Review: American Dad “Railroaded”




Beginning with a fake quote about animals and politics, the episode opens with Stan and Roger trying to get into a gridlocked Bazooka Sharks parking lot. Roger goes on and on about Urban Outfitters while Stan suggests having a bullet train in town to cut down on the traffic, and Roger thinks he can take that idea to the mayor, which he does…at gunpoint. Ironically (maybe?), the idea is shot down due to costs alone, but Stan does manage to get the public on his side once he gets his inspirational mojo back. This soon leads to Roger organizing a mayoral election campaign for Stan to take on Mayor Woodside, and everyone in the family begins shaping up to help poll numbers, and even the James Garfield clone joining the team. Roger pulls out all the stops, including making a savage attack ad and rigging debate questions to turn the tide against Woodside. Things look good…until Stan drops a baby in front of the whole town, throwing his poll numbers into disarray. Finally, the election night comes (along with a dozen deep cut cameos, including a suddenly alive Krampus?) and Stan wins in a landslide. He’s initially nervous about running a government with no experience, but Roger takes control of the town to put the train together, taking out any opposition that gets in his way. The unveiling of the train eventually arrives, but the truth comes out when Stan finds no one on the streets. Apparently Roger has been taking anyone against the Monorail ER I MEAN bullet train idea to an internment camp, including Francine (who has a thing with rats going on or something). Stan confronts Roger, who reveals his real intention: using the construction of a bullet train to attract development of an Urban Outfitters in Langley, and when Stan protests, he’s imprisoned too. Faced with his mistakes and hubris, Stan unites the town once again against Roger, and crashes the train right through the construction site, killing the Urban Outfitters people. Stan resigns as mayor and gives the position to James Garfield.


Hm, a charismatic idiot elected purely on chutzpah, running almost entirely on one big impractical infrastructure promise, being manipulated by an outside force, and wearing a stupid red hat? WHERE HAVE I SEEN THAT BEFOOOOORRRRREEEE???

Real-life parallels aside, I was also first reminded of The Simpsons Monorail episode, at least in terms of the train part, though bringing James Garfield back into things was a neat twist. Kind of reminds me of how Futurama put Nixon back in charge or China, IL with Reagan. But next time, we see American Dad steal from its first season as we return to the topic of sex education!


David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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