FAMILY GUY PRESENTS "BLUE HARVEST" (Fox, 2007, $22.98)
"Family Guy," Fox's risque animated comedy, first aired in 1999 and ran for three season before it was scrapped. But the show proved so popular on cable and on DVD that Fox revived it in 2005.
This 48-minute episode, which originally aired in September as the sixth-season opener, is a retelling of "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope." Over the years, "Star Wars" jokes have popped up in episodes of "Family Guy," so it's no surprise that creator Seth McFarlane would do a full-blown parody. What is surprising is that "Star Wars" filmmaker George Lucas gave McFarlane his blessing!
In "Blue Harvest," Peter, Lois, Chris, Stewie, Brian, Meg and the rest of the gang are transported back to a time long ago "but somehow in the future" in a galaxy far, far, away. There are a few laughs, but for the most part the jokes and sight gags are pretty silly and many are surprisingly vulgar, especially for a TV show that airs in prime time (8 p.m. on Ch. 13) and various times throughout the day on cable.
It's odd, too, that a majority of the gags seem to be based on '70s and '80s pop culture gags that many in "Family Guy's" target audience (18- to 24-year-old males) probably won't get. And there are several jokes about drugs, sex and dirty diapers. "Family Guy" is a guilty pleasure that provides a few chuckles, but it's not something I'd watch with my family.
Why the title "Blue Harvest"? If you're a "Star Wars" geek (apparently everyone who works on "Family Guy" is), you'll get the joke. If not, you'll have to have to watch the extras to find out.
And some of those extras, including McFarlane interviewing Lucas, are more interesting than the show itself. "Star Wars" fans may want this DVD just for the Lucas interview alone.
The DVD also includes more than four minutes of new material, an uncensored track (which includes the f-bomb), and a peek at another "Family Guy" "Star Wars" spoof now in production. As a bonus, the DVD features a digital copy of the movie, which, according to the press release, allows users to "effortlessly transfer a copy of the film to their iTunes library."It didn't work. Most likely operator error. A rep for Fox Home Entertainment said that's the first she's heard of anyone having problems downloading the episode and offered to send a new copy for the "whole experience," but it's not really necessary.