Ten Strikes: Why Family Guy is Awful
By Felix Vasquez Jr.
|Ten Strikes returns with a look at ten reasons why the Family Guy needs to throw in the towel.|
10. Quickly Dated Humor/References
Hey, remember Britney Spears and how she’s said to be a horrible parent? Remember Kevin Federline? Well, we’ve seen them and everyone else spoofed repeatedly and I don’t think we’ll really remember it five years from now. "Family Guy" is too reliant on current event humor setting themselves up for nothing but a short shelf life placing the responsibility on the audience to explain to other people what these jokes even mean. "Who’s the bald chick?" They’ll ask. And we’ll have to explain, and if you know the rules of comedy you’ll know that if you have to explain a joke, it isn’t funny. "Family Guy" is the "Meet the Spartans" of television.
9. Blatantly Preachy
With "South Park" you’re almost always guaranteed a commentary about something involving the war, society, or religion through hilarious stories and great gags, but "Family Guy" cuts through all of the clever undertones and just blatantly breaks the fourth wall to preach to the audience. While I enjoy what they have to say about the FCC, and television monitoring, staring at the screen to preach is just sloppy. "Family Guy" will never be as clever as “South Park,” in fact they pretty much don’t even attempt any subtlety and just place their characters together to chat about an issue while we watch. It’s pathetic.
8. Robot Chicken did it better
Attn: Fox. Robot Chicken spoofed "Star Wars" better than you ever really could, and shockingly enough they did it first. They had no eighties references, and used the movies as a tent pole for rather brilliant gags. Not to mention that they actually spoofed "Star Wars"! Instead of, you know, placing characters into a situation that would give them a cheap excuse to have a thirty minute non-stop reference show. If you have to admit that Seth Green did it first, in the final scenes of the episode, then it’s obviously an admission of guilt.
7. Meg Griffin
I have nothing against mean spirited humor when it’s done right, but the incessant cruelty toward the character Meg is absolutely unfunny. Meg was always an unnecessary character who was written in the beginning as a self-absorbed and whiny individual. Once Lacey Chabert left, Meg became the family punching bag often bashed, insulted, used as an often annoying punch line for cruel jokes, and sometimes never even featured in an episode. The writers either have difficulty luring Mila Kunis back, or simply don’t know what to do with Meg, anymore. So rather than write her off, they simply make her a target of violent behavior that’s hardly humorous.
6. Spoofing Yourself = Jumping the Shark
When a series points out its own absurd qualities, then it’s a surefire signal that the writers have all but given up trying to take the show seriously. When television series and movie franchises don’t even take their own story methods with a stern determination anymore, it’s obvious by then that it’s time to give it a rest. Take for example the writers spoofing the massive cutaways as Stewie talks to Brian, looks to the camera and says "What? We don’t have a clip for that? Oh okay, then." If even the writers are satirizing the cut away’s, it’s time to step up and change things.
5. The "Family Guy" Movie
"It’s good because they drop F bombs without being bleeped!" And that makes sense, why? Now don’t get me wrong, "Family Guy" isn’t the only series to try and rob its fans blind, but it’s been pretty obvious to all who saw the alleged "Family Guy" movie that it was only just a cheap excuse to make some money by taking three disconnected episodes and slapping them together. Separately they’re mediocre episodes, together they make for an awful movie that was rather nonsensical and features one of the most drawn out excruciating eighties references in the climax.
4. Stealing From “The Simpsons”
Yet another fact of the series is that Seth McFarlane and crew only present the illusion of originality. Most of the series is nothing but rehashes of concepts and plots from "The Simpsons.” Tom Tucker is such an obvious Kent Brockman wannabe, Peter is a dumber fatter Homer, Stewie is just a toddler Bart Simpson, many key scenes are taken from the more historic Simpsons episodes, and they’ve even fiddling with the opening sequence for comedy. McFarlane may love "The Simpsons," but judging by his propensity for knocking off the series, he REALLY loves it.
3. Musical Numbers
Seth McFarlane loves musicals, and Seth McFarlane can sing well. How do we know that? Well, he’s shoved it down our throats since the first episode. McFarlane now looks for every single excuse to sing whenever possible and simultaneously the musical numbers are also incredible crutches for terrible writing. Why else would McFarlane look for every single excuse to include them? To rip off "The Simpsons," who popularized the plot element? Well, that too, but they didn’t use it as a crutch. We get it, you can sing, you have a great voice, now shut up and try a well written episode without cutaways, eighties references, and musicals.
2. Cut Away’s = Comedy?
McFarlane’s show was allegedly originally supposed to be a series of animated sketches for Mad TV, and boy does it show. The cutaways were always smoother in the start of the series, but inevitably it became such a crutch that "Family Guy" is pretty much just a sketch show with the Griffins acting as a clothesline for the gags. They pop up every ten seconds, are painfully long, have zero relevance to the story, and nine times out of ten aren’t even funny. Another reason why I hate the cutaways…
1. They Really Love the 80’s
The eighties references! Hey everyone, remember "The Facts of Life"? Remember "The Breakfast Club"? Remember "Mask"? Remember "Never Ending Story"? Do you want to see them spoofed non-stop? Well, you’ll get your wish as the crew behind "Family Guy" will pummel you incessantly with endless eighties references that would probably have been hysterical in 1993, and are now nothing but dated attempts at referential humor. The crew at "Family Guy" have become so excited with reminding us of the eighties that there’s even an entire episode where Pete travels in time thanks to the Grim Reaper, which ends as a cheap excuse to set the entire episode in the eighties AND reference "Back to the Future." Attn: Seth McFarlane, the eighties sucked. Stop using nostalgia to bait audiences. Just because you remember it, doesn’t make it comedy.
For more film and TV madness from Felix, please visit Cinema Crazed