"Totally coup, yo."

Family Guy Should Go Away

Nov

01

by

We get it Seth, you like rape jokes

When it comes to TV comedies, I’m a pretty cheap date. Sure, I may prefer sophisticated material like classic Simpsons (which for me, is Seasons 2-9), or Community, but I’m more willing to slog my way through the monotonous mediocre muck of Two And A Half Men or Yes, Dear when I just need to go 30 minutes without thinking. As much as I like to pretend I have good taste in TV, I’ve probably kept a lot of shitty shows on the air over the years.

“That reminds me of the time I met Pat Buchanan. Or whatever.”

With that said, nothing bothers me more than watching a legitimately good TV show turn to shit by pandering to the lowest common denominator at every possible turn. For the past seven years, that’s what’s happened been happening to Family Guy.

It’s probably hard to remember, but during it’s first three years (when almost no one was watching), Family Guy was actually a pretty good show. Sure, it was lowbrow, and it obviously borrowed a lot from The Simpsons, but it was also a well-written show that mixed contextual humor in with its many cutaway gags.

Ever since 2005, Family Guy has basically been a howitzer that fires rape jokes at you. When it was brought back from cancellation for the second time, I was thrilled. Little did I know Seth MacFarlane was going to do all he could to make the show as unpleasant a viewing experience as humanly possible. The show no longer cared about context, or if a joke was making a satirical point. It just throws jokes at you randomly, and very few of them stick. As a result, Family Guy has become extremely popular, mostly with idiots.

Of course, Family Guy’s biggest problem isn’t when it tells bad jokes. It’s when it refuses to tell any jokes, but rather just blatantly wastes viewers’ time. Like the episode where there was a 4-minute Conway Twitty clip. Or the one that showed David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s “Dancing In The Street” video in its entirety. You know, because writing 22 minutes of decent material is fucking hard. And besides, the idiots are going to tune in anyway.

Here’s the worst part: Seth MacFarlane knows how bad Family Guy’s gotten, and actually thinks it should be cancelled. So why won’t he just follow his gut? For the same reason Brett Favre played until he was 41 and his poor withered penis couldn’t take it anymore: he can still make money. See, people watch Family Guy, which means Seth MacFarlane can make money, which means cocaine-addicted 18 year-old models will want to fuck him, which means he’s going to keep making Family Guy.

As easy (and fun) as it would be to call MacFarlane a hack, it’s not really the case. As stated earlier, the first three seasons are great, and so his other, inexplicably less popular show American Dad. But the man is willfully shitting turds in the American public’s mouth on a weekly basis. I haven’t even gotten to his other atrocity, The Cleveland Show in which a bunch of white dudes tried to make a black sitcom, and created something even more awkward than this. It’s still better than any Tyler perry sitcom, but that’s a pretty low bar.

For all of Seth MacFarlane’s shortcomings, I have to think somewhere, buried deep within his cortex is a tiny little bit of self-awareness. Which is why I plead him to just end this fucking shit already. Do your big last episode where Stewie kills Lois, or the entire family cooks and eats Meg. Fuck it, why not just find a 22-minute Conway Twitty clip and play that. Whatever you do just get it over, and start fucking up The Flinstones like you really want to.

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  • http://vectorpress.blogspot.com Trevor

    I think it’s more than just the money. In college, I knew this guy who would throw rape jokes around in mixed company just to get attention. He’d say something “shocking” then just stand there waiting for you to get upset so he could sneer at your “puritanical values” or whatever. Still, you could have some fun with him – just NOT reacting to his puerile humor was enough to send him off in a huff of emo-ness.

  • DJ

    Even the Conway Twitty thing, or the Peter fighting the Rooster for 5 minutes is better than “Community”. That show SUCKS(ED)?(Not cancelled yet)?

