|American Dad! episode|
|Episode no.||Season 8
|Directed by||Tim Parsons|
|Written by||Erik Sommers|
|Original air date||October 2, 2011|
|American Dad! (season 8)
List of American Dad! episodes
"Hurricane!" is the second episode of the eighth season of the animated comedy series American Dad!, an episode produced for season 7. It aired on Fox in the United States on October 2, 2011. The episode plot mainly revolves around the Smith family, who prepare for evacuation in response to an oncoming hurricane. Reluctant to leave his home, Stan encourages his family to ride out the storm in their house with him. The hurricane sends a flood to the city of Langley Falls, which puts the entire family in danger.
"Hurricane!" is the final part of the Night of the Hurricane block with Family Guy and The Cleveland Show. Kevin Reilly, the president of the entertainment division of Fox Broadcasting Company, introduced the idea of a crossover to Seth MacFarlane, the creator of all three shows. The episode was first announced at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International. The episode plot is loosely modeled to that of the disaster film The Poseidon Adventure. Originally scheduled to air on May 1, 2011, as the season finale for the seventh season, "Hurricane!" was postponed in response to a series of tornadoes that ravaged the Southern United States, subsequently coinciding with the timing of the scheduled episodes. Other factors even included the March 11, 2011 Japanese tsunami.
The episode was well received by television critics, who praised its humor and cultural references. It was viewed by 5.71 million viewers upon its initial airing, while also receiving a 2.6/6 rating in the 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen ratings. "Hurricane!" was written by Erik Sommers, and directed by Tim Parsons. It featured the guest of Mike Barker, Lisa Edelstein, Jeff Fischer, Mike Henry, Matt McKenna, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Kristen Schaal.
When a hurricane arrives at Langley Falls, the Smiths prepare to evacuate their home with their neighbor Buckle in his amphibious raft. Stan, however, recommends that the family stay home during the storm, believing it is the best way for everyone to be safe. Hayley and Jeff also wish to stay to help the animals that have been left behind in the zoo. Francine disagrees with Stan's notion, Steve and Roger supporting her, as she points out Stan's history with making terrible decisions during crisis situations. But before the debate can be resolved, the seawall breaks and the ocean floods down the street, removing Buckle and his raft out of its path and trapping the Smiths in their home nevertheless. The neighborhood is now flooded, and the house is drifting along the floodwater's current. In an attempt to save the family from floating into any potential dangerous areas, Stan anchors the home; however the anchoring system also acts as a hinge and rotates the house upside-down, partially submerging it underwater.
The family becomes increasingly frightened and distrustful of him, especially when his latest advice leads Hayley to be attacked by a shark. With the shark loose in the house, the family fights for survival. Stan loses hope and admits Francine's suggestions are better than his own, until Klaus gives him an encouragement speech which inspires him to prove himself reliable in a crisis once more. Stan obtains a bear from the zoo to battle the shark, which only further aggravates the situation when the two animals work together to kill the family. Refusing to accept Francine's pleas to just get help, Stan instead throws a javelin that hits his wife in her shoulder instead of the bear. Buckle enters the house with a tranquilizer gun and sedates the two predators before also shooting Stan, who later tells Buckle that he made the right call. Despite the whole ordeal, Stan is no longer convinced that he should stay out of a future crisis.
After the storm clears, Stan looks out to scope the damage done by the storm, only to find himself in a stand-off with Cleveland Brown and Peter Griffin, whose houses have ended up on both sides of the Smiths' house. When Francine comes out the front door, Stan accidentally shoots her, which Peter claims to be "classic American Dad!" due to its unpredictability.
The episode was first announced in July 2010 by series creator Seth MacFarlane at the Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Kevin Reilly, the entertainment president of the Fox Broadcasting Company, originally pitched the idea for the crossover, which was inspired by theme nights of comedy shows from the 1980s. MacFarlane described the crossover event to be an "enormous challenge" and a "substantial undertaking"; he chose to do one central story line so that each writing staff would not have to write stories for unfamiliar characters. He was also willing to do another crossover event if this one received successful ratings.
