American Dad!: Identifying the Family Values in an Animated Sitcom

Topics: Family, Fox Broadcasting Company, American Dad! Pages: 2 (694 words) Published: February 4, 2012
Since its 2005 debut, Seth McFarlane’s American Dad! has been among Fox Television’s popular sitcoms. This animated feature chronicles the day-to-day lives of the Smith family of fictionalized Langley Falls, Virginia. The Smith household is comprised of husband and father Stan, wife and mother Francine, college-age daughter Haley, teenage son Steve, and two non-human entities; a goldfish implanted with the consciousness of an East German named Klaus Heissler and an alien escaped from Area 51 in Nevada named Roger. While politically satirical and sometimes dark, American Dad! still manages to highlight the Smith’s commitment to family values and a Christian Worldview. To illustrate how American Dad! showcases family values, one must identify what family values are. Dr. Susie Duffy, a Marriage and Family Therapist based out of Newport Beach, California, defines family values as “a traditional set of social standards defined by the family and a history of customs that provide the emotional and physical basis for raising a family” (Defining Your Family’s Values, n.d.). The social standards recognized by Christian Americans view the family model as one father, one mother, with an indeterminate number of children either born to the parents, adopted, or both. The history of customs in Christian households offer a loving and protective environment aimed at preparing the children to survive and raise families on their own through the teachings of Jesus Christ. Many families are made up of members with strongly varying views and interests, and the subjects of American Dad! are no different. The Smith family is “full of radically different personalities just trying to figure out how to love and trust one another in a bi-partisan world” (Fox Broadcasting Company, n.d.). As the title of the show implies, the main character is family patriarch Stan Smith, a conservative Republican member of the CIA who views himself as a patriot and model citizen. Believing in a traditional...

References: Defining Your Family’s Values. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2012, from
About American Dad! (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2012, from
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