A long time ago, I enjoyed “Family Guy.”
I really did. After clicking on the end of the Superbowl, I watched “Family Guy,” and it wasn’t love at first sight. However, upon repeated viewings of the first season I found it was charming.
Yes, okay, it was a rip-off of “The Simpsons,” I know.
Peter is Homer, Lois is Marge, Meg is a despicable Lisa, and Stewie is a much younger Bart.
I get it.
But I laughed, and I laughed a lot. Brian is still a great character, Lois is still kind of funny, the animation from McFarlane is pleasing, as well as the voice work, which is still great. Overall, since the beginning the parts of the sum were much more entertaining than the sum.
And then it was cancelled.
I was annoyed, but hell, it happens to the best of them. Years later it returned, and I welcomed it with open arms… and man, Seth McFarlane really didn’t hit it out of the park.
Repeated viewings of the new season amounted up to nothing more than episodes that were funny, but utterly half cocked. I mean sure, there was the FCC episode and the James Woods episode, but it was almost as if the writers had all but given up and were now throwing gags at us, at random. The story had all but diminished during episodes, in favor of gags that came at us like a clip show, with the story only serving as filler.
The reason why “”Family Guy” has never come close to “”The Simpsons” is because while “”The Simpsons” did have gags, and puns, and pop culture references, it also had heart, and genuine storytelling, and engaging characters. But most importantly, there was story.
I endured the revival’s direction because some of it was funny, and much of it was a miss. But then on one episode, the character Stewie is conversing with Brian and remembers something odd that happened to him, and they paused. Stewie then looks at the camera and asks “What? We don’t have a clip for that? Okay then.”
This wasn’t funny. In fact it was disappointing and daunting. Was this a purposeful jab from the writers, or something they intended to be hilarious? Or were they simply noticing how repetitive the scenarios had become? Either way, this was a case of the show caving in on itself.
Only five seasons in and the series was now spoofing itself. It had officially jumped the shark. A buddy of mine once responded to my comment of “I once hated “Family Guy” but then ended up becoming a fan later on,” with a reply of “There’s nothing wrong with hating “Family Guy,” as a matter of fact it should be influenced.” And then he made a great case. The show was merely just a juxtaposition of the eighties.
I denied such claims and then… it boiled with me. He was right. This season of “Family Guy” has been rather terrible, and let’s not forget the spits in the face that were the unfunny and boring “Family Guy Movie,” and that utterly wretched “The Winner,” folks. It was now apparent that Seth Macfarlane’s talents were only really limited to voice and vocal work.
And then the shock of reality came. Every single episode I’ve seen since the series revival has been painted with references from the eighties. The references are almost non-stop. There are jabs at “Facts of Life,” jabs at “Pac Man,” there are re-enactments of scenes from “Karate Kid,” and “Revenge of the Nerds,” and the “Rocky” movies, and perhaps one of the lamest is a scenario involving Stewie sharing an apartment with Q-Bert.
At first I was annoyed but now I’ve made a game of it. How many fucking stupid eighties references can Seth MacFarlane and crew squeeze into one episode? Well, if you made a drinking game out of it, you’d be drunk by minute fifteen. There are even two horribly excruciating gags involving the eighties that I still cringe thinking about.
One involves Brian delivering a pun to Stewie followed by an informercial of a CD called “Comebacks of the Eighties!” where a host explores comebacks from the eighties in a single playlist. It was a gag that was brutally unfunny, and rather indicative of where this series has gone.
And then there is the droning gag involving Peter and Lois sitting down to watch the extremely long opening theme to “Maude,” which, oddly enough, wore out its long welcome in only ten seconds.
And let’s not forget Chris re-enacting the music videos to “Wake me Up (Before You Go Go),” and “Take on Me.” My dear lord. That’s so funny, they mimicked every single movement of the music videos! That’s brilliant!
Perhaps if you remember the eighties, or grew up during that time you’ll enjoy the gags, but what kind of show are you watching if they can only provide gags from twenty years ago without a story to it? I doubt even eighties children are enjoying the endless screeching halts that have now become the puns and skits. I remember much of the eighties, believe it or not, even though I was very young at the time, and I hate this direction.
“Family Guy” isn’t just jumping the shark anymore, it’s chomping on every single fucking eighties reference it can get its hands on. Is FOX insisting they do away with the story in favor of endless gags and skits, or has Seth really showed how much of a one trick pony he is? For fuck sake, the show is spoofing itself, now.
We get it, guys. You love the eighties. I can’t blame you, but when am I going to get to see “Family Guy” again and not this crap? Are they so uncreative they can only stage elaborate gags hearkening back only twenty five years? Probably. “Family Guy” hasn’t been original at all since its premiere, and its now finally revealing its kinks.
I don’t know if “Family Guy” can ever be funny again, and personally I don’t care anymore. I stopped watching “Family Guy” weeks ago after the twentieth 80’s reference spoofing some stupid sitcom that would have been funny in 1990. This show still has its moments that’s for sure, and when the crew wants to, they can churn out a laugh a minute episode, but if this season is any indicator, Seth and crew are definitely nothing but one trick ponies with nothing else to offer.
As far as “Family Guy,” I’m done. You can have it. I enjoy the eighties too, but I get enough of it from my dad, who by the way, will not stop watching “We are the Eighties” on VH1 Classic.
We get it Seth, you love the decade, you love the pop culture, you love all that shit, now can you fucking stop? Please?
You were right, Trevor. You were right.
Posted on April 11, 2007 in Blogs by Felix Vasquez Jr.
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