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Lois, Stewie, Peter, Brian, Meg, Chris & Brian

Animated Fox TV sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane

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"Hey Stewie, remember that time our show wasn't self indulgant crap?"

  • Oct 27, 2009
  • by
20 minutes of pure self indulgance and cutting material as sharp as a butter knife.  Thats the best way I can sum Family Guy up.  This show ever since it returned to TV a few years ago has become just that, a pure vehicle for Seth McFarlane's love or mouthpiece for his ideas and politics.

Even before that, the show was shallow with cheap shot jokes, sappy writing, and characters that are painful clones of Fox's OTHER snimated series, the one that had subtle messages, timeless episodes and humor that could be relevant to the plot?  Family Guy has always tried to maintain it's premise as a pastiche of traditional family sitcoms, characters and plots.  In other words, they ripped off as much as they could to make the AVERAGE TV show.  More sad that it is funny when you think about it.

That said though the "cutaway jokes" that Family Guy has done to death still can remain funny.  Even when an episode can be nothing but endless Star Wars jokes.  Swear to God, I channel surfed and stopped on Family Guy one day and no joke, it had just cut to a Star Wars joke.  The problem is I can remember a plot to an episode but never remember what jokes are in them since hardly any of them are plot relevant. I can remember the line about "What is a blow hole in a whale for?" but don't ask me what episode it came from.

The worst thing is I really loved this show in the beginning despite it's shortcomings.  The cutaway jokes were funny and Stewie's attempts at ruling the world and deposing of Lois's "matriarchy" were great.  Even the couple of times they would resort to religious jokes I could roll with the punches of sorts such as a pro gun video showing Jesus and Moses using machine guns to defeat the Eygyptians.  Those days are long gone.

Getting back onto network TV with new episodes I can only imagine what Seth had to do in order to make the show so overbearing and even more mediocre and extremely self indulgent.  Did you know Seth loves 50's music and musicals in general?  You will after seeing how many musical segments get into episodes a season especially after an episode in which Frank Sinatra Jr shows up to sing with Brain and Stewie, both characters voiced by Seth. 

How about Seth being an extreme liberal democrat?  Brian more or less now has become Seth.  Instead of a witty voice of reason for Peters cornball schemes, Brian now espouces the most blatantly obvious cases of the sort: Gay Marriage is good, Wal Mart is evil, Hummvees are bad, Religon in general is for suckers.  Whether you agree with any of the topics is one thing or another but the ham handedness in the delivery and the blatant obviousness in why it's being said is entirely another.  Would it surprise you to learn that the sides of the coin that Family Guy champions don't like Family Guy because of how the show presents they're message? 

We're talking celebrities on soapboxes levels of bad.  To compare the Simpsons in a similar vein, Lisa in one episode is out to prove that schools ignoring Darwins teachings is wrong, and goes out of her way to make Marge, a staunch church goer belive her that Darwin is right.  By the end of the episode you can still tell what side of the fence the writers are on but still give you leeway into allowing the other camp to have a voice and a reason for their side of the story.  South Park does this to a lesser extent but South Park is always at it's best being bizzare rather then satirical (which they are also fantastic at).  In Seth's world though, if you don't agree with him, your an ignorant nazi and thats all there is to it.  Don't belive me?  An episode where characters go back in time to Nazi Germany, German soldiers have McCain and Palin buttons on their coats.  The Star Wars episode has a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker on the back of the Imperial Star Destroyer.

How ironic though is it that South Park during it's two parter DEVOTED to the shows hatred of Family Guy went as far as two poke fun at itself and claim that Family Guy may be nothing but lame jokes but doesn't get preachy (the way South Park does)- that now FAMILY GUY is the preachy show except the men at the pulpit has a quarter of the talent, less the knack for it the way that South Park's creators do.

Finally for all the religous jokes, Christianity and Judiasm get it the worst.  Jews are stereotypical rich or stingy types or are nerdy weaklings of the sort that would make Woody Allen and Ben Stiller blush.  Don't even start with the Weinstein episode getting for lack of a better term "Rabbi Approved."  Catholics and Christians get it worst to the point you'd think that the effects of Holy Water would have the same effect on Seth and the writting staff as sunlight would have on Dracula.  Whats the one religon they leave alone or rarely touch?  Take a guess.  The only reason they even attempt a joke at risky targets like black or muslim is so that people can say "They joke about everyone evenly."  Take this for what it's worth but it seems that Family Guy will only go after soft targets that won't fight back or make a stink about what was said about them like any pressure group normally does.  Aren't they daring.  Family Guy can't even play by the rules of "Anything is game therefore anything is funny" cause by only being selective in so many cases with it's gags and stabs, they look narrow minded at times.

Well, you really got my opinions on this one.  I hate leaving people with bad impressions or allusions to my own shortcomings, hang ups and choices but I'm sorry-Family Guy burned that bridge with me a long time ago, even luring me back with an episode that had the entire Star Trek The Next Generation cast reuinion and then featuring a B story that featured the worst in what I hate about the show and wrapped it up with a "moral to the story" that is cringe inducing to say the least and could even be refutted in the easiest ways.  I almost should have written this in a point about Seth, but since he is so inimately connected to this show, it's just as well.  It's also just as well that I finished up this much time talking about a show I can't stand anymore.  This isn't the first time I've let loose on something I can't stand-remember that time I reviewed Attack of the Clones?

