a part of almost anything anyone in the family is doing. This week, though, he was but the first part of his and Haley’s attempts to convince Steve that he was lucid dreaming, when in fact he wasn’t.

The whole way in which the lucid dreaming storyline played out was incredibly clever. The little dropped hint about the red ball being his clue that he’s in a lucid state was all that was needed to establish the ruse. That I didn’t even see this particular ploy coming made it all the more fun to watch, though things took a disturbing turn when Steve decided to pleasure himself in the car on the way to school, while Haley was driving.

Um … gross.

Regardless, everything else about that entire sequence was pure brilliance. Showing up late to school in his underwear, with burgers, telling off the teacher, standing up to the guy who was with “his” girl, and then leaping out of the window with her to fly. Okay, so things went too far, but it was worth it for the sight gag of the girl with the metal sticking out of her gut.

Even better than that was the A-story. Because of how the character of Roger has been established, he can do and say absolutely anything, and it’s within the parameters of acceptable for him. And we still love him. And the Smiths forgive and love him. I’m sure Stan will, after he gets some time to calm down.

After that inadvertent drunken kiss (Klaus would be so jealous), the tactics Roger employed to keep Stan and Francine separated just kept getting better and better. I loved how easily Stan was distracted from whatever was going on with Francine, by things as simple as a race to the car.

The culmination of Francine buried underground was the best, with Roger trying to jam food down her air pipe, including Sun Chips (which aren’t as healthy as you might think). For a moment, I thought he might actually tell Stan the truth, but then I remembered that this is Roger. He doesn’t tell the truth until he’s exhausted every other avenue of possibility, usually a few times.

When he finally did fess up, even though it was obvious that he was going to have buried Stan in the same way he had Francine, it was still funny to see. Even more so to hear Stan shrieking and yelling at him from underground. The “Previously” and “Next” framing sequence, explaining, establishing and eliminating the “High Five” necklaces enhanced the comedy, while explaining Roger’s insistence on keeping the kiss a secret. After all, best friends with Stan is one of his most passionate desires. Even better, the costume in the “Next” sequence was never explained.

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