TV REVIEW: American Dad – “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”


AMERICAN DAD! – “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”
(Episode 5, season 9)

Seth MacFarlane’s American Dad is a very musical show.  That’s why this is the second episode I’ve reviewed so far.  It’s rare to find a cartoon with so much musical integrity.  From an episode based on a song by Wax Fang, to another showcasing the band My Morning Jacket and their lead singer Jim James, they really stuff the show full of tunage.  Not to mention they also use plenty of original music!  There was one episode featuring Cee-Lo Green as a talking, singing hot tub.  For real!  Then there’s the original song  “He’s Got a Kink”,  with a dirty, dirty message!

You’ve got a kink,
You’ve got a kink,
Don’t be afraid to put a finger in the stink!

While the episode “My Morning Straightjacket” was probably one of the most musical episodes of any comedy show anywhere, it was “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” that earns top marks at LeBrain HQ.  Why?  Rush. 2112!

With Steve Smith dressed as a glammed-up Alex Lifeson, and his best friend Snot Lonstein as Geddy, the episode opens with the two best friends rocking out in the garage, playing air guitar to Rush’s immortal epic “2112”.  When Steve’s dad Stan comes home, he is none too amused by the tight costumes, wigs and finger-flicking.  “I-I don’t know where to start.  Look at you two.  Best case scenario, you’re telling me you’re gay with each other,” complains Stan.

AMERICAN DAD 2

Steve and Snot defend the air guitar, but a furious Stan smashes Snot’s tape deck and forbids Steve from seeing him again.  Of course this does not work, so Stan does the obvious thing to get rid of Snot.  He stages a fake mafia hit in front of the young kid, and then takes him away to be in the CIA witness protection program…forever.

Snot goes into hiding (the apartment building is #2112).  While delivering Snot his weekly groceries, Stan finds that he actually likes the kid.  They begin to hang out.  When Steve finally figures out what his dad has done, he tracks Snot down…only to find him playing air guitar to “2112” with a wigged-out Stan!

The episode is dedicated to “BFFs everywhere”, and I admit I get the feels at the end.  In an homage to Say Anything, Snot and Steve reunite, with a glorious air-guitared version of “Always With Me, Always With You” by Joe Satriani.  Yes, the episode is a tribute to best friends.  I think it is also a tribute to the pure joy that is air guitar.  The two things go together.  I played many many hours of air guitar with my best friend Bob, and nothing can erase the sheer happiness we had doing so.  I identify with this episode!  Not the dad breaking up the friendship part, but the friendship itself.

Highly recommended for nostalgic air guitarists everywhere.

5/5 stars

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25 comments

  1. Believe it or not, I never really got on board with American Dad. It might be one of those that I’ddig the odd episode? Especially if they celebrate the likes of Jim James. Think at the time I saw it I was OD-ing on Family Guy … so maybe something for me to revisit at some point?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I get that. Personally I feel this show is smarter and funnier than Family Guy. Don’t worry about the Jim James thing! It was a pretty funny episode. Stan becomes so obsessed he ends up paying like $1000 for a bootleg CD of Jim James going to the bathroom.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m a huge Family Guy fan and only gave American Dad a shot a couple of years ago. I now LOVE it. Give it a chance! If you like Fam Guy, I can’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this.
      Though it’s got a sillier sense of humour and no cut away gags. It reminds me of The Simpsons in a way.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I actually preferred American Dad to Family Guy for a while, it’s not nasty like Family Guy and it’s far more developed and I like the fact the stories center around the family and no ridiculous Conway Twitty gags! Buuuuut there is something about Family Guy, I guess I enjoy them about the same :)

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        1. It’s definitely different, less nasty (no horrible jokes) and slightly better written but not necessarily ‘funnier’. The gags and puns quite often remind me of Simpsons humour :)

          Liked by 2 people

    3. This is such a funny episode! Great write up, you really encapsulated it perfectly :)

      My favourite episodes include: the one where Francine dresses up as ‘Frank’ to hang out with Stan at the CIA more. And the one where Roger goes to court as ‘Martin Sugar’ :D :D :D

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Bahaaa! There just comes a point where you have to say ‘forget it’ and not bother. As for our kitchen, we really need to get on ours, it’s the last room in our house that needs a remodel, and is looking damn sad. But it all comes down to money.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. So many things do. I have to laugh any time somebody tries to upsell me something these days. “Have you seen the price of groceries? No, I can’t buy the extended warranty.”

          Funny thing, there’s a hilarious (another musical) episode about the Smiths re-doing their kitchen, and it breaks up Stan and Francine from the stress. They end up building a brick wall in the middle of the house. I think there was a Flintstones episode done the same?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post! Your right Mike that there’s only so much time to do stuff. I haven’t really watched to many of these shows as there is sooooo much out there…..Sue( my Wife and The Boss) try to find a series together and delve into it….

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  3. I haven’t seen that episode in ages, it is a good one. Though I still rate Family Guy over American Dad. While on the subject, I did buy Ted 2 yesterday and will let you know when I get around to watching it.

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