April 2011

S1E6, "The Son Also Draws"

In a cold open, Stewie gets up in the middle of the night to look for a snack. Unable to find anything tasty in the fridge, he bursts into Lois and Peter's room at "a very awkward moment." Stewie spends the rest of the episode grappling with what he's seen. (Although one imagines it's nothing compared to the time he nursed on Peter.)

Meanwhile, Chris is struggling with his participation in Scouts. He would prefer to draw (although I don't see why you can't draw AND be in Scouts, but whatever). Peter ignores all of Chris' awkward attempts to communicate his lack of interest in Scouts.

(Chris goes to Meg for advice on this matter. This is certainly the first time anyone asks Meg for advice, and as far as I can remember, it's also the last.)

S1E5: "A Hero Sits Next Door"

Peter's jealousy is the driving force throughout this episode, as it would be for so many future episodes. This episode kicks off with the annual Happy Go Lucky Toy Factory softball challenge against the neighboring prank factory. In order to assure their win, Mr. Weed hires a ringer named Guillermo.

Peter is jealous of Guillermo, and bitter that he is the star of the team. In revenge - or possibly just through his own incompetence - or both - Peter pitches badly to Guillermo, and ruins his knee. Mr. Weed demands that in return, Peter must find a replacement ringer for the game.

"Brothers & Sisters"

I'll be honest with you, I didn't know that Lois had a sister. I guess I dimly remember seeing someone else in the family picture Lois pulled out of its picture frame, when she discovered it had been folded over to conceal her crazy brother.

Has Carol actually appeared on-screen before then or since? I like to think I have a pretty encyclopedic memory for the show (sadly enough) but I sure don't remember her.

Remember when Stewie said "This Looks like Bridgeport, Connecticut"?

Allow me to explain....oh boy.

The 2010 Christma

s episode of Family Guy was “Road to the North Pole”.  This episode featured something that I found hysterical.  They took a great shot at the city of Bridgeport, CT.

For those who are not familiar, Bridgeport is probably the worst city in Connecticut…and that’s really saying something.  It is one of those typical American cities that once had manufacturing jobs, and now has nothing.  Crime, homelessness, education, hell, just daily living, are just some of the disasters in this industrial ghost town.

So when Brian and Stewie got to the North Pole and found that “Santa’s workshop” was actually a dark, decrepit, polluting, smokestack riddled factory, Stewie’s line was perfect.  “This can’t be Santa’s Workshop.  This looks like Bridgeport, Connecticut.” 

S1E4: "Mind Over Murder"

This is one of the rare episodes that starts with a cold open. Most Family Guy episodes start with the opening song/intro, but in this case it leads off with a cut-away: a Mentos ad that riffs on Lincoln's assassination.

The episode sets up its central premise early, and somewhat clumsily. Lois daydreams of performing the piano in front of a crowd of appreciative listeners, only to be wakened from her reverie by Stewie, who is cranky from teething. Cut to Peter and the guys on a fishing trip - which is to say, a beer-drinking trip.  This quick sequence is a surprisingly heavy-handed move, plot-wise.

KLAT USERS: Cast your Vote in my stupid poll!

Tony Danza vs. Erik Estrada

Click here to vote.  I am not going to sit here and validate reasons for both sides.  Quite simply, I would like to ask Klat users a question that has been twenty years in the making.

Tony Danza, or Erik Estrada?

I’m not asking which of these two clowns you prefer, as the collective sum of their fans probably runs somewhere under ten, and they’re probably not reading, anyway.  I’d like to know who is funnier…AGAIN, I know that there is nothing funny about these two stooges, excluding their pitiful personas.  I’ll say it a different way.

"Tiegs For Two"

You all know that one of my favorite running themes in the show is that Quagmire hates Brian. It seemed to come out of left field at first, but as the show progressed, we gradually came around to Quagmire's point of view.

And then came this episode, and I loved everything about it. LOVED. IT.

The central premise of the entire episode is a call-back to a, like, ten-second joke from years ago. In the 2009 episode "Jerome is the New Black," Brian tricks Quagmire into going out to dinner with him by pretending that Cheryl Tiegs is the one issuing the invitation.

S1E3: "Chitty Chitty Death Bang"

The central event in this episode is Stewie's first birthday party. Lois has booked Cheesie Charlie's for the occasion, so that she can actually participate in the party instead of spending the entire time working in the background to make it happen. (We see Lois frosting a cake and pouring cups of Kool-Aid while Peter is in the other room witnessing Meg's first words, first steps, and first drum solo.)

This, only the third ever episode of Family Guy, sets up one of the show's core themes: Lois does all the work, and is the primary force keeping the family together. (Although given the hash Peter makes of any project Lois delegates to him, it's easy to see why she might prefer to just do it all herself.)

S1E2: "I Never Met the Dead Man"

This, the second episode of Family Guy, introduces the first example of a two-plot show. (Well, two and a half, if you count Meg 's efforts to get her driver's license.) In the main plot, Peter accidentally knocks out television service to the greater Quahog area. In the secondary plot, Stewie decides to invent a weather-changing device in order to kill all the broccoli, so that he never has to eat it again.

This is a Meg-heavy episode, but with little of the rancor which marks the world's later interactions with Meg. I would say that 95% of the time in this episode, people treat her like a human being. You'd think I would be happy to see her interacting normally with the world. Given how sorry I feel for Meg as a rule. But instead, it was incredibly boring.

Being bored by Meg being treated fairly doesn't speak well for me as a person, but that doesn't make it any less true.

S1E1: "Death Has A Shadow"

There are several reasons why I decided to re-watch Family Guy starting at the very beginning. The new season is so disappointing, I thought it would be good to reconnect with the earlier episodes. And I have seen every episode in reruns so many times over the last 13 years, I have honestly lost track of any kind of timeline for the show.

And thus, the very first Family Guy episode. The biggest surprise is how good this episode was. You can drop it anywhere in the show's timeline and it wouldn't seem out of place. Contrast that with the earliest episodes of most shows. (King of the Hill, Simpsons… have you watched the X-Files pilot recently? Pee-yew!)

Although Chris' voice is a little unformed in this episode, the only real "tell" is that it features Old Meg. Meg was originally voiced by Lacey Chabert, who was replaced by Mila Kunis at the end of the first season due to scheduling conflicts.

Why not use Brian to tell people what's going on?

Why a show as liberal as Family Guy has turned the leftist, intelligent Brian into a pompous ass who doesn’t believe the rhetoric he repeats is beyond me.  Clearly the writers are Democrats.  Their constant mocking and criticism of the GOP or conservatism as a whole should confirm their political beliefs. 

Conservatism, centered on the idea that the government should mainly serve those who have the means to help themselves is idiotic.  The show once made people remember this.  Sure, in the northeast and west coast people get it.  But people in Middle America have been tricked into supporting the right.