  • Anteprepro

    Community isn’t that bad :(
    However, Family Guy is. It’s a shame that people haven’t decided to drool over American Dad now that Family Guy has basically been transformed into a platform from which Seth trolls America with shaggy dog stories filled with dead baby jokes. At least American Dad’s dead baby jokes tend to actually be attached to some sort of a plot. And they actually have characters that are somewhat likeable as well! With Family Guy, I feel like Chris is just an unfunny lump, Brian is boring and a bit of a prick, Peter is a horrific, borderline insane bastard, Stewie has lost his charm and is just a prolonged gay joke now, and Lois is just a pretense to show sex scenes and to have someone present to react indignantly whenever religion/conservatism is mocked. Meg is the only thing resembling a human being in that house, and she is just present so the rest of the family can lob abuse at her. The show has been going downhill steadily, and I guess I can see why Seth would want to end it: He has let things get to a place where the characters are caricatures of their former selves, and are increasingly becoming mere props for an increasingly surreal bombardment of jokes that have increasingly little to do with the “real” world of the show. With that noted, I actually hope that Family Guy goes on long enough for Seth to air a few episodes where he has a blatant Author Breakdown, and completely loses his shit, and shows his contempt for the show far more than he has already been. It may very well become the most interesting thing he’ll ever do, even if it still won’t be that funny.

  • matt

    “You know, because writing 22 minutes of decent material is fucking hard. And besides, the idiots are going to tune in anyway.”

    Yeah, that guy’s ability to multitask is showing it’s limits. Some of the “jokes” are just kind of retarded. The whole Conway Twitty song, the bank vault episode, 2/3 of Meg’s speech, and most of the rape jokes. The man just seems to randomly repeat shit.
    Brian and Quagmire gave awesome pwnage speeches went down really well with the audience.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdbnssEZ_Xk
    So…obviously they want long speeches that don’t really have a joke, hence Meg lecturing her family for 10 minutes, and a drug trip scene that was completely out of place. Granted Peter and Stewie were kind of funny, but that did not justify the episode. “And then there were fewer”, the Star Wars thing, and Brian sleeping with a Tranny were also pretty funny. But in general the show has suffered a definite decline. Like the James Woods identity theft thing, it actually started pretty strong and then pissed it away in the last 3 minutes by literally repeating a joke in the last one and trying to excuse it by making fun of that. I could have written a better end: How about halfway repeating it, and right before he goes in the box, have the chicken kick the shit out of him while he pleads to no avail that he’s not Peter Griffin. The chicken goes away believing he’s finally beaten Peter, and Woods is carried away unconscious to…somewhere else. What they did was just fucking lazy and stupid and cheap.

    Meg became a punching bag for no reason whatsoever, Brian went from sardonic voice of reason to sanctimonious douche…who i still root for inexplicably. Chris became flat out borderline retarded and even less funny instead of just kind of dumb amusing teenager. Stewie is a giant gay joke instead of a psychotic genius. And for this we got…an improved Quagmire, and a few more decent musical numbers.

    “the first three seasons are great, and so his other, inexplicably less popular show American Dad.”

    I actually think for awhile he recaptured some of his magic in a few episodes, and American Dad didn’t really start to come into it’s rhythm until about the 2nd season or so, but yeah, I agree. American Dad has become something approaching greatness, something I really look forward to on weekends.

    “haven’t even gotten to his other atrocity, The Cleveland Show in which a bunch of white dudes tried to make a black sitcom”.

    Okay, I actually think the Cleveland show stands pretty well on it’s own, kind of Hit and Miss on average, but in general it’s pretty funny and competently written. If nothing else they handled the atheism thing better than with Brian and Meg.

    “It’s still better than any Tyler perry sitcom, but that’s a pretty low bar.”

    Oh Hell yes. I actually tried to watch one of his plays, I figured something might have been lost on the transition to cinema. I swear to God, he actually stole a joke that I heard made fun of on King of the Hill, as stolen from a Popsicle stick, the Nacho Cheese one as I recall. At one point in a play he gave a sermon, not speech, that I timed at 20 solid minutes. And they actually push the Jesus stuff LESS in his movies.

    As for Macfarlane, Seth should finish this season, maybe do a movie, or two hour special, then focus on making his other two cartoons the best they can be. And Tyler Perry should just stop. Period.

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