American Dad Season 8 Premiere Review “Love, AD Style”

“Love, AD Style” is a perfect way for American Dad to start a new season. It’s absurd in premise, but intently focused, and not lacking for the kind of jokes that made me love the show in the first place.

Roger is opening a lounge in the Smith family attic, which no one thinks is weird, but attendance is dismal, and his perfectly-douchily-facial-haired lounge owner alter ego decides its because he needs entertainment. At one point, he angrily insists that he didn’t write “City Slickers” with Babaloo Mandel for nothing, which means that this is Roger’s version of Lowell Ganz, which is exactly the kind of super-targeted, out of nowhere kind of writing I’ve come to expect from this show. And, even if you aren’t aware of the famous Hollywood writing duo, at least “Babaloo” sounds funny. It’s a win-win.

The core of the episode turns on a completely ludicrous development. As Hayley finishes her rendition of “Makin’ Whoopee,” Roger realizes he’s in love with her, to the point of obsession. After a short time trying to distract himself with new hobbies (he stitches a wall hanging of himself, in full English riding regalia, mounting Hayley like a horse), the show takes a horror-movie turn, ending with Roger wearing a skin-suit made from Hayley’s husband.

That the last image of the episode is a bloody, skinless thumbs up from Jeff shouldn’t really be a surprise from American Dad. It’s a show that’s clearly not afraid of taking a turn for the dark. Nor is it afraid of lightening up that dark with a few absurd little jokes. Roger’s statement after putting on the skin-suit that he can’t take off his hat because he’s “got everything held together up there with a chip clip” was the biggest laugh line of the night for me.

Oh, that’s right. There was a B-plot here too, with Stan trying to sell his old car in exchange for a new “COK Guzzler.” Most of this didn’t do much for me, until it rose to the insanity level of the main plot when a bikini-clad car-show model ended up trapped inside a burning SUV with a lion. There was some great animation there, when the lion flopped out of the car window, beat up and exhausted, then instantly pounced on the girl who was trying to crawl away. It was all a little morbid, but enjoyably so, and I appreciate the show’s willingness to go for it in the way it does.

Not being a huge Seth MacFarlane, personally, I never had terribly high hopes for American Dad, but after 7 seasons, it’s won over my heart. Nowhere else could I get an entire episode based around a pudgy gray Paul Lynde alien falling in love with, and then shooting, his surrogate sister. And no other show would shrug the whole thing off with same kind of flippant, “eh, I’ve changed my mind” ending that American Dad did. So let’s hope the eighth season only gets weirder from here.

About The Author

Rob H. Dawson is a writer and student who spends far more time than necessary writing and thinking about television. He'll probably watch anything, and would love to talk to you sometime about either Bridalplasty, or Game of Thrones, or both. When he's not focused on TV, you may find him hiding under the covers with a good piece of hard science fiction, or talking excitedly about linguistics.

  • Steve

    I can’t disagree more. This was a violent character change in Roger, I feel sick thinking about this episode. This episode was not funny or entertaining at all, there was no value in this episode. It was just plain disgusting

    • ml123

      They took the violence a little too far in the end, but the first two acts were pretty darn funny, some nice dialogue and funny sight-gags. I do think they went a little too far with his psychotic obsession, and it ultimately didn’t work because the situation wasn’t redeemed. In “Great Space Roaster”, he tries to kill the family, yet it ultimately works because of the touching ending where he realizes he’s part of the family. In “Merlot Down Dirty Shame” and “Old Stan In The Mountain” he went too far (burying Fran and Stan alive, digging up a corpse for the hair), yet in the end he got his payback. That seemed to be missing here.

      Still though, decent episode, but here’s hoping they don’t start relying too much on violent shock humor.

    • Silas Rogers

      Why are you watching “American Dad” or any Seth MacFarlane show for value? Not that I disagree about the shows being unnecessarily violent quite often, but if you’re looking for real quality you should look elsewhere. This is “turn off your brain and forget your life” pleasure…which is kind of poisonous in itself. 

  • Jason H.

    Ditto Steve.. googled just to see what the heck happened to the writers..   Dialog and story were awful.  I’ve really enjoyed American Dad in the past, this was terrible. I want my 22 minutes back.

  • Redrobin62

    Who was the singer of the torch songs? She has a nice voice.

  • Rob

    I thought the first half was hilarious with a lot of jokes, when it turned violent it wasn’t traditionally ad-funny, and i didn’t laugh once because i was too busy sitting with my mouth dropped, but the first half had a lot of good laughs and it was shocking. i also like the i changed my mind bit every time. the only thing i don’t like about this episode is if it makes other people not like american dad, cus i’d be so sad if it was taken off the air

  • Emmy

    I really like this show, but sadly this was a terrible episode. I agree with Steve and Jason H. What happened to the writers? If they were trying to make it funny with violence it didn’t work. It makes me sad because I know the writers are more creative then that. Maybe writers block or something. I just hope they don’t keep going down that road, because killing and maiming are not a substitute for humor.

  • Anonymous

     I’m surprised about everyone moaning in the comments – i found the episode to be hilarious!

  • Ejdgreen88

    I’m going to take a medium position. The gratuity of the violence made the episode jarring, but not (for me) morally disturbing. The central point is that that part wasn’t funny. For the first time in a while, the accompanying Family Guy was better. And that means that for this ep, American Dad! lost sight of its raison d’etre: being funny. 6/10.

  • http://twitter.com/Coelacanth1938 Martin Evans

    Not only was Roger not funny, he was actually sickening and somewhat frightening.

  • Matthias

    I love American Dad, but very much disliked this episode. Sure AD has had its share of morbid humor and shocking images before, but this episode though was wholly unfunny and sickening.

  • Joey

    American dad has been known to push the jokes a little to far and do some things so close to the line, you can’t help but laugh. But this was too far. Im a huge fan but this was too far. This was Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of the Lambs combined. I was sick after watching the show. I kept turning to my dad(who’s also a huge fan) to see his reaction and he would look at me and ask “what the fuck”. Not a good start to the season. 

    On the plus side, Family Guy was hilarious. 

  • The

    Is it just me or does anyone else think that this was a rip-off of the Dexter episode “Love, American Style”?

  • Nicoleebriannee

    so wait was the whole skin suit thing a reference to American horror story asylum? Like roger had the same hair as the weird rape guy and he tied Hailey to the bed in the 60′s style nightgown like he did to Lana. I thought it was a reference to bloody face and that show. I looked for sources that mentioned references but I didn’t really find anything so idk lol, but that’s why I found it funny. I mean they referenced requiem of a dream a couple seasons back but hey idk