I’ve been trying to remember how many times Stan has “hit bottom” over the course of seven seasons of American Dad. I’m actually pretty sure that “Less Money, Mo Problems” was actually not the first time that Stan has tried to rob his own family or friends to get out of a desperate situation.
While I’d definitely agree that living a safe and comfortable life on $938 a month would present an intimidating challenge, I don’t think that Jeff and Haley are the ideal picture of a hardworking couple struggling to make ends meet. I was on Stan’s side when he freaked out about Jeff’s obnoxious freeloading tendencies and after Jeff decided to finish that last bit of syrup, I would have cheered Stan on in whatever excessive retribution he chose to deliver.
That said, Stan failed miserably at proving his point through a “reverse Brewster’s Million.” Although I expected his failure from the start, it might have been nice to see this plot go in a less predictable direction. Francine lasted less than a day on the $938/month lifestyle and Stan managed to become a drug addicted bum in about 48 hours.
Francine and Stan’s time on the streets of the ghetto were rather entertaining and I particularly enjoyed their attempts to stay warm while sleeping in the car. The peanut gallery of homeless men watching as Stan tried to get Francine to agree to “sex eachother” was a hilarious helping of awkward humor.
Meanwhile, Roger and Steve had been trying to prove themselves in an entirely different manner. After listening to Klaus’ long winded bragging about having driven a Ferrari, Roger was determined to make Klaus eat his words. Roger’s “Scent of a Woman” inspired scene at the Ferrari showroom was funny and I liked that the car salesman had no idea what Roger was parodying. Although we didn’t see what exactly changed that salesman’s mind, Roger kept pushing his bit until he finally drove out of there in a car. Klaus’ slow-motion jaw drop as the two of them drove by him in Las Vegas was a great payoff to this little side story.
This episode of American Dad had plenty to chuckle about, but it followed a familiar formula for Stan-centered episodes that made the plot seem somewhat predictable. As Stan’s life lessons usually go, after some suffering and blood loss, he’s finally able to have a little bit of empathy for people in difficult life circumstances. Of course, we all know it’s only a matter of time before he’s forgotten everything he’s learned.