American Dad Season 8 Review “The Missing Kink”

Seth MacFarlane’s shows have a tendency to divulge in the occasional musical number, and usually, it works to the show’s success: take American Dad’s boy band spoof from earlier this season, as one example. But there was something just off about the kink-stravaganza from “The Missing Kink,” and I think it might just be overexposure at this point. Anyone who’s seen a MacFarlane show, or to extend it further, the South Park movie or The Book of Mormon, is used to the idea of a broadway-style number about sexually explicit or otherwise out-there material. It’s not shocking anymore, and without a backbone of actually good music or funny jokes in every line, the premise of the thing just falls flat on its face.

But just because the center set piece of the episode didn’t work, doesn’t means that “The Missing Kink” failed as a whole – in fact, a great deal of it was really funny, mostly in the absurd way that American Dad does best. Steve’s basketball blunder, for instance, of Francine’s new friend, the blue jay with substance abuse problems (seriously, the sign that said “AA but for birds” may have gotten the biggest laugh out of me the entire night). It’s that kind of silliness, not “shocking” sex stuff, that the show should shoot for, because that’s when it works best.

It’s also nice to see an attempt at a multi-episode plot, the kind of thing American Dad usually doesn’t go for. We’re still dealing with Jeff’s absence, and although it’s in a less direct way this episode, it’s an interesting choice for the show to keep it on our minds. I would have liked if they hadn’t roped in Snot, however, because his character has never felt to me like anything worth spending time on. The one good moment here was in the end, when Barry manically latched onto Snot’s “I’m gay” ruse. Something about his delivery on those lines (“THIS IS WHAT HE LIKES!”) sold it to me. But that was a minor thread in “The Missing Kink,” an episode that, barring one big, singing exception, kept up the funny for most of its running time.