- “I can't believe you slept with Quagmire AND Cleveland, Lois! This is worse than the time I swallowed that giant bat!”
- ~ Peter Griffin
The Griffin family. From left to right: Brian, Lois, Peter, Stewie, Chris and Meg
|Created by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||15|
|Original run||Original series:|
Super Bowl XXXIII – November 9, 2003
May 1, 2005 –
Family Guy is an American adult animated sitcom created by baritone Seth MacFarlane for the Fox network. The series centers on the Griffin family—father
Homer Peter, mother Marge Lois, son Bart Chris, daughter Lisa Meg, baby Maggie Stewie, and dog Brian—a dysfunctional (yet generic) family who live in Quahog, Rhode Island. The show lacks much of a coherent plotline, instead relying on copious '80s references and cutting-edge sex/fart jokes for humor.
Fox needed a replacement adult animated sitcom to replace their aging flagship franchise, so they injected Simpsons DNA into McFarlane's student film The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve while still in the developmental stages of becoming a series. The resulting chimeric life form, code name project Family Guy, was canceled thrice, but returned in 2005 due to high DVD sales and popular demand among college frat-boys, and continues to make the highest quality rape and child abuse jokes to this day.
While the first three seasons of the show were mildly amusing, the later ones are sub-par and often leave you wanting to jam a loaded shotgun in your mouth. The show recently received a TV-MA rating, in the hopes that 96% of the fan base would go to bed after the watershed and deter the show. Unfortunately, like pancreatic cancer, it refuses to go away, and the critics haven't stopped it from pulling in ratings, making Seth billions, and spawning a line of cheesy merchandise.
Each episode of Family Guy is remarkably low on story, but high on random, irreverent humor. The majority of the humor in the show is a patchwork of 1980s cultural references that appeal to Gen X-ers who grew up in that particular decade and are indeed aware of it transpiring in a similar fashion to how their childhood was. The rest of the humor consists of cutaways, celebrity-bashing, suggested rape, swearing, farting, violence, and nudity.
- Peter Griffin – The father of the family. An obese, foolish middle-aged man with a thick-as-chowder New England accent with the mental capacity of a four-year-old. Despite being the so-called "hero", he constantly abuses everyone around him through drunk violent rage and annoying shenanigans.
- Lois Griffin – Peter's doting stay-at-home wife. She's pretty much like every other stereotypical house wife who slaves over all the chores while her fat lazy husband lays on the couch watching sports. She is somehow considered attractive, despite having an annoying voice and a Jew nose.
- Chris Griffin – Their mentally deficient teenage son. He closely resembles a manatee due to his body fat and his small mouth located low down his chubby face. He has blonde hair despite the fact that neither Peter, Lois, or their parents are natural blondes.
- Meg Griffin – Their awkward teenage daughter who the entire universe seems to despise. She could never seem to get any dates (with the exception of Mayor West, and Brian when he was really drunk).
- Stewie Griffin – Their baby with a football-shaped head. He started off as an evil genius bent on world domination, but is now a happy-go-lucky homosexual with a crush on Brian.
- Brian Griffin – An anthropomorphic white canine who serves as the family pet, ever since Peter bought him from a Chinese restaurant as take-out and then decided not to eat him. He started out as the voice of reason, but is now an odious self-absorbed douche who constantly preaches his liberal agenda.
- Glenn Quagmire – The wacky next-door rapist and airline pilot. Despite constantly stalking Lois, he is somehow one of Peter's closest friends. He has also kidnapped hundreds of women and has never once been arrested by Joe Swanson. How does he keep getting away with this? The answer is simple: He's Quagmire! Giggity-Giggity-Goo!
- Joe Swanson – A cripple police officer who screams at the top his lungs during random intervals. He strongly resembles Stan Smith due to his large chin, but is in no way related.
- Cleveland Brown – A slow-talking black man who talks slow and is the proprietor of the local delicatassen. The guy who voices him is actually white. He is seen falling out of bathtubs a lot due do to Peter's antics.
- Evil Monkey – An evil monkey who lurks in Chris's closet.
- Ernie the Giant Chicken – A man-sized anthropomorphic chicken who is the archenemy of Peter, ever since Peter ate chicken nuggets made out of Ernie's son.
- Mayor Adam West – Some guy who is know for his random yet hilarious antics and somehow ended up the mayor of Quahog.
- Death - The grim reaper acts like a college frat boy, much like the shows target demographic.
