American Dad! Season 19, Ep. 1 “Langley Dollar Listings”

In which Francine and Roger are reality TV stars…

Like the progenitors of American Dad! (The Simpsons and Family Guy specifically) the long running nature of the show and the malleability of some of its characters means that in order to move a plot along a character will often be put in any situation the writers see fit. Often that means giving a character a temporary job or “lifelong dream.” Roger of course is the most malleable of all AD! characters (and of most characters in fact) but Francine often fits that as well. She’s a housewife but she’s able to be anything and anyone that the plot demands. Here, it’s as the star of a reality TV show

After one of the stars of their favorite reality TV shows (the eponymous Langley Dollar Listings) goes missing, Francine and Roger (as Shebecca Escrow) audition to replace her. Roger thinks he nailed it (after sleeping with everyone on the show) but Francine gets the part. This forces Roger to do Roger things and attempt to sabotage Francine. However, after spiking the drinks with drugs at a showing, Francine actually ends up succeeding.

This of course leads to attempted murder, as Roger pushes Francine over a cliff at the next house. Francine survives and finds the missing cast member, Trashelle, at the bottom, who has become a successful realtor for squirrels. Climbing back up, Francine sees that Roger has attempted to take over Langley Dollar Listings, capturing the boss as well as Trashelle’s boy toy. Francine breaks everyone free and Roger’s attempted murder of the head of the show is stopped by the boy toy and the fat squirrel. At the end of the day, Langley Dollar Listings is replaced with Squirrel Valley Listings starring Trashelle, Tristan the boy toy and Shebecca.

This plot could’ve worked better if the Roger/Francine dynamic was explored a little more. They’ve had some great plots together before (“Francine, I haven’t been entirely honest with you”) I’d have been much more interested to explore the dynamic of Shebecca and Francine but the show seemed more interested in hopping from weak gag to weak gag. The squirrel gags were good but it’s not much to hang an episode on.

In the B-Plot, before a trip to the aquarium, Jeff offers a coffee to Stan, who refuses. Instead, Tuttle buys the coffee which inspires Jeff to open a coffee shop out of the garage. Stan, Jeff, and Hayley open the shop and it is mildly successful. Klaus gets involved offering to grow the business. This leads to him selling Colombian “beans” which of course means cocaine. The DEA arrive and the family shuts down before getting busted. This is another plot that seemed to lurch from beginning to obvious end without a little more substance.

Stray Observations

  • Jeff Fischer, who voices Jeff Fischer, is now listed in the credits as a regular cast member
  • Roger’s Octodual persona shows up again.
  • Langley Falls is still the sister city to Haifa, Israel
  • Grumpy Cat reference. Timely.

Thoughts: This one was eh. Not the most inspiring start to a season.