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?
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