Dreams are the essence of broken promises. In a character like Roger who undeniably has had his share of successes, it is funny to see how the small victories sometimes are out of his grasp. His new dream in “Cheek To Cheek”, the 3rd episode of Season 17 of “American Dad”, is an interesting one: to make a cabaret show out of a male strip club where it is about connection with the ladies and not the carnal. He seems lost in the fact of the reality that he is in fact an alien and will never be anything else. That s the crux of his path. Like Data, he seemingly only wants to be human but never quite gets close. The irony is interesting considering he could probably bring the human race to its knees if he wanted to. And yet sometimes beyond the kids of the family, he is the infinite butt of jokes. Now granted, most of that falls on Stan at Roger’s hands most of the time because of his buffoonery. But most of Roger’s trouble is held up at times because he has a heart. In being selfish, he kills his own dream.
This is why it is ironic that he takes Jeff, the boyfriend of Stan’s daughter, as his protege in this venture (which is just the kind of irony that “American Dad” revels in). The funny thing is that Jeff finds that he does indeed have talent for this path but never knows what he really wants. Unlike Stan, Jeff is an aimless wanderer with a good heart who has no motivation whatsoever. Jeff is a follower in every sense of the word. As Roger seemingly gets closer to his dream, which he doesn’t want to be sullied by dirt, he forgets that the almighty dollar begets compromise. Reality sets in and Roger, at least in this episode, reveals his identity as a small time player. The person that seemingly really has things under control his Klaus (the fish), who seemingly understands the female psyche alot more than the family gives him credit for. This, of course, is just to provide a contradiction in what is always an abstract story. “American Dad”, as its title suggests, takes place in a land of paradoxes where the best intentions usually fall to the least common denominator…with funny consequences…like Roger falling down stairs.
By Tim Wassberg