IR TV Review: AMERICAN DAD – EPISODE 2 (“Downtown”) [TBS-S17]

The aspects of identity in “American Dad”seem to be a moving target that continues to befall Stan as a character as he races to oblivion. He also seems to be pushing certain traits onto his children. Steve & Hayley have their own issues but perhaps have thought themselves sheltered from the real world. When Stan talks about the dreaded “Downtown”, the crux of the episode (and its name) comes into place. Like Tarantino’s version of The Valley in “Pulp Fiction”, some dark secrets hide behind the houses of the soccer moms and track suits. It is a big irony play of course on the gentrification of many downtown area that have gone from dive bars and strip clubs to become more sustainable, safe and vegan. While this is a good course of action, “American Dad” in its right mind turns suburbia into the new war zone where anything can happen. Hayley and Steve are almost in a war movie trying to traverse a PPSAT schedule while trying to escape like “Black Hawk Down” in Mogadishu. Roger takes a back seat in this episode dragging out his pimp suit speaking of the beauty of Downtown in its sex fueled griminess but even his idea of what the past should be (which was alluded to in the previous episode] is lost. Ultimately the episode does speak to the necessity of change when many things stay the same. Stan, for himself, in his ignorance thinks that he can get ahead of the curve but instead is playing right into the monster’s claws. The episode doesn’t hold as much of a brightness to “100 Years A Solid Fool” in terms of its play but knows where it is heading.\

B

By Tim Wassberg

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