A few notes on Family Guy

October 16, 2010

Comedy is a strange thing. Everybody laughs at different things, some like slapstick comedy, others prefer wordplay and punning, and there are some people who claim that Family Guy is the funniest thing to ever grace the screens of TV worldwide. These people are mistaken. (This post is about Family Guy and its failings. If you have never seen it, I recommend watching some first, then coming back here.) Here are my notes on Family Guy, and what’s wrong with it.

  • Timing. More specifically, Seth MacFarlane needs to learn when to end a joke. One example is the endless repetitions of the principle tosser Peter Griffin falling and hurting his knee. This just keeps going, it wasn’t funny in the first instance. This leads me nicely on to…
  • In jokes. There are too many of these things. Whilst occasional in jokes can be good, and a fine way to reward fans, you can’t base your entire series on it, which later seasons have done. Newer episodes consist almost entirely of references to other episodes and reused jokes, and to a new viewer remains an impenetrable mass of shite.
  • Endless repetition. This was touched upon in the previous point. In order for something to progress, new things must be done. Showing the same thing over and over again is just annoying. Is just annoying. Is just annoying. Is just annoying. Is just annoying. Is just annoying.
  • Stealing. Family Guy is famed for being a deluge of pop culture references and parodies, which is can be a good thing, if it’s been done right, one example being the truly faultless Airplane!. Family guy embodies the idea of bad parody, to the extent where it steals jokes from the parodies themselves. I mentioned Airplane! on purpose earlier, as Family Guy has ripped this off on multiple occasions, which only endears itself to obsessive fans of the original material, and cheapens the whole realm of comedy for all and sundry.
  • Peter Griffin. Has there ever been a character as totally rubbish as Peter Griffin? A poor Homer Simpson copy, Peter Griffin frequently beats his wife, makes crude jokes a 4 year old would turn their nose up at, abuses his children, and to top it all off has a laugh so annoying that the most easygoing of people would rip out his spine and beat him to a pulp with it if he were a real person. We’re supposed to root for someone like this?

I don’t know if many people have seen this yet. If not, float along to http://bit.ly/9KGSmz and have a read. It’s a link to the Daily Mail website, and a column debated whether Druidry is a real religion.

Horrible discrimination aside, the article somewhat amused me. “A bunch of eccentrics who annually dress up in strange robes” could quite easily refer to any other religion, in the case of Christianity the word “annually” would need to be replaced with “weekly” and “eccentrics” would frequently need to be replaced with “Child Molesters.”

“Elevating them to the same status as Christianity is but the latest example of how the bedrock creed of this country is being undermined.” This part resulted in no small number of chuckles from me. It was said, earlier in the column: “Druids have been regarded indulgently as a curious remnant of Britain’s ancient past.” In other words, Druids were here first.

As for Christianity being the “bedrock creed” of the country, it’s nice to see the Daily Mail, a newspaper frequently bemoaning immigration, happily promoting a religion from the Middle East, rather than something home grown in Britain.

But one thing stood out most for me in the whole stinking terrible jumble of words phlegmed up by Melanie: “For it is all of a piece with the agenda by the oh-so politically correct Charity Commission to promote the fanatical religious creed of the Left — the worship of equality.”

Is equality a terrible thing now? Or is Melanie Philips so upset that somebody disagrees with her chosen religion that she’s willing to attack a group of people whose creed consists almost entirely of “Be nice to people and make sure the plants are watered.” Advice often given to children by followers of pretty much every religion known to man.

Holidays are coming

October 7, 2010

Before we start, I am aware that it’s October.

Christmas is on its way here, and shops are beginning to get ready. This is fine, as busy as retail is, it makes sense for them to prepare for what is, without a doubt, the busiest time of the year. Similarly, it does make sense for those with large families to start Christmas shopping early, avoiding the rush. That solution is not for all of us, I personally prefer to do all my shopping on Christmas Eve.

Today, I’ve come to make a few corrections to some beliefs about Christmas.

  1. “I know it’s Christmas when I see the Coke advert/hear Fairytale of New York/get blinded by multiple lights reflected from tinsel.” This is incorrect. You will know it’s truly Christmas when you realise that you have 4 more presents to buy, and every shop is closed with the exception of a petrol station and a corner shop. Stuck for ideas, your girlfriend receives a bunch of flowers which smell oddly of petrol, and a copy of Asian Babes Weekly.
  2. “War on Christmas.” This is a lie. Nobody is declaring war on Christmas, nobody is offended by Christmas, nobody is trying to re-brand Christmas. Winterval? That was a marketing campaign, a marketing campaign which ran over ten years ago. Why does it still get mentioned? And why was anybody offended? Winter pre-dates Christmas.
  3. “We have to call them Holiday Trees now.” Considering the origin of Christmas comes from the birth of a carpenter in a shed 2000 years ago, and before then as a celebration of Winter, why should we care about trees when there are presents to be opened, custard based puddings to be consumed and a new episode of Doctor Who to be watched?
  4. “Here comes Santa Claus.” No. Santa is not coming. He is Father Christmas. Get it right.