Family Guy (USA 1999 – till the end of the world )

family-guy-690% of the jokes in “Family Guy” fall into one of 3 categories: 1) Jokes making fun of pop culture (especially old TV shows and celebrities) 2) Gags that run so long that they become absurd 3) Flashbacks, most of the time introduced with “This is more ___ than that time I ___” There are plenty of people who don’t buy it, but I like it despite having to take breaks when I don’t watch it for six months at a time. It does pander to the crowd of let’s hurl a hundred cruel jokes at the dartboard. They have to hit something! They do but it is usually at the expense of character and cohesiveness that other shows have and Family Guy sorely lacks.

The characters sound like clichés, but that’s the point. Creator Seth MacFarlane uses them simply as vessels, with the show regurgitating every pop culture childhood memory to create a full-length parody of 1970s and 1980s sitcoms. Even better than a parody, a satire. Just as Archie Bunker was a product of the 1950s being imposed on by a changing 1970s culture, “Family Guy” is about the new millennial values juxtaposed on sitcom camp of the last century. In MacFarlane’s world there are child molesters on “Lost in Space” and “Eight is Enough” actually refers to disciplinary beatings.

Yes, “The Simpsons” have covered similar ground, with a particular emphasis on random flashbacks and fantasy scenes. But “The Simpsons” went into a creative tailspin after nearly a decade, then MacFarlane and crew swooped in to fill this gaping void. To out-Simpson “The Simpsons” if you will. What MacFarlane brings to the table is pitch-perfect comic timing – an ability to know how quick to cut or how long to drag out a particular bit to get the laugh. As well as utter fearlessness. Family Guy isn’t just one of the funniest things to ever grace TV, its been freakin’ brilliant. Head honcho from the cast of characters is Peter Griffin, although his voice can be so irritating. He wallows in his vulgar ignorance in a very smug way.

The show’s writers like to include him in extremely immoral situations. Some viewers were permanently lost after Season 8, Episode 11: Dial Meg for Murder. In this episode, Peter is a participant at a rodeo and is thrown to the ground by the bull he was riding. The bull then stands on it’s hind legs and tells Peter that on his own farm he is a breeding bull. The bull then rips the pants off of a clearly terrorized Peter. The bull then proceeds to violently rape Peter just off camera. Peter screams in protest. Later, in the same episode, Peter is raped a second time, this time by his own daughter, in his shower. As the attack occurs, the scene switches to the outside of the shower cubicle. Do these people (the writers, or even Seth himself) have no shame?! Of course they don’t. This is the 21st century & people expect comedy to be cheap, lazy, nasty, low-brow…basically anything that’s considered edgy.

Some of my favourite quotes now. Peter: “Ha ha, look at Quagmire coming on to that skank. You know he’s going to close the deal.” Brian: “Er, Peter…that skank is you’re daughter.” Peter: “Oh my God, your right!” Joe Swanson to son, Kevin: ” Wait a minute, an Ed Hardy T shirt? That particular strain of douche bag didn’t arise until 2007 – when you were supposedly in your coma!” Chris Griffin, outraged to hear Kevin’s anti-war speech: “If you think I’m going to masturbate after this tonight, you’d be absolutely right!” Mort Goldman, running an idea of torching his pharmacy past Peter and Quagmire. Peter: “Geez, Mort, how the hell do you know how to do all this?” Mort: “Oh, it’s all covered in the Torah. Right after the chapter on writing complaint letters that will result in compensatory merchandise.” (Obviously its funnier to hear their matter-of-fact voices than just to read the dialogue)

seamus

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Comments

  1. “That skank is your daughter!” Hahahaha classic! Family Guy is so 50/50 in its quality, sometimes leaving me to quote Brokeback Mountain to my TV screen, “I wish I knew how to quit you.” Nevertheless, when the humour is on point it’s all worth it. Excellent review as always! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What else can I say but I agree! 🙂

    Like

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