Family Guy & the Problems With it

You all know about Family Guy. Well, 95% of you do anyway. You all know about this family. The quirky characters that populate the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island. The antics that happened all the time. You know the Chicken fights, the pervs on here, the weird ass callbacks to stuff that supposedly happened to them. All the crude and dirty jokes that float about. You also know that Family Guy was once cancelled by Fox. If it wasn’t for Adult Swim showing the repeats of it (with another said cancelled Fox cult cartoon, Futurama) and the devoted fans of it, we might not have Family Guy today. And you also know that it’s still one of the most popular shows that runs not only on Fox, but on Adult Swim as well, with many fans who love it. Yes, I was one of these fans. I used to watch this show every night on Adult Swim back in HS and after, and watched every new episode on Fox. I talked ad nauseam with friends and family who enjoyed it, and had so much fun with it. I even defended this show from some of the critics too. I was that big a fan. Now? I just look back and say, “The hell was I thinking?” Yeah, I still do watch it. And I do still enjoy alot of the old stuff. But all that love is mostly gone now. Family Guy has become basically a trash heap of fart and sex jokes, with a bunch of episodes that have run out of ideas to only just have the characters be nothing but assholes that populate the worldwide spectrum of Quahog. Nothing is going right anymore for this show, and it’s just not the best cartoon anymore on Fox. (That title belongs to Bob’s Burgers now. Sorry Simpsons.) Hell, it’s nowhere near Seth Macfarlane’s best show either, since American Dad! has taken that and stuck with title since 2010, and probably even earlier than that, as Family Guy has gone completely stale. And where does that staleness start off? Why, with the characters of course.

As most of you know well, Family Guy centers around the Griffin family. There’s the patriarch Peter, who is a bumbling, fat idiot. Lois, the hot redhead housewife who loves him, even as he fucks up constantly. Their kids, Chris, who is just as big in girth as his dad, and might have even less brain cells than him. Meg, the often-bullied black sheep of the family. And Stewie, the bi-sexual baby who loves technology and making sarcastic remarks at the stupidity around him. And last but not least, Brian, the talking liberal dog who thinks he’s a good writer/ladies man, but isn’t. I should start right with the first few seasons before hand. In the 3 seasons before Fox cancelled it, and the first coupled that followed, the characters all had their own characteristics that made them stand out. Peter, as usual, was an idiot. Stewie was the person we all knew wanted his mom dead, along with plans for world domination, while we also questioned his sexuality. Chris was the dumb kid who just wanted to not get bullied at all, and was loveable in his own way. Meg was/still is the poor girl who isn’t as good looking as her mom, and got teased/abused by everyone and we all just felt sorry for her. But at least she had her family to back her up. Lois was the housewife who tried to do what was best for her family, in her own way. And Brian was basically the voice of reason when it came down to the bad decisions that were made by the family. Well, those years seem so far gone.

Now, mostly everyone in this family is just an one-dimensional being of their former selves. I can’t really describe this any better without saying what they all become: assholes. Like, major assholes. Well, other than Chris, but even he has moments. Here’s how it goes. Peter is the biggest asshole of them all. This we all see, and it’s not even close. Lois, when she’s not being brought down by Peter’s idiotic shtick, is just a major bitch to everyone. Meg is also in the same boat when she isn’t getting constantly tormented by everyone around. Don’t believe me? It’s true. Stewie still has his moments, but he has somehow evolved into the best character from this family of assholes. And Brian? Oh man, Brian. I have some words about Brian that will involve another point of this show that I will get to later, so just wait.

 

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This family is just the epitome of the word “asshole”, and it’s not even close. You know how people at the beginning of this years The Simpsons season were complaining about Marge and Homer “breaking up” and said how bad of a husband Homer is? Well yeah. Homer may not be the best husband in the cartoon world, and sure, you wonder how Marge is still with him. BUT, compare that to Peter and Lois, Homer is a motherfucking Saint to his wife and his overall marriage. For real, I watched the season 13 finale last year where Peter and Lois were having marriage problems and they went to a resort retreat to help fix their marriage. Well, Peter was being more than his usual dickish self to Lois. It got so bad, I didn’t want Lois to leave Peter. Oh no. I wanted Lois to literally MURDER Peter. And in the most brutal way possible. I would have clapped and cried tears of joy right then and there if she did it. He was that awful and that is how bad this marriage is. When you wish for a main character to be downright murked by their own love, you know a show has overstayed its welcome.

