Family Guy (1999– )

TV Series  -   -  Animation | Comedy
8.4
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In a wacky Rhode Island town, a dysfunctional family strive to cope with everyday life as they are thrown from one crazy scenario to another.

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Title: Family Guy (1999– )

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Won 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 13 wins & 52 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Peter Griffin / ... (233 episodes, 1999-2014)
...
 Lois Griffin / ... (233 episodes, 1999-2014)
...
 Chris Griffin / ... (233 episodes, 1999-2014)
...
 Meg Griffin / ... (221 episodes, 1999-2014)
...
 Cleveland Brown / ... (216 episodes, 1999-2014)
Danny Smith ...
 Jim Kaplan / ... (178 episodes, 1999-2014)
...
 Announcer / ... (169 episodes, 2005-2014)
...
 Joe Swanson / ... (151 episodes, 1999-2014)
Alec Sulkin ...
 Jesus Christ / ... (138 episodes, 2005-2014)
...
 Various / ... (123 episodes, 2001-2014)
Edit

Storyline

The Griffin household includes two teenagers, a cynical dog who is smarter than everyone else, and an evil baby who makes numerous attempts to eradicate his mother. Heading up this eclectic household is Peter Griffin. Peter does his best to do what's right for the family, but along the way, he makes mistakes that are the stuff of legends. Written by Ronos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

UnCut, Un-PC & Unsuitable for Kids See more »

Genres:

Animation | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

31 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Family Guy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the British TV programme 100 Greatest Cartoons (2005), Seth MacFarlane's favorite Family Guy moment is the scene from Family Guy: Da Boom (1999) where Peter is feeding Tom Selleck. See more »

Goofs

Peter's shirt buttons the wrong way. Men's shirts button with the left side over the right side, but Peter's shirt is backwards, in the same direction as Lois's shirt. Occasionally, but very rarely, this changes. See more »

Quotes

Stewie Griffin: Damn the toilet. It's made slaves of you all. It just sits there consuming other people's feces while contributing nothing of its own to society.
See more »

Crazy Credits

An episode that aired the same week that Star Wars Episode III was released to theaters features end credits in the same style as the Star Wars movies. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cleveland Show: Harder, Better, Faster, Browner (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Another One Bites the Dust
Queen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

MacFarlane's brilliant sitcom parody was once one of the funniest things on TV, but now it may suffer the same creative fate as the Simpsons
12 August 2007 | by (www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com) – See all my reviews

Network: Fox; Genre: Animated Comedy, Satire, Parody; Content Rating: TV-14 (pervasive sexual content, scatological humor, strong language, violence, animated nudity); Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1-5);

Season Reviewed: 5 seasons

After 5 seasons, two cancellations and a now militant army of fans the show has amassed, I don't quite know what to say about "Family Guy" anymore.

When "Family Guy" debuted in 1999 it was a shotgun blast of comic brilliance that came out of nowhere and went unheard by an audience still enraptured by the antics of "Friends". At first it all appears relatively routine, even - as many have accused - a ripe-off of "The Simpsons". Fat, child-like, head of household Peter Griffin (voiced by creator Seth MacFarlane) screws things up while dotting wife Lois (Alex Borstein), put-upon daughter Meg (Mila Kunis) and genetic copy Chris (Seth Green) look on. Also in the mix is genius, homicidal infant Stewie (MacFarlene) - one of the most deserving break-out characters in TV history - and Brian, the family's talking dog.

If the characters sound like clichés, that's the point. MacFarlane uses them simply as vessels and with the show regurgitates every pop culture childhood memory to create a full-length parody of 70s and 80s sitcoms. Even better than a parody, a satire. Just as Archie Bunker was a product of the 50s being imposed on by a changing 70s 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 with "The Simpsons" in a creative tailspin for the last decade, MacFarlane and crew swoop 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. From bits in which Jesus Christ turns water "into funk" or a TV parody "Gumble 2 Gumble: Beach Justice" staring Greg and Bryant Gumble as bicycle cops, "Guy" isn't just one of the funniest things to grace TV, it was freakin' brilliant. This breaks from are more often like an animated version of "The Far Side", then "The Simpsons".

Then it was canceled only to be renewed at the 11th hour. And then it was canceled again, brought back supposedly by strong DVD sales. But given the networks ownership of the show and how Fox beat to death the equally strong "Futurama", it's hard to buy that. This constant shakeup has got to take a toll on a series' rhythm. When the show returned for a 3rd season it felt lacking of something. As if the network notes to "slow the pace", "tone down the fantasy scenes" and "thicken the story lines" were rigidly being followed when the breaking of these rules was what made the show great in the first place. Still it contained classics like "Emission: Impossible", "The Thin White Line", "Road to Rhode Island" and "Brian Wallows, Peter's Swallows" to keep us satisfied.

Upon the 2nd return, giving us seasons 4, 5 and beyond, the show has completely lost it's footing. After a LONG agonizing wait, the 4th season premiere is a disappointing "North by Northwest"/"Passion of the Christ" parody. The rest of the season follows suit in which only "PTV", the show's satire of the TV ratings system, recaptures it's prior lunacy. MacFarlane makes the crucial mistake here, actually wanting us to care about them. Given that they where envisioned as clichés in the first place, putting the weight of a story on their backs only shows how lacking the show is for character depth. Even Stewie, once a source for huge laughs, is stripped down to a single latent homosexuality joke. The show gets story heavy where it shouldn't. Slows down when it should speed up. Goes broad when it should go cult. Gets political and angry when it should be mindless escapism. "Family Guy" was about velocity, randomness and obscure 1% gags.

I won't go as far as to say that "Family Guy" beyond seasons 4 and 5 is proof that a dead show should probably remain dead. But it is proof that a show can't go through constant cancellations and reshuffling and remain intact. It also suffers from the same fate that has plagued "The Simpsons". It is full of itself. It has become lazy in a belief that it can do no wrong in the eyes of it's fans. "Family Guy", in many ways, has sold out. It isn't the acerbic TV rebel it used to be. It is now part of the system itself

"Guy's" humor has a masterful ability to appeal to "Star Trek" nerds and drunken frat boys alike. And it is hard to deny the TV geek in my doesn't flip out when they do something half of either audience won't get like weave a "Star Wars" joke into a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" reference. But the show's die-hard legions of fans (some damn near sycophantic over the show's brilliance) have allowed it to be lazy and complacent and paved the way for MacFarlane's head to slide right up his own posterior. In some ways he deserves it, the show can still be very, very funny. But the true fans out there know that it can do much, much better.

* * * ½ / 5


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