- Herbert - Another hilarious rapist, this time an elderly gay pedophile. Despite his multiple attempts to molest Chris being as common as him saying hello, and living on the same block as Joe, he has also never been arrested.
The Giant Chicken
In the show's great tradition of jokes that go for way, way, way too long, in the early episode "Da Boom" there was a 3-minute-long cutaway where Peter fought a giant chicken. For some reason, Seth thought this "joke" was comedy gold, so he bought it back several times and it now comprises about 40% of the show's content. It is so popular, in fact, that it has an entire DVD committed only to showcasing the battles.
One night in 1995, Seth MacFarlane, a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), was joking with his roommates about wacky! and dated! '80s pop culture that they grew up with. Hey guys, remember ThunderCats? How about The Facts of Life? He got a brilliant idea: poorly congeal Things We Remember into a cartoon. MacFarlane pitched his idea, titled Larry & Steve, to Hanna-Barbera at Cartoon Network and created a pilot short. However, he left the network after discovering that even kids were too intelligent to enjoy his work.
MacFarlane retitled the show Family Guy, added a dash of fart jokes and swearing, and began work on a pilot. The pilot took his production company, Seth's American Studios (SAS), eighteen months to create. The process was long and tiring, as the studio wasn't air conditioned and consisted only of a chair, MacFarlane's sleeping bag, and a Windows NT workstation.
Once the pilot was finished, MacFarlane pitched it to Fox. Executives were very impressed by the show's formulaic cutaways, and between that and the simpler faster art style it looked like Fox had found the McDonalds of cartoons, so Fox greenlit it for two seasons.
Fox decided to cancel Family Guy in 2000, due to the fact that nobody was watching it and reviews were positively scathing.
But. Fox made a last decision to renew it for a third season in 2001. By 2002, further abysmal ratings caused it to be cancelled. Again.
Cancellation (again again)
Then, Adult Swim brought the show back through syndication, and aired one "banned" episode in 2003. Then the show ended, a third time, for good...or not.
Fox released seasons 1–3 on DVD all over the American Empire, which were an instant success with the 18–24 year-old college frat-boy/stoner demographic. This convinced executives to renew the show for a fourth season in 2005, and it thrives to this day.
Family Guy has had over 250 episodes and 15 seasons, and they can be summed up as such:
- Seasons 1 and 2 were great.
- Season 3 was good.
- The first half of season 4 was OK, but the second half was 80% flashbacks and Meg-bashing.
- Anything after is not worth your time.
Family Guy enjoys success, and has spawned t-shirts, pens, underwear, drinking mugs, panties, flamethrowers, a video game, a rap album, syndicated re-runs, and multiple TV movies, like that one where Peter discovers the lost city of Atlantis...
Peter: So, this is Atlantis, huh?
Brian: Yep, this is it!
Peter: I've heard all the Mermen here are gay. Is that true?
Brian: Peter, I...what?
Peter: Look out! A monkey!
A monkey jumps out of a tree and beats Brian with a stick
So far, there have been only three Family Guy movies. The first movie is about Stewie going into the future to learn that he's gay. The second movie was a carbon copy of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The third film is a carbon copy of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. MacFarlane plans on making a carbon copy of the sixth movie, all the Indiana Jones films, and a movie about abortion, but says that he simply doesn't have the time at the moment, considering he has to swim through piles of money ever day, like Scrooge McDuck.
A theatrical Family Guy film is planned for sometime in the near future, which will be followed by Family Guy On Ice.
Family Guy retains a strong fandom, which consists mostly of loud, stoned college kids who chant quotes from the show like mantras. Some of them will excuse the fact that the show is 80% fart jokes by prattling on about its excellent post-modernist commentary. If you were to insult Family Guy to a fan, said fan would likely rant on how much you "Have no sense of humor", and how "You should like Family Guy. Why? 'Cause it's funny, dude!"
Numerous critics have argued that Family Guy is a mere ripoff of The Simpsons. And they'd be right considering both shows feature a lovable idiot, his busybody wife, a loser son, a daughter who hates him, and an intelligent baby. South Park has repeatedly attacked Family Guy, arguing that its writers are manatees who use "idea balls" to create plotlines. Although Bob's Burger's has recently eclipsed Family Guy both in number of 80's references and fart jokes, don't worry about a fourth cancellation, because after 15 seasons Family Guy is going nowhere, and going there fast.