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Family Guy

Family Guy is an animated comedy about the dysfunctional Griffin family. Head of the house is lazy drunk Peter, married to Lois, with dim son Chris, unattractive daughter Meg, evil genius baby Stewie and talking dog Brian. FOX 1999-???

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/100

Episode 1 - Road to the Multiverse

22 March 2012

Synopsis: Stewie shows Brian a device he uses to move between different universes. They proceed on a journey through a variety of different realties before becoming trapped in one where dogs and humans have the opposite roles. The Stewie and Brian of that universe help them find their way home.

The Good: I give the writers of Family Guy huge credit for this episode. That’s not to say it’s a great episode but that the writers made the decision to go all out with the concept and milk it for everything it was worth. Nothing frustrates me more than when Family Guy presents a lame, half baked story which they clearly don’t care about. The defence from Family Guy fans is always that the stories don’t matter, just sit back and enjoy the random jokes. To which I have always responded, why not make more jokes then? Why not maximise your chances of making people laugh by dispensing with much of a story.

And here they all but do that with glorious results. I don’t think this was nearly as funny as Family Guy can be but I doubt anyone watching wasn’t thoroughly entertained.

Stewie and Brian jump from universe to universe encountering all kinds of weird and wonderful permutations of the world they know. They take a dig at The Flintstones, throw Seth Green’s Robot Chicken some free publicity and even make a wildly unexpected joke about JFK being replaced by Mayor McCheese. I particularly enjoyed the universe of misleading portraiture for its stupidly random premise and the real world version of Stewie and Brian was fun to see. Brian’s poop being beamed into another universe led to the predictable but nonetheless enjoyable line of “Oh look there’s your poop from the other universe.”

Once Brian and Stewie arrive in the dog-human reversal universe we get several good jokes reminding us of the value of a plot. Brian wants them to stay and Stewie decides to take revenge by doing a poop and forcing Brian to pick it up. Then we get the pretty amusing site of the Griffin family drawn as dogs, including an amusingly rough Meg. Finally Doggie Tom Tucker reads the Dog News and announces “Coming up that bush in the park is my bush! My bush!” The idea and the delivery of that line are pretty funny. Family Guy has always been good at drawing out the humour of dogs acting like humans or vice versa.

Flashback ratio (good-medium-bad): 0-1-0

The Bad: As ever the tasteless jokes flow alongside the better ones. Un-politically correct humour is not something which I have a problem with when it serves a purpose. In Family Guy it just feels mean spirited or an attempt to keep up a reputation, neither of which I think makes it a better TV show.

The wonderful animation of a Disney Family Guy universe is rather let down by the tired old “Walt Disney was anti-Semitic” punch line. The homosexual at the fair and the endless poop gags were about as predictable as possible. While the Japanese Quahog was about as savage as racism can get. It’s hard to believe someone at FOX couldn’t have stood up against that joke, it just seemed so unnecessarily crude and hurtful.

Best Joke: As ever Stewie and Brian are a good comedy duo. In a world where Christianity never existed, technology has advanced by a thousand years. Brian asks what happened to the Renaissance art which Christianity inspired. To which Stewie hilariously replies “That was my first question too.”

The Bottom Line: Save for the odd joke, this is really entertaining stuff. If Family Guy wants to shoot scatter gun jokes at its audience then this is the way to go. A joke a minute festival of silliness and satire.

('DiggThis)

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  • Got to agree with you there, it was better than most fam guy episodes, and a good series opener. I just feel that it could be so much funnier than it is, even with this many jokes, the percentage of good ones is pretty damn low. They've done better flintstones jokes before (did they really say "rock" that much) and I still really don't enjoy the being horrible to meg jokes. They might work if there was anything unlikable about her, but there isn't. She's nice and thoughtful and only goes nuts when they do an episode dedicated to her, which never sits right. Totally agree about the japanese joke as well. Just stupid old stereotyping that isn't funny... Anyway, it was once a great show because the jokes were simple, but where are the amusing short flashbacks and play on words now. Just watch the opener of the cleveland show and you see that they ran out of jokes for the whole franchise after the 3rd series...

    Posted by The G man, 12/10/2009 8:42am (9 years ago)

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