After having learned of “American Dad’s!” cancellation from FOX’s Animation Domination lineup last year, I was upset. Why would FOX cancel what seems to be Seth MacFarlane’s best show (currently, anyway)? But with that same cancellation announcement came the update that the show would be switching to TBS, so my anger was quelled. Along with the new network came new boundaries to push and new jokes to air, but not a new type of humor from the show people have come to love. So with this in mind, I was looking forward to the October 20 premiere on TBS. And boy, was it a doozy.
“Blonde Ambition” starts in typical “American Dad!” fashion with bright colors galore and Roger dressing up in a disguise that doesn’t just quite fit with the scenario the Smiths are in. Perhaps an allusion the show’s move to a new network, but the driving factor behind this premiere episode is that Stan wants to move to a gated community to not only get away from countless flyers posted on his front door, but also to “keep the riffraff out.” An absurd premise for an absurd show, but in my opinion, it works.
Along with this, Hayley is facing her own problems in this episode. With Hayley having dyed her hair blonde, my main question isn’t how someone with such dark hair can change her hair to so light overnight, but rather, how did the texture of her hair change too? But this is animation, and many liberties are taken. Hayley’s environmentalist, peace-loving ways don’t change when her appearance does though. Looking for a way to get people to listen to her when it comes to charity, Hayley not only takes to dying her hair to be heard, but also partying the night away. And Roger comes along for the ride, like he always does. Another absurd idea, but for MacFarlane’s second show, it works.
Quotes like “See Steve, when you live on a hill, you can look down on everyone. It’s not the only reason to live on a hill, but it’s the main one,” from Stan and “Tusks. I think we can no longer deny the facts: This guy is an elephant dentist,” from Roger, the ridculousness that is “American Dad!” is still appealing. The shock factor of some of the not-so-tasteful jokes is on par with the one liners and witty banter the characters deliver on this show.
All in all, it doesn’t seem like much has changed for Set MacFarlane’s brainchild, besides making the move to cable. The lack of cutaways are what sets “American Dad!” apart from “Family Guy.” With real world and pop culture references being dropped in every scene, it appears “Dad” is on track to continue with its same style of humor that was (up until recently) popular on FOX. The only difference now seems that cartoon gore is included and curse words can be dropped on during the 9 p.m. time slot. As TBS boasts this new season will be edgier, based on “Blonde Ambition,” I have to agree with them. Edgier jokes, plots and even animation will let “American Dad!” go far on the Turner Broadcasting network.