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Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side

Genre: , ,

Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis

Creator: Seth MacFarlane

Rated: NR

Review By:
Tom Herrmann

Suny Purchase '11

"When life gives you lemons, you clone those lemons and make super-lemons." -Clone High

Release Date: December 22nd, 2009
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Overall Grade: B

Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side

Review By: Tom Herrmann

Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Dark Side

Movie Grade: B

DVD Features Grade: B-

Overall Grade: B

There is so much that can be said about Family Guy. Since its premiere after the Super Bowl in 1999, Family Guy has supplied America with outrageous humor, and the Fox Network with more than enough controversy. Taking the basic animated sitcom formula of The Honeymooners, The Flintstones, and The Simpsons; Family Guy adds its own spin in the form of edgier humor, and often cutting away from the story for, sometimes completely unrelated jokes. Coming from someone who has watched the series develop over the past eleven years and, due to several cancelations, eight seasons; this show isn’t going anywhere.

Following up on their parody of the original Star Wars – that’s Episode IV for the uncultured readers – Family Guy is now tackling The Empire Strikes Back – Episode V if you’re still not following. These parodies follow a simple formula of creating nearly shot-for-shot recreations of scenes and making the characters Family Guy characters, changing dialog to fit the characters, mocking the fuax pas of the Star Wars movies, and of course non sequitur. When they first made Blue Harvest, the parody of the original Star Wars, it was a breathe of fresh air for their programming which had become trite as it reached its hundredth episode: being the ninety-ninth episode, Blue Harvest managed to give the viewers something new outside of their now structured chaos.

The problem with a show like Family Guy is that it can only be random for so long. At first it followed a typical sitcom formula with random jumps to irrelevant or somewhat relevant things: something like a commercial, flashback, or fantasy. After the shows three year hiatus, it came back with a gradually more and more ridiculous structure. It has actually reached a point where the story that at one point acted as binding concrete for these clips, now acts as segways to these interchangeable segments. Thinking that Something, Something, Something, Darkside will follow in Blue Harvest‘s footsteps would be ill advised, because it falls to the same fate that the show has.

Yes we still get the same basic parody style that we saw in Blue Harvest, but we are also subjected to a greater number of mindless skits. Blue Harvest did have that dreadful rendition of “(I’ve Had) The Time of my Life” but it was forgivable being that it was mixed in with such top notch Star Wars jokes. Now we sit through mostly mediocre Star Wars jokes, like their take on Tan-Tans from Hath, along with humorless juicy fruit commercial parodies. Rest assured that there are some great moments, the scene where Han Solo is frozen in carbonite and the choice of character for Boba Fett come to mind.

The features on the DVD won’t be the magnifying actors for many

people to buy this DVD. The Family Guy Fact-Ups is a mildly glorified pop-up video of the episode that points out minor bits of information about the episode. Some of them are enjoyable, like “On December 19th, 1978, a blackout affected 80% of France, but who cares about France,” but watching the entire episode over with distracting bubbles on the screen isn’t the most appealing thing in the world. The Dark Side of Poster Art is actually a feature dedicated to the poster art of this. For an artist this might be captivating, but the poster is just the Empire Strikes Back VHS poster: it wasn’t a grueling process to do it with a Family Guy twist. This doesn’t seem like the type of thing that deserves and entire feature.

There are also table readings of this episode, and the upcoming parody of Return of the Jedi, but that is nothing more than watching then a dress rehearsal and won’t add much to your viewing experiences. This isn’t the type of DVD that would be bushing with bonus materials, but this is also something that normally wouldn’t be straight to DVD. Blue Harvest aired as a two part episode before being put on DVD, and there is no apparent reason why this would be any different It may have had something to do with the overall lower quality of the episode, but no matter what this review says, the show’s and Star Wars‘ loyal fans will come out in drone to buy this second rate installment of what could have been a first rate parody series.

Movie Grade: B

DVD Features Grade: B-

Overall Grade: B

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