I’ll admit, when I added it to my Netflix queue, it took some getting used to. Basically, American Dad! episodes were just half-as-good Family Guy episodes… that I hadn’t seen yet. So they were a Family Guy placebo, really. I should have known better. But I’m done with that shit-bomb of a show now. The last episode I viewed (Season 3, Episode 7: “Surro-Gate”) saw to that. But before I get to the episode, let me point out my major beefs with the characters.
Stan Smith – The so-called “leader” of the household, he becomes a weaker, more pathetic excuse for a man with each season… letting both his wife and his smart-mouthed kids run roughshod all over him. His only real place in the show (other than being the eponymous “hero”) is to be the embodiment of every “clueless husband” trope in the book, which makes me sick!
Francine Smith – Obviously a “ditzy trophy wife” character, she loses a bit more of her trophy “shine” with each season, slowly morphing into the “mouthy, overly-opinionated bitch” that no amount of breasts ever makes up for! I saw the line for this character (beyond which, I wouldn’t allow her in my home anymore) coming when I struggled through her defiance in Season 1, Episodes 11 and 12 (“Stan of Arabia, Parts I and II”). Now, she mainly just serves to undermine Stan and mouth off to him without any apropos negative recourse for her actions.
Roger the Alien – Along with the German fish (Klaus), Roger is mainly just a weak addition to the show to mildly differentiate it from Family Guy, as it is nowhere near as good. Unlike Klaus, however, Roger is just Seth MacFarlane patting himself on the back for being able to do an adequately-passable Paul Lynde impersonation… and it’s just gotten old. I know I love Seth MacFarlane, but this self-indulgent shit he’s always doing just makes me want to hate him.
Hayley Smith – Obviously just a bad excuse for Seth’s sister Rachael MacFarlane to get a steady paycheck, the character is such a preachy liberal derivative that it drives me nuts. I mean, I’m pretty liberal on a lot of things, but this smart-alecky brat that still lives under her father’s auspices but makes no deference to him at all – makes liberals as a whole look badly. And that pisses me off.
Steve Smith – Not wanting to rock the boat of the estrogenic powerhouse that is the Smith household (of course), the character of Steve is also a limp-wristed version of a young man. He’s a nerd (Which pisses me off that they also stereotype him as being into D&D, but I won’t get into that here.), a weakling, and also decides to get mouthy with his Dad when he discovers he has never killed anyone (Season 3, Episode 6: “The 42-Year-Old Virgin”). Yeah… that’s right: NONE of the kids in this show respect their Dad. Sickening!
The rest of the characters are just terrible stereotypes that Seth unsuccessfully tries to wring for every ounce of comedic juice, only to come out with just a few drops… so they’re hardly worth mentioning.
As for the episode itself (“Surro-Gate”), it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I will never again watch American Dad!. And before I get into the review of the episode, let me just tell you where I’m coming from so that you don’t get the wrong idea of me…
* I’m all for gay rights. I was an Ally and active member in the CCBC Rainbow Club when I attended college there. I was an integral member in both an on-campus “Day of Silence”, a marcher for transgender rights (with the CCBC RC) in the Baltimore Gay Pride parade, and was an outspoken protester during the Baltimore Chrissy Polis incident. I’m more liberal than most gay people I know, in that TV/TS/TG gay people are typically discriminated against in gay clubs!
* I am adamantly anti-marriage. It’s not because I don’t think men and women (or any other combination thereof) should be happy living together for the rest of their lives – it’s because I don’t think the STATE should be involved in that shit! You start bringing courtrooms, licenses, and paperwork into the eternal union of two people, and you make it more business-like than trading a daughter for a dowry of two cows and a goat. Not to mention that when the law is involved in a marriage’s creation, it also must be a part of its undoing… and it gets “a slice of the action” every time! I think Doug Stanhope actually said it best.
* I am anti-procreation. And yes, I realize the hypocrisy of saying that as a Dad. But had I known then what I know now, hell – I never would’ve even married that cheating whore because I wouldn’t have believed in marriage to begin with. Case closed. Don’t get me wrongly – I love my kids and wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, but if I could time travel, they likely wouldn’t exist, because I’d warn myself against having their mother in my life. As for my stance against procreation (which, naturally, is pro-abortion as well) – I think the world is crowded enough, don’t you? If you want to issue forth another colicky shitbag-swaddled version of you into the world, there should at least be a one-baby limit per person (i.e. – If you were involved in the birth of one, even as a surrogate, you are not allowed to have another!). There should also be an IQ test involved… and only geniuses are allowed to breed. (Again, having three kids myself, I realize the inherent hypocrisy. But this is clearly a “Had I known then what I know now…” situation.) Also, I think Bill Burr summed this up nicely.
* And of course, you all know my stance on traditional gender roles in hetero societal and personal relationships… fucking FOR.
That said, “Surro-Gate” had me rooting for Stan merely because he was SO opposed in the show! His wife opposed him, the gay couple opposed him, his daughter opposed him… and to add to “the norm”, the episode also threw in a “Rainbow Truckers Brigade” and a lesbian couple with two kids to oppose him as well. Stan was ideologically wrong, but the way he was brow-beaten the whole show made the “Root for the underdog!” reflex in me shift into overdrive. It wasn’t even handled correctly in the show – just call the cops, arrest Stan, save the baby. But noooooooo… they had to beat the audience over the head that only the militant gay contingents of truckers, a lesbian couple, the two gay reporters, and all of Stan’s family could stop him.
And they didn’t even stop him! It was his own change of heart that stopped him!
And how does he get repaid for being betrayed by his wife (who carried the gay couple’s surrogate child in her womb against Stan’s wishes!), pursued by the local world, talked down to by a lesbian couple (who call him a fucking “bigot” even while they’re congratulating themselves for what good people they are!), and then finally betraying his own moral code by doing the right thing?
He gets punched in the face by one of the gay guys, gets a restraining order slapped on him, and then is forced to continue to humiliate himself vying for the gay couple’s affections as he watches from afar while his disloyal family enjoys a picnic with them and their new baby! Utter… fucking… horse-shit.
I will never watch that awful show again! The writer of that episode (I’m purposefully not mentioning him.) is a Gender Traitor of the highest order, and Seth MacFarlane is an accessory to the crime.