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
As most viewers - even die-hard fans - will admit, "The Family Guy" is what it is. And I suppose, for those who like that sort of thing, that's the sort of thing they like (10 bucks to the first person who knows which *literary* work that references. I'm not holding my breath). That said, "The Family Guy" is many things, but cohesive isn't one of them. Every plot line I've seen is a flagrant and embarrassing attempt to be the funny kid at school (see also: Mike Myers and "Austin Powers"). You don't have to be smart. You don't have to have grace, wit, or style. You just have to do whatever you can - fart, sh*t, belch
as loudly as possible, and often enough that you either get a laugh
(whether it's with you or at you is hardly relevant) or you get thrown out of class. If I was a teacher, and Seth McFarlane's "Family Guy" was one of my students, he'd be in the corner with a dunce cap on and his back to the class before the first bell rang.
This isn't to say that there haven't been moments I've laughed while watching the show. But when a television writer's method of being funny is to throw a hundred jokes at a dartboard, then one or two will undoubtedly hit the bullseye. In the case of "Family Guy", the expense is felt heavily in every other aspect of storytelling - narrative cohesiveness, theme, exposition, and most of all character.
A dog that talks. A baby that wants to take over the world. A mother who simply exists to do matronly things. And a fat, slovenly father who doesn't know his ass from his elbow. I'm sorry people, but not a single one of these ideas is original, and not a single one of these "characters" exists for any other reason than to be the butt - or the catalyst - of a crass joke. Putting every superior sitcom ("All in the Family") and cartoon (yes, indeed "The Simpsons"!) that preceded it into a blender of bad taste only works if something funny comes out of it, or if it approaches any sort of social commentary ("South Park"). Since the latter is undeniably missing, the question becomes, finally, are the jokes worth it?
When I was 8 years old, I can remember running around the schoolyard with a tape recorder, burping and screaming with my friends and recording every minute. We made fun of the fat kids, we laughed at the retards. At the time, I thought what I was making was hilarious, and it did indeed provide hours of entertainment.
But then I grew the f*ck up. I started to understand that being laughed at hurts. That being overweight is often unhealthy, sometimes life-threatening. That being developmentally disabled is an affliction beyond hope.
I don't really blame anyone on here for laughing at the "Family Guy." (Though I do suggest one or more of you pick up a book from time to time). However, unmerciful shame on Seth McFarlane for producing such an often unfunny, always worthless, crowd-pandering rip-off.
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