But it’s not just them. It’s this town too. Peter may be the biggest asshole of the bunch, but there are others as well. Remember pervy Quagmire? We, well most, loved his antics as the womanizing creep who loved to get tail. Sure, it was bad, but one thing he had to this was a very smooth charisma. Now? He’s just as bad as Peter is in the asshole department. Like, it’s a 360 degree flip. There is no hit-on-any-woman-just-because Quagmire anymore. Just asshole Quagmire being an asshole. Now don’t get me wrong. We shouldn’t see someone that is like the original Quagmire, because they’re just the person you never want to be around, especially if you’re a woman. But for the sake of it being his character, yeah, this is just as bad. Cleveland, while not an asshole, is still Cleveland, and like the first few season, didn’t have alot to do. Since he left his own show (Read “left” as “cancelled”), he’s back to the same Cleveland. Just there, sometimes has his own thing. He’s more talkative and has a bit more personality than before. There’s Carter Pewterschmidt, who is …. well, he’s been an asshole from the beginning, and still hasn’t changed at all. So I’ll skip him. Then’s there is Joe. Oh, poor Joe. Joe at the beginning was looked at as someone who, even though he was in a wheelchair, wasn’t gonna be brought down. He was a cop, he was tough, and he was one of the bright spots on here. Now, he’s somehow become this shows’ Meg. Gets abused by his friends, gets constantly made fun of for his handicap, and somehow always has good ideas that get taken away from him, while landing in worst situations. It’s sad that it has come to it. I really like Joe on here, but this show’s constantly puts him in the dirt for no reason other than it can. It’s pathetic and annoying as hell to see. The opposite could be said of Tom Tucker. His character feels nothing like his character from the first 3 seasons. he was a brash man, could talk-the-talk as a reporter, and always had a certain something to him. Actually, you could say this something was … well, being an asshole. Oh. Well shit. Anyway, now he seems to have flip to a decent character almost. He too has his moments of Old Tom, but this new one seems more likeable now when he has his own stuff to do other than report the news. At least to me.

There are still some more people on here too, some you see alot, and some you don’t see anymore. There’s less of Mayor Adam West, who is still as kooky as his own self, but we seen less of him. There’s less of Mr. Herbert, who I’m glad we aren’t seeing more of. Just stop with the child molestation shit please. We don’t see the Chicken anymore, and that’s for the best. And the Evil Monkey hasn’t shown up since he left Chris’s closet. Maybe check up on him once in a while? Speaking of “check ups”, Dr. Hartman is still one of the worst doctors ever, and you can put him on this asshole category as well. And there’s Consuela who- “NOOOOOOO. NO NO NO.” Okay, fine, I was gonna say you’re alright, even if you are a stereotypical Mexican portrayal in the eyes of Donald Trump and his supporters. But whatever.

 

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Don’t ask what Peter is doing here

But it’s not just this show alone that goes with the brash behavior. Hell, Fox itself have gone down the proverbial rabbit hole with this cartoon. Why, just look at a few weeks ago with how Family Guy took someone else’s YouTube clip and made it their own, while having Fox make YouTube DCMA the original. It’s something to behold in of itself, since this may have finally been rock bottom for Family Guy. And that’s saying something, since Family Guy has been a constant source of criticism throughout the years. Remember that episode way back when that was a “lost episode” because of the content with the Jewish religion and stuff? (Note: It was the episode “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein”, with the Jewish guy Peter befriends after buying volcano insurance. Not the later one where Peter becomes Jewish himself and gets visited by his father’s ghost.) Well, that was so long ago, and is now very tame compared to what it is now. I mean, just think of what it be like in 2002 and they showed Stewie getting himself pregnant and giving birth to Brian’s mutant dog-human babies? Yes, this happened, and yes, it sounds at bad as it looked.

