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I cannot even begin to discuss how ridiculously smart and outrageously
funny is this show. Not only does this program far surpass most of the
comedies on television, it has the guts to hit topics that most of the
overly sensitive public shies away from. I never understood why it was
taken off the air in the first place. Fox can show something as tawdry
and humanly degrading as Temptation Island, but Family Guy was too
I absolutely must comment on the incredible voice talent done for this show, most especially the amazing creator himself, Seth MacFarlane. First of all, his versatility is unlike anything I have ever heard. When I discovered how many voices he actually performed, I was floored. I am currently receiving my masters in speech pathology so I find his ability particularly interesting. Not only can he speak in these individual voices, he can sing in them, and very well I might add.
The musical numbers in this cartoon revive a dying art. The "Road" episodes are a hysterical throw back to the Crosby/Hope movies, which is a reference I usually have to explain to my friends though they often must explain a few that I miss. In fact, the scope of the references range from cheesy 80's TV to political commentary to Broadway. This is why everyone will find something funny about this show. Everyone in one form or another can relate to it.
Most of my guy friends think I should be offended by the show because I am a woman and this is a "guy's show." Let me tell you, this is not the case at all. Lois Griffin is a freakin role model. I like to think I have half of her savvy when dealing with my ignorant boyfriends.
Absolutely excellent television. Edgy, funny, intelligent and extremely creative. This show was a breath of fresh air for mundane television and will soon awaken the network again. Seth MacFarlane, you are a genius!!
While I know that I run the risk of being chased out of town for saying
this, I feel that since the beginning of Season 5, the show has lost
90% 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 ___"
I'm sure that a lot of people find this stuff funny, but after 4 seasons with this kind of humour, it just becomes so expected that it ends up being routine. This doesn't do it for me.
I still like this show and I think it has a lot of potential, but it needs some new ideas!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Family Guy is easily one of the worst shows I've ever forced myself to
watch (Not at THE bottom, though - I've seen The Jersey Shore). A
popular hit with high school and college kids who mistake immaturity
for edginess, this show is unoriginal and stale.
As this has been dubbed a comedy show, let's take a look at its "humor." 1. Random flashbacks/cuts to celebrities or movies or politics or anything that can be cut to for a knee-jerk laugh. It got old after the 5 or so repetitions per episode. Simple solution: Every time you hear "This is worse than/like the time...", plug your ears.
2. Inappropriateness for its own sake. This show is notorious for inserting inappropriate gags that have little to do with the overall plot. Solution: Watch South Park. They did it right.
The bottom line is that Family Guy is not worth your time, and doesn't hold a candle to The Simpsons.
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:
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
I started watching "Family Guy" right after it premiered after the Super Bowl back in 1999. I immediately fell in love with it and thought it was hilarious. "Family Guy" is about the Griffin family who live in Rhode Island. Peter Griffin is the father of the family and not very bright. He usually says wrong things in the wrong time. Lois is the mother of the family and smarter than Peter. Meg is the daughter of the family and she tries to avoid her family from making her look uncool and goes through teen problems. Chris is the son who loves to eat and is also not very bright. Stewie is the baby who tries to kill his family and take over the world. Brian, the dog, is the voice of reason in the family but also an alcoholic. "Family Guy" has many great episodes. My favorites include "Road to Rhode Island", "Peter, Peter Cavier Eater", and "Mr. Saturday Knight". I am glad new episodes are coming next year! This show deserves 10/10 stars!
I love everything about family guy.
My favourite characters in family are Brian and Stewie and I like the episodes when it mainly features them such as "Road to Rhode Island" (Season 2), as they interact very well. The comments they make just have me in stitches. Peter's behaviour is also very funny as some of the things he does "are just so brilliant they're retarded." The voice acting is excellent, especially Seth MacFarlane as he provides the voices for half of the Griffin family as well as their perverted neighbour Glenn Quagmire and how he manages this range (particularly with singing) I just don't know. He deserves his two Emmy's for providing the voice of evil baby genius Stewie. Adam West also steals the show with his funny and completely insane regular character the mayor of Quahog. What I like about Chris (voiced by Seth Green) is the things he says show that he takes after his father when it comes to intelligence and common sense.
The only thing I have found annoying is that in the UK Fox has decided to change the seasons to increase DVD sales, which in no way reflect the programme itself but rather the marketing.
If you enjoy Family Guy then I would thoroughly recommend Seth MacFarlane's other project American Dad which uses a different style of humour but is still extremely hilarious.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I write this review as a long time fan who is now disillusioned with
just how far this show has fallen. The Family Guy used to be one of the
best written shows on television. It has now fallen so far, that it now
relies on jokes about rape and the victims of childhood sexual assault
to get cheap laughs.
Victims of sexual assault are never to be made fun of.
For the first four seasons, The Family Guy was well written, fast paced, edgy and very clever. The jokes were edgy, but never nasty, or made people feel uncomfortable. The cut-away jokes that seemingly lead to nowhere were great, because it meant the show wasn't taking itself too seriously.
Seasons five and six saw the beginning of the end for the Family Guy. The once brilliant comedy was quickly disappearing from the writing, and the jokes were starting to get a nasty edge to them.
I still enjoyed the show, until (season 6, Episode 11) The Former Life of Brian. In a flashback to a conversation between Brian and an old girlfriend, the girlfriend is opening up to him about having been molested as a child. Brian's response is "So, you go all the way, then?".
Apparently, this is supposed to be funny.
I also find the concept that the dog, Brian, having sex with a human and conceiving a child with a human to be extremely distasteful as well. Bestiality is not a subject which should be included in any TV show. Yet, Brian has at least one other long term sexual partner in the show, his now ex-girlfriend Jillian.
