May 15, 2006

Finale Report: American Dad - "Tears of a Clooney"

Where to begin with American Dad. The series is the brain child of the madman behind the insane Family Guy. When it first debuted in February 2005, it sort of felt like a second rate copy of his initial hit. Fortunately, it has developed its own brand of insanity. It is still clearly a Seth McFarlane creation, and still has that random comedy, but it is developing a distinctly different flavor. That said, I didn't feel that the season finale was one of their better episodes.

The show opens with Francine's birthday party, she doesn't seem all that happy. Each year she gets more and more depressed. She is depressed about not getting to live out her dreams of being a star. In her younger years, she had a bit part on Scarecrow & Mrs. King, only to have her spotlight stolen by, a then unknown, George Clooney, who went on to be a huge star. Over the years, her dreams of stardom have turned to dreams of revenge on the self loving George Clooney.

Upon hearing this, Stan agrees to help his wife exact revenge on the superstar. The pair jet off to Prague, where George is filming his latest movie. Stan brings in a crack squad of assassins and thieves to assist in their plan. What is that plan, you may ask? Francine is going to make George fall in love with her to break his heart and leave him a broken man.

As Stan and Francine work their plan, a half a world away, Roger is turning the pool into a vineyard. Roger has an insatiable thirst for alcohol, and figures the best way to get it is to make it himself. Finding the work to difficult, Roger adopts a gaggle of foster kids to work the vines. Also at the house, and the weakest part of the episode, Hayley comes down with some mysterious illness. Everything that takes place at the Smith house is unnecessary fluff, pure episode filler.

Back in Prague, the plan is going right on schedule. Stan has been positioned as George's bodyguard, the inside man. While working undercover, Stan ends up as one of George's buddies. This friendship ends up coming back to haunt him, as he exposes the fraud that is Francine's love, an act which Francine witnesses. With the plan crumbling around them, Francine turns on Stan, unable to forgive his betrayal. Stan, realizing his mistake, returns to George's room, and says that he is leaving. George is not used to being abandoned, he is left a broken man, crying in his room.

By the time the couple arrive home, Hayley has recovered from her illness and Roger has had the foster children taken away. The Smith family is back to the status quo.

There were some funny moments, to be sure, but I felt very much underwhelmed by the show. Like I said, everything that takes place at the Smith household is nothing but fluff. They could have done much better. Even the main story wasn't all that great.

Not a good way to end the season. It will be interesting to see where they go next season.


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