American Dad “The Wrestler” Review

Some of my favorite recurring secondary characters on American Dad are those wonderfully weird nerds that make up Steve’s peer group. “The Wrestler” set us up to watch Toshi, Snot, Barry and Steve flounder about outside of their comfort zone after Stan took a personal interest in resurrecting the wrestling program at Steve’s school.

While most of the boys failed miserably, Barry casually emerged as a natural champion. If not for Principal Lewis telling Stan about the money he had bet on Barry’s wins, Stan would have completely missed the fact that Barry was on a fast track to taking the school record from him. At this point, the story became less about Steve and his friends on the wrestling team, and more about Stan’s desperation to save his high school title.

I loved how Barry consistently delivered crushing defeats while maintaining his cuddly and harmless seeming demeanor. Even as Roger and Stan took steps to bring about Barry’s demise, he didn’t even seem to notice that he was being targeted. I would have liked to see more about how Barry handled his eventual defeat, but his story ended rather abruptly after Roger’s entrance.

I imagine that the sight of Roger in that mankini alone would probably have been enough to overpower any opponent, but his powerful legs were what brought an end to Barry’s winning streak. After enlisting his help, Stan should not have been so surprised to discover that Roger would suddenly take up a personal interest in taking over the wrestling record. Did Stan think that Roger would really let an opportunity like this go?

Although I was caught off guard by the twist revelation that Francine had put Roger up to the wrestling challenge, I still don’t think Roger would have done it if there wasn’t anything in it for him. In the end, Stan lost his record and landed a new record for the “Longest man on man high school embrace” which made him feel better about being defeated.

A lot of the humor in tonight’s episode was pulled from a heavy dose of non sequitur style gags that are the standard for The Cleveland Show and Family Guy, but aren’t so frequently used in an average episode of American Dad. Personally, I prefer when American Dad avoids non sequiturs and instead draws its humor from dialogue or physical gags. In this case, there was only one major story line so the non sequiturs didn’t seem to bother me as much and overall, I enjoyed the episode.