I'll skip forward past the now plummeting quality of the show to 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 terrorised 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. It is then implied that she is using the handle of a loofah on a stick that she is holing when she enters the shower, to anally rape her father.
This is the episode that permanently lost me as a viewer. There is nothing funny about rape.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This programme is like marmite, you either love it or hate it, there is
no middle ground. I am the latter, I can't stand the show and don't
understand why it is such a success.
I agree with one of the reviewers who said that the dad (Peter) has the most annoying voice in the world and every time he talks, it likes a drill going through my head.
I just don't find this programme funny. There is no humour whatsoever. I have tried to get into the show but it is plain awful and if I could have marked a zero out of ten, I would have. It is not on the same level as The Simpsons and Drawn Together
Please, please get this programme off the air completely and never show reruns of it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When Family Guy first premiered, I was not in a discriminating mood.
With the 1990s containing a wealth of clever, surreal cartoons, why
should I be? Nickelodeon produced Doug; Ren and Stimpy and Rockos
Modern Life among other fine cartoons(Yes, this includes Spongebob).All
had quirky, dreamlike animation and surprisingly sophisticated stories
and dialog. The Simpsons became an outright phenomenon, perhaps not as
brilliant as its biggest defenders claim it to be, but a very fine
investment of your time and certainly dismisses the false axiom that
all TV is junk. South Park started out as a crude but hilarious attack
on everything with unique and intelligent satire underneath. It evolved
to become a Monty Python- esquire show with outrageous concepts and
brutally swift and sharp societal critiques(Such as their defense of
the noble underpants gnomes) and eventually settled to be entirely self
referential and "meta" like the Simpsons did, and has unfortunately
jumped the shark. Family Guy is superficially like The Simpsons and
South Park. It pushes buttons and is a favorite among college students
and bestiality enthusiasts. However, what it has in loquacity it lacks
in true wit.
The show is famous for its use of gimmicks, especially for flashbacks. Many are references to bad TV sitcoms or commercials. Some are funny(Especially from the first two seasons), most are not. Are references inherently funny? I'm not sure, but they are mostly what the show stands on considering that its characters are painfully uninteresting. Where Homer and Bart have charm, and Cartman has an artillery of self awareness and pure outrageousness to back up his awful behavior, Peter Griffin has no excuse. He's just a loud, obnoxious pig. Anything funny coming from his character is only because the writers forget how to be unfunny that day. Lois is also very shallow and dull; Meg is a prop, only to be abused; Chris is borderline retarded and only occasionally funny, and the two main stars of the show(Stewie and Brian) are so inconsistent in their characterizations that it all really kind of pointless.
Other gimmicks I can't stand are when a character points to something obviously and lingers on it for an uncomfortably long time. This happens a lot lately, and I can't bear it any longer. Not just the oft mentioned chicken that likes to beat Peter up, I'm talking about the painful moments where they talk about pop culture and prod it as if they are alien spectators. That's not wit or even ironic humor, it's totally boring and lifeless.
Not that the show can't be funny, in fact some of the earlier episodes had me rolling. Highlights include the pilot episode, where Peter loses touch with reality after losing his precious television; when Peters religious zealot father shows up and wreaks havoc; When Peter becomes a narc at Megs school, and the "pancake" episode. I suspect these are the episodes that accidentally incorporated actual human traits in its characters, or merely were times the writers had actual comedic inspiration.
One last thing, the show is not offensive. It's only offensive to those who wouldn't watch the show in the first place, so it's almost like a circle jerk to the choir of hipsters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(spoiler) In 1999, Fox aired quite possibly the worst series ever to
grace television, a horrible little show named Family Guy. It had ugly,
rigid animation, and stale, unfunny, and extremely repetitive jokes.
Repetitive in how, you would ask? Well, the jokes either came in one of
1. They would try to make the lazy, ugly as sin father, Peter Griffin, a man with the most ANNOYING voice in history(so annoying I would love to take some scissors to his throat to shut him up) as much of a jerk as possible, for example, one episode he makes fun of a guy for being sad that his mom died(HYSTERICAL!). Repeat to death. Oh, yeah, real funny. I'm practically dying from laughter right now.
2. They randomly take a popular fictional character, such as Spider-man, or Mickey Mouse, or Indiana Jones or someone randomly pop up. Then, they repeatedly do this to fill in a full half-hour. Ohhhh, INCREDIBLY funny. Okay, there is occasionally...
3. Something where they just do something completely offensive. One episode I did unfortunately watch had them completely portraying Walt Disney as a sick, perverted sleaze ball. I'm sorry, but that is completely rude and disrespectful, and especially out of line for creator(and voice of about 91% of the cast) Seth MacFarlane. After all, if it wasn't for animation innovators like Walt Disney, Seth would probably be stuck in some dead-end job.
This sorry excuse for a series was horrible, with the laziest writing I have ever seen for a TV show(no, I am not counting reality TV). This series was a complete piece of crap. Apparently, FOX FINALLY realized this, and canceled it in 2001. While still hardly perfect, it was at least one actually intelligent move they made. Three years later, some moron apparently decided to bring this abomination back. Why!? Why must FOX destroy the rest of their respect(although, why should I care?)? I guess they must only be happy if they're showing piles of puke that try to pass themselves off as TV shows, since they went out of their way to put Family Guy back on the air. What can I say? This has to be FOX's worst mistake since canceling Firefly, or Futurama(then again though, at least that kept the show from growing stale, unlike the Simpsons, which has now become arguably worse than even Family Guy). Well, I hope for their sake FOX realizes what a stupid mistake they're making. Somehow though, I severely doubt it.
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