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September 20, 2010
I have no idea how I missed this review before but between this one and Rhodes' write up, you guys pretty much covered the whole thing. I only saw this series during its early episodes so I am not too familiar with what goes on there these days, but I have heard stories. Too bad...
September 20, 2010
Your not missing much as I think I covered anything. Unlike a smarter show that lets you make your own mind up, it TELLS you what to think. It's aseops don't even make any sense either like an episode recently where Peter decides to be gay and the Family talks him out of it and ends with something along the lines of "You can't make someone change they're mind about something like this" ....except they DID change Peters mind and he was straight again. I hear they even had the nerve to do a "Brian and Stewie are locked in a room and talk they're problems out" episode like All in the Family did years before with Archie and Mike, except THAT was good. You can't have a show make moral philosophical stands that has tasteless humor one minute and spend the next minute ridiculing the other side that doesn't even have a voice and are strawmen that would get blown over if the wind blew. Contrast this to a show that did this WELL, again All in the Family where Archie goes on TV and says that guns should be legal and it would stop plane hijackings which of course Mike thinks is dumb. Cut to a resturant later and the family gets robbed at gunpoint after Mike and Archie have an argument. If Archie had a gun, the family wouldn't have gotten robbed, but if there were stronger gun laws the robber wouldn't have had one. Family Guy would just say that guns are bad and start wars and leave no room for discussion at all. Sorry to harp on this point, but trust me-this show will always find a way to send me off the deep end some days.
October 27, 2009
Wow, I absolutely love your review title!
September 20, 2010
me too. It is so creative!
October 27, 2009
Wow, definitely an opinionated and interesting review! I used to like Family Guy when it first aired but I got sort of tired of it - I think it just got sort of stale and trite. It also didn't help that I went to school in Boston and got my ears filled with FG quotes constantly (for some reason people in MA and RI like FG A LOT. Like, more than anyone I've ever met. Maybe it's the Quahog thing???)
October 27, 2009
I actually agree with almost everything you've said. I used to like the show back when it first premiered. But when it came back it seems like every episode goes into the territory of "Anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot!" and it ends up getting preachy. I love that example of The Simpsons. It's what I love about that show. That even with an argument in place The Simpsons never went so far as to characterize the other side as being so obtuse they couldn't find their own ass with both hands and a map. There was actually balance. There were even times when Lisa could be (dare I say) wrong!

I would actually agree with Seth in some of his sentiments if he could ever present a balanced argument that didn't boil down to, "If you don't agree with me you're dumb."  There are some things I do agree with Seth on... but without any sort of rational argument (or even a sort of "Let's agree to disagree" sentiment) his arguments are as empty as his humor and jokes.  Nice review.
October 27, 2009
Thank you. This was probably the most loaded a write up I've ever done especially about something so hot right now but after getting the middle finger a few too many times from the show, I'm turning my back and never looking back.
October 27, 2009
Yeah, I had to do that with South Park after they killed off Chef. It's a total slap in the face to fans. The Simpsons would never do away with Krusty. And with good reason, they understand what their viewers don't want.
October 28, 2009
Well, with South Park it had to do with Issac Hayes going along for the ride until his Scientology came under attack and then it wasn't cool anymore and had to write off a major character. In all honesty, I really don't miss Chef that much but the show doesn't feel the same. Your right though, Simpsons would never get rid of Krusty but sadly in a sign of maturity on the shows part since it was never a "wacky" show, King of the Hill did lose Cotton.
More Family Guy reviews
review by . June 28, 2009
   When Family Guy first premeired in 1999, we were all taken aback by Family Guy.  As with many new adult cartoon shows, Family Guy was branded as a Simpsons knock off.  And true enough, the inspiration from The Simpsons was there.  But as the show grew it branched out in the very same season into it's own show.  It was hilarious with it's wity pop culture references and just all around fun humor.  The show eventually became so controversial and "offensive" …
review by . June 22, 2010
This show is definitly the funniest show of all time. Seth MacFarlane is a genious. Not only does it have the best comedy of any show I've ever seen, but it also has the most clever jokes. It takes stuff that happens in every day life and turns it into something histarical. I could watch the show over and over again. There are 6 seasons for you to enjoy so far, but there are more to come.  Personally I think it is the best show ever, but there are some reviews that aren not as nice. …
Quick Tip by . August 04, 2010
Although I find this show hilarious, I know it is offensive to some. It is defiantly a show by choice or by acquired taste. It should at least be watched before it is judged. I love it! Depending on your views some may not think it is suitable for children, that would be a personal choice.
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
Funny, yes. Critial forum that makes us look at ourselves, yes (not necessarily all viewers). However, some components of the show can drag on and be overdone. Also the show can become a bit formulaic.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
made of awesomeness
Quick Tip by . June 02, 2010
Quick Tip by . May 22, 2010
Can't stop laughing!!
Quick Tip by . May 22, 2010
Honestly, at times I feel obligated to watch this show just for the crude humor.
Quick Tip by . May 01, 2010
Animated show that's clever days are far behind it replaced with obvious, preachy politics, take thats and as hollow as rubber ball. Shame.
Quick Tip by . April 05, 2010
i love family guy
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this tv show


Family Guy is an animated television sitcom, which revolves around the dysfunctional life of the Griffin Family who live in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island. The family consists of parents, Peter (Seth McFarlane) and Lois (Alex Borstein), two teenagers, Chris (Seth Green) and Megan (Mila Kunis), a genius dog, Brian (Seth McFarlane), and the eccentric baby Stewie (Seth McFarlane). The show uses frequent gag jokes and irreverent humor, centering around spontaneous events and situations in the families life. Family Guy was canceled in 2000 and again in 2002, but was resurrected in 2005 due to strong DVD Sales and high viewership of re-runs. The show was created by Seth MacFarlane and currently airs on Fox, along with other television networks in syndication.

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Description: Animated Comedy Show

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