American Dad! Review: “Buck, Wild” (Season 9, Episode 3)


American Dad! Review: "Buck, Wild" (Season 9, Episode 3)

Catching a clip for this episode of American Dad! during the commercials for Bob’s Burgers, my immediate response was “another episode about Steve. Sigh.” In “Buck, Wild,” Steve accompanies Stan and his co-workers on a hunting trip, and the teen quickly makes a mistake that he will never forget.

There have been many episodes of American Dad! specifically centered on Steve being a weak, awkward teenager, in which Steve tries to be cool, Steve tries to have sex, or – like in “Buck, Wild” – Steve tries (or has) to be a man. When was the last episode like this? A mere two episodes ago: the season nine premiere!

In all fairness, we are on season nine of American Dad!, so I guess it makes sense that it’s starting to seem like there are way too many Steve stories. Luckily, Roger also had a brief subplot this week with Klaus, which was clearly unnecessary but welcome none-the-less, almost exclusively for the flash of “angry Roger” when he yells at the neighbor in the beginning.

Overall, “Buck, Wild” is just okay. There are a few silly, laugh-out-loud moments, but there’s nothing particularly insightful or clever about this episode. And at this point I just feel like a Steve-hater, but seriously, I hope the next Steve episode is slated towards the end of this season. Is a Hayley episode too much to ask?

Here’s what I did like about this week’s episode: lots of animal-related humor. First, there was the absurd visual of “one of those tree bucks” spinning, before falling to the ground and stabbing the other deer. And then, there were the mounted heads on the wall, haunting Steve during “the regaling.” Lastly, there was one of the weirdest jokes of the night, the bit about the mountain lions, one dying and one scheming in response. I’m a sucker for personified, nefarious animals.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Of course the writers would choose “Charizard” as the Pokémon noted when Steve knows more about Pokémon than the children at the kids’ table, because it’s a name that the average viewer might remember. NERD RAGE: there are more than 700 Pokémon now, so a random kid having a Charizard card is convenient for the joke but super unlikely. *pushes glasses up on nose*
  • Steve’s PowerPoint indicating his multiple rites of passage into manhood references one of my favorite Steve episodes, season five’s “Man in the Moonbounce,” in which Steve takes up Stan’s role as man of the house.
  • Stan doesn’t live in a Euro-centric bubble when it comes to discussion on the “most handsome man in the world.”
  • “If you wanna ask me a question, Stan, ask me a question. Don’t use me as a prop” – a meta quote from Francine, who existed even less than Klaus this week, with the exception of her “no regerts” tattoo.
  • Steve said that he was a 14-year-old in this episode, and then it was blatantly stated that a year has passed. Let this be noted for future reference in all Bart Simpson-style conversations about Steve’s age.

What did you think of this week’s episode of American Dad!? Are you getting sick of Steve, or should I shut up about the character already? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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