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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-???


Episode 16 - Killer Queen

16 March 2012

Credit FOX

Synopsis: Peter encourages Chris to enter a hot dog eating contest which he wins. He feels horrible afterwards and Lois suggests they take him to Fat Camp. Chris doesn't want to go and asks why Peter doesn't have to and so he stays too. Soon though the camp is disturbed to find one of their number murdered nearby. When Lois' brother Patrick appears in Quahog everyone assumes he has resumed his old ways and is strangling fat guys.

The Good: As you might expect at this point after three horrible episodes we get a good one. I could say that Family Guy has become consistent in its inconsistency but they would only go and prove me wrong so I won't.

The story was entertaining and logical with Chris defeating the unbeatable champion Charles Yamamoto who we then forget about. As the murders pile up at Fat Camp it's pretty obviously not Patrick behind them but it was a nice call-back to the "Fat Guy Strangler" episode from season four (416). Then when Yamamoto is revealed as the real killer it's a nice logical conclusion.

In the meantime an episode based around fatness led to a load of easy gags. The writers seemed to nail Peter's "voice" for once. Early on in the episode Lois points out that he isn't a smart guy and he whips out an academic hat, puts it on his head and says severely "Don't you feel ridiculous now?" It's that kind of arrogant Homer Simpson tone that is Peter's most effective and he was 'on' throughout the episode (see Best Joke). Amidst the murder investigation he was the only one who still cared about camp life with his questions about dodge ball and panty raids. Even little jokes worked like when he rang Lois and told her something horrible had happened and she asked "is it Chris?" and he replied "no it's Peter your husband."

For once most of the flashback jokes had actual punch lines too. The Magellan and Bat Man scenes had twists and the most obvious was Peter explaining how he dealt with threatening teenagers (offering them love and then beating them up). The news gag that the city of Detroit had just "given up" was somewhat edgy, something that despite what you might hear, Family Guy hasn't been for some time.

The Stewie plot where he was freaked out by the cover art on the Queen album "News of the World" was based on Seth MacFarlane's own childhood experience. It worked as an offbeat B plot and provided the odd smile such as Brian assuring Stewie that "most" of Queen are fine now.

Flashback ratio (good-medium-bad): 1-6-1

The Bad: The anally retentive bank robbers gag had no punch line. That was the joke. Fat gags are what they are obviously, some are too obvious to work. The episode as a whole probably wasn't funny enough to be especially memorable.

Best Joke: When Peter called Lois to tell her about the murder he naturally had to talk about himself too. So he tells her that he got to play Anita in the camp production of West Side Story. Lois responds "you know you are terrible at patter songs." Peter claims he did ok but we cut to him on stage knowing none of the words to "America" except America. The phone call continues with the news about the murder being revealed and Patrick's appearance in Quahog. Peter ignores this and returns to the patter singing comment and claims that one season at Quahog Community Theatre he "carried the Pirates of Penzance." We then cut to Peter on stage getting none of the words to a "Modern Major-General" right. Perhaps you had to know both pieces to fully appreciate the gag but his butchering of the heavily worded Gilbert and Sullivan piece was really funny and an excellent little repeat gag. 

The Bottom Line: A straightforward story with appropriate jokes throughout and a good showcase for Peter's character.



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  • That's funny, I worried about the score being too high. But I do think that's the magic of a logical plot and jokes which flow from that. Even if they aren't the funniest lines the sense that you are being taken on an enjoyable journey can make everything seem better.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 21/03/2012 12:19pm (8 years ago)

  • This really surprised me. I really enjoyed it. The coherent plot and wacky, yet novel, B plot helped for sure, but as you say they got Peter right somehow this week. I laughed more at this episode than I have at any comedy episode for a long while. Glad to see you enjoyed it too, I thought I was just in a good mood...

    Posted by The G Man, 21/03/2012 12:19pm (8 years ago)

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