Sundays With Seth: The best little dry cleaners in Virginia
by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 30th 2009 11:44AM
Hey look, Scrubs is back early!
Oh wait, never mind. That's just Donald Faison on American Dad. How could I have possibly gotten those two things mixed up? I don't know why, but I still get a kick out of guest appearances on animated shows, particularly when the actor who plays the actual character jumps in to do their own voice, as Faison did here.
Plus, it was an interaction with Roger. Ah, Roger. Let's talk about what has to be the single greatest presence of all three Seth MacFarlane shows. I probably don't mention him enough, because sometimes he's not as integral to the plots of AD. But, he's always a huge part of the laughs. As soon as he waddles into a room, you just wait for the zingers or the costume or the antics that will send you off your rocker. His turn this week as a "madame" was sheer brilliance.
When Stan first brought home his first Hayley-replacement-stripper and Roger came in wearing the same outfit, I knew it was going to be good. But even I didn't see the full-on "madame" position he'd take in a house full of strippers. From the outfit to the attitude, there was everything to love about him in an episode that was great from beginning to end.
The highlight for me was when Roger called Steve, who was at the worst Space Camp ever, and showed him the strippers cavorting around his room, and making out on his bed. At least I thought that was the highlight, until Roger instigated a pillow fight, knocking one of the girls out cold with his pillowcase of full soda cans.
Everything about this episode was on fire. Stan's ridiculous scheme to have his gaggle of mentally vacant strippers run a dry-cleaning service, to his own turn as a stripper to try and earn back the money he was losing on the dry cleaning business. I would have liked to see a bit more of just how horrible the Space Camp experience was for Steve and his friends, but I still appreciated their disturbing rise from the mud and ultimate escape.
Another highlight, as always, is any appearance by Patrick Stewart as Stan's boss at the CIA. His imaginings of the "C" standing for "cat," and his particular vices at the strip club, where he was trying to spend government money as quickly as possible to avoid a budget cut next year, were all perfect examples of his brilliant insanity. This character is every bit as awesome as Adam West's mayor on Family Guy.
While there was no appearances by West on this week's FG, we did get a return appearance by Superman's maid, Consuela, and I thought she was hilarious. "I steal." "I stay." Her absolute refusal to do anything other than what she wanted was only thwarted when Peter knocked her out with chloroform and dumped her on Joe's porch. I know continuity is not always a strong suit here, but I wouldn't mind at least a brief mention of Joe having to deal with her in his house now; perhaps wondering how she got there in the first place.
The bulk of the episode was about Brian "murdering" a dog, and finding out that no one cares because it's a dog. This was preceded by his getting drunk, which in turn was preceded by his appearing at a literary club to accept an award for his excellent book, only to find out that the "Special" in the group's title means just that: "Special" people. So really it's a drunk driving incident; it's just that because it's a dog, nobody cares.
The funniest moment, though, came when Brian took a stand and freed another dog from the shackles of man's chains, only to see it kill a small dog and murder a man before getting gunned down by a police officer. "Maybe that's why the dog was tied up," Stewie said dryly.
In the end, we were reminded that Brian is more than a dog and that even if a dog's life in general isn't valued, his would be. We learned this because Stewie killed a stray, dragged its body into a liquor store and burned the place down to convince the Griffins that Brian was dead. As they were mourning, I kept expecting someone to shove Meg out of the hugging circle, but in this moment, she was a true part of the family, which strangely made me uncomfortable.
On The Cleveland Show, Cleveland's struggles to be accepted as a part of Donna's family. This week, his challenge was Rallo, who's jealous of Cleveland sleeping with his mother. This led to the brilliant idea that if he had to sleep in bed with his mother, Cleveland wouldn't be able to have her. From nightmares to a broken leg, Rallo proved that he was willing to do anything to get his way!
The episode was actually a little lighter on the laughs, but in classic '80s sitcom fashion, it wrapped up nicely with Rallo learning that his mother's happiness is more important than his own jealousy.
Cleveland spent most of the episode horny, and -- well, just horny.
Roberta and Cleveland, Jr. also did a little bonding of their own on a school field trip to Washington, DC. When Roberta's partying got her in over her head, it was Cleveland, Jr. who came to save her by shaking his own boobs for the camera. Yes, it was Cleveland, Jr.'s man-boobs on display for a disturbingly long time, until he revealed that he was a man, so MacFarlane could have people throw up again.
Still, the highlight for me was Tim and Arianna. Particularly, Tim accidentally slashing a girl across the face and scarring her for life, and their roaring into the DC night upon rekindling the passion in their marriage. Of course, that negligence of the kids on the field trip is what led to Roberta's trouble in the first place. There's a time and a place -- but I guess if you're a bear, that time and place is of your own choosing.
[For clips and full episodes from American Dad!, Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, visit our friends at SlashControl.]