Review: American Dad “The Long March”

#MakingFunofVanLifers

Overview:

Hayley becomes overwhelmed after gaining a promotion at the Sub Hub.  Out of fear of working there for the rest of her life, she decides to quit out of the blue and live with Jeff in his van.  Roger helps them in gaining sponsors on Instagram so they can bring in an income.  But, when the sponsors begin to take control, and their new life starts to feel like a full-time job, Hayley and Jeff desperately try to leave their new life.

Meanwhile, Francine and Steve are trying to avoid an Uber driver after they gave him a low score.  Unfortunately, the same driver works for all of the apps and is set on gaining his revenge.  When Klaus inadvertently invites the driver into their home, Francine and Steve fear for their lives.

 

Our Take:

Honestly, who doesn’t want to pack up all of their things and live a life on the road?  The Instagram #VanLife craze is nothing new, there have always been and always will be those who wander.  What the internet has done is open up the door for some of these people to pay their way and live the life that the rest of us dream about.  Out of all the adult animated sitcoms, there couldn’t be anyone more fitting for the lifestyle then Hayley.  It is surprising even that she isn’t canonically a social media influencer to open the door for more stories such as these.

It is strange how the writers decided to portray the #VanLife lifestyle.  Plot-wise, it makes sense that Hayley would discover that she is stuck in a world where you cannot escape the dominance of money.  However, taking a few pictures and promoting a few items does not seem like it would be a strenuous or stressful job in the least.  Especially considering Hayley’s maturity, for the majority of the show I couldn’t help but think “this works”.  In the end, greedy corporate America takes over and swipes the job out from under her, which makes it even more confusing why the writers didn’t have Hayley flourishing in her new life.

Instagram isn’t the only app under a microscope in this episode, as Francine and Steve mention at least a dozen more.  Their fear of being matched with the same Uber driver that they gave a bad review to is something we can probably all resonate with.  For the most part, the people you meet through these apps are wonderful and helpful people.  Though there are always one or two, you hope you never have to run across again.  Especially if they know that you gave them a negative review.  Of course, American Dad would take this idea to the extreme, turning it into a horror theme.  But the idea is still relevant and relatable enough to make you think this plot could be turned into a movie.

Two story-lines both involving people who make their money through the internet and both of them shine a bad light on the concept.  It’s as if the writers are trying to tell us something in this episode.  They took some of the conveniences and bonuses of the world wide web and turned it on its heels.  An idea that could be conceived as ignorant, but is brilliant in its concept.  The execution could have been fleshed out a bit more, especially with Hayley’s story-line, but it manages to hold together for the twist conclusion.  It helped to turn the episode into an interesting introspective look at the society we have built online.

 

Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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