Much of the episode plot in "Hurricane!" was modeled after the action adventure disaster film, The Poseidon Adventure. In his interview on the plot of the final part of the crossover episode, Mike Barker, a producer for American Dad, stated that "[they] end up flooding the house and turning it upside down." He continued: "Ultimately, the house drifts and ends up in the same neighborhood as the Griffin and Brown homes." The actual crossing over of the event occurs at the end of this episode when Stan gets involved in a stand off with Cleveland Brown of The Cleveland Show and Peter Griffin of Family Guy.
In April 2011, executives of the Fox Broadcasting Company officially announced that "Hurricane!" would air on May 1 as part of the Night of the Hurricane crossover, alongside with The Cleveland Show episode "The Hurricane!" and Family Guy episode "Seahorse Seashell Party". However on April 29, it was announced that the crossover event would be removed from the schedule, in response to a series of tornadoes that killed nearly 300 people in the Southern United States. The crossover was subsequently replaced by repeats of "I Am the Walrus" from American Dad!, "Brian Writes a Bestseller" from Family Guy, and "Ain't Nothin' But Mutton Bustin'" from The Cleveland Show. MacFarlane later agreed with the decisions after being consulted with the executives of Fox, and a spokeswoman for the company later announced that the episode would air the succeeding season.
"Hurricane!" was directed by Tim Parsons, in his first directing credit of the season. This episode marked the first time Parsons has directed an American Dad! episode since the sixth season episode "I Am the Walrus". It was written by Erik Sommers, which also served as his first writing credit for the season. Sommers' last production credit was the sixth season episode "You Debt Your Life". In addition to the regular cast, voice actor Mike Henry, actress Lisa Edelstein and voice actress Kristen Schaal guest starred in the episode as Cleveland Brown, Sharri Rothberg, and Roger's One Night Stand respectively. Recurring voice actors Jeff Fischer, Mike Barker, Matt McKenna, and Kevin Michael Richardson reprised their roles of Jeff Fischer, Terry Bates, Buckle, and Principal Brian Lewis respectively. In addition to his American Dad! roles of Stan, Roger, and Greg Corbin, MacFarlane reprised his Family Guy role of Peter Griffin, while Henry guest starred as his role of Cleveland Brown. This episode marked the first time Henry made a guest appearance on American Dad since the season four episode "Stan's Night Out". Edelstein and McKenna reprised their roles of Shari and Buckle, having last done so in the season six episode "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls". Fischer, Barker, and Richardson reprised their roles of Jeff, Terry, and Lewis, having last done so in the season six episode "Home Wrecker".
"Hurricane!" first aired in the United States on October 2, 2011 as part of the animation television night on Fox. It was preceded by episodes of The Simpsons, and its sister shows The Cleveland Show and Family Guy. It was viewed by 5.71 million viewers upon its initial airing, despite simultaneously airing with Desperate Housewives on ABC, Amazing Race on CBS, and a match between the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets on NBC. Total viewership for the episode was the third highest of the animation television block on Fox, having moderately higher ratings than that of The Cleveland Show but lower ratings than that of The Simpsons and Family Guy. "Hurricane!" garnered a 2.6/6 rating in the 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen ratings. Total viewership and ratings were slightly down from the previous episode, "Hot Water", which was watched by 5.83 million viewers and garnered a 3.0/7 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
Critics generally praised the episode, with many deeming "Hurricane!" as the best part of the crossover. Terron Moore of Ology praised the episode, giving it an 8.5 out of ten rating. Points of acclaim went to the humor of the episode, to which Moore opined that it "was packed with a lot of funny lines, a lot of ridiculous Stan antics [...], and a pretty funny arc involving Roger and his girlfriend". A writer of Television Review expressed approval of the episode. He noted that this part of the crossover was his anticipated part of Night of the Hurricane and that it did a great job describing the energy of the hurricane. Together he graded the episode an "A-".
Rowan Kaiser of The A.V. Club was polarized with the episode. Although she stated that the episode was not bad, Kaiser stated that it "didn't quite work". Kaiser went on to give the episode a 'B-' grade, scoring higher than the Family Guy episode "Seahorse Seashell Party", but lower than The Simpsons episode "Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts". Another writer felt that the interactions between Stan and Francine were inferior to previous episodes of the series and wrote, "It breaks away from Francine and Stan's fun relationship and veers into the more conventional cartoon relationship, where the husband is a buffoon and the wife has to keep him check."
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