**May contain spoilers**
The premiere episode of American Dad‘s Season 10 delightfully kicks off with another episode revolving around Steve and Snot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: episodes centered around Steve and Snot’s antics are when American Dad is at its best, such as the “Why Can’t We Be Friends” episode from last season. The completely ridiculous premises that MacFarlane and co. create for American Dad are what helps to set the show apart from Family Guy, its older brother, and this episode is no exception. “Steve and Snot’s Test-Tubular Adventure” is the perfect entry into Season 10, and helps to reassure viewers that the writers have not lost their touch.
In “Steve and Snot’s Test-Tubular Adventure”, Steve and Snot are relying on the upcoming high school prom to get laid. Since the duo can’t find dates, they use Stan’s cloning machine at the CIA to create their own dates. But things don’t go as planned (do they ever?), and the hilarious turn creates for some truly hysterical moments. The episode doesn’t try too hard; it just IS funny.
The pacing in the episode is another aspect that helps American Dad separate itself from Family Guy. Where Family Guy usually just spits out over-the-top jokes that are aimed to offend its audience over and over, one after the after, American Dad takes the more subtle route. This episode’s delivery managed to keep me amused without shoving the jokes down my throat, and the offensiveness is not in-your-face. However, there are some suggestive undertones and mildly offensive dialogue that may turn-off some viewers.
Still, the great thing about American Dad is that these somewhat offensive moments don’t cast a shadow too large over the series that would take away from its humor. “Steve and Snot’s Test-Tubular Adventure” does lie on the humor pretty thick, but it relies heavily on the situations created within the episode, instead of ridiculously offensive jokes. For example, the high school’s prom having a “Dystopian Nights” theme, with a gym that is filled with garbage cans in flames and shopping carts filled with junk. The writers make a satirical statement of sorts on some social issues like the presumption of sex at a prom, but, again, it’s subtle. A great deal of humor is also tone-based, as you’ll get laughs from Stan’s dry, somewhat angry humor (like when he is yelling at one of the clones) and Steve’s unamused tone in this episode (as is shown in the first few minutes of the episode where Steve and Snot are getting bullied). Scott Grimes’ voice for Steve is unique, and is one of the highlights of the entire series (for me, at least), and hopefully Grimes can continue on with bringing humor to Steve’s unfortunate situations.
This Season 10 premiere gives each character in the series the right amount of introduction to prepare us for the rest of Season 10 (except Klaus; there’s no Klaus in this episode). MacFarlane has found a perfect balance of character utilization with this episode, and hopefully he keeps sprinkling little bits of Hayley and Francine in there, instead of revolving entire episodes around them. If MacFarlane can keep up the comedic pace he has set in this episode for the entire 10th season, then viewers are in for a real treat, and might finally see American Dad overtake Family Guy in popularity.
American Dad‘s Season 10 premiere will air on Sunday, September 29th.