So this brings me to another thing I wanted to get. Since it has just been in a constant state of terrible, where did it all start to go wrong for Family Guy. AKA, where did it “jump the shark”? There are many theories to where people think Family Guy finally did this. A couple could say that episode I just mentioned above with Brain and Stewie. Alot of people will argue that it did this in the infamous episode with the death of Brian and the eventual return of him after they replaced him with a new dog for only TWO EPISODES!!! Some I heard say it was earlier than that, even as they came back from cancellation. But I believe I know where it finally went bad. This is just my thoughts, so you don’t have to agree with it. But here’s what I think. You know the episode “Jerome is the New Black”? In it, Peter is trying to find a “new black friend” to replace Cleveland with, because black friends, and he finds a new guy in Jerome. Only Jerome and Lois dated before and this gets Peter worried and very jealous? Well, that all happens, including Peter dressing as a ghost to scare Jerome that certainly has nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan. But anyway, that’s the main story. The secondary story involves Brian learning that, for some reason, Quagmire hates him. And through this process of trying to discover this, he finds out altogether in this speech.

This. This right here is where I believed Family Guy jumped the shark. Why is that, you are thinking? Well, for one it’s Quagmire telling off Brian about all the stuff that makes him an asshole. And yeah, Quagmire isn’t wrong for what he says about him. But it is that Quagmire is saying this, and not anyone else. Some points to take from this.

  • Quagmire mentions Brian hitting on his best friend’s wife, and not being a better dad to his son.

Because you know, Quagmire never wanted to fuck Lois either, right? Oh, speaking of being a dad, didn’t Quagmire say at the end of the episode where he found out he had a baby girl that he, after giving her away, will meet up again in 18 years when she is “legal”? Like, what the fuck?! And you’re a better dad than Brian?!!

  • Brian only dates bimbos, but so does Quagmire, but hey, he’s honest to them about it.

Really? Is that really any better? The same guy who drugged a Bachelorette contestant and was about to do her lifeless body on TV and on the same episode, wanted a 3-way with her with his OWN MOM?!?! The same guy who has screw who knows how many women who were prostitutes? The same guy who in a very earlier season wanted to sex up a underage teen AND her mom? The same guy who … you get it.

  • Quagmire forgives all the shit about Brian, but the reason he hates him is he’s boring to top it off.

Okay, Brian is boring. We get it. At least he isn’t killing numerous people and giving STD’s like they’re something else. Well, other than the time he gave Stewie one on accident. But whatever, that’s why you hate him.

Mostly, all that talk makes Brian look like an asshole, with Quagmire being the good guy. Which is not the case. As the old saying goes, “That’s the pot calling the kettle black.” Both of them aren’t the greatest, most perfect beings in the world. Why should Brian be treated any different?

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But the reason I call this the tipping point in Family Guy is mostly where I get back on track with Brian. I said I wanted to talk about him, and I have nothing nice to say. This speech, all of this right here. That scene is basically where Brian’s character finally died and went to shit. Nothing good has happened for him since. I know alot of people would argue this, but I think Brian is the central point for all of Family Guy. Go look at all the big stories that have happened on here. Alot of them center around him. Brian leaving the family and them chasing him down in the beginning of S3. Him and Stewie’s relationship throughout. His relationship with the whole family, as family pet or just there to be help them. That alone is shown in an episode where he thought no one cares about dogs in one episode, before seeing his family did really care for him. Which was shown more when he got killed off. Hell, look at his relationship with his then girlfriend Julian. Even there you could say when they broke it off, it may have been the tipping point of the series too. He seemed so happy, but really messed it up. Ever since their break up, up to her marriage to another guy (who died with James Woods and others in the murder mystery), he has just been as bad with treating women as Quagmire has, and his character has gone down the toilet to the point of just being a douchebag of the highest order. In fact, ever since Brian came back to life, he definitely has gotten even worse. I want to like Brian. I really do. But holy shit, if it wasn’t for Peter and Quagmire, he’d be the biggest asshole on this damn show.

Why should anyone be okay with this? This is writing at it’s worst and laziest. Look, Family Guy has had some good episodes, even as time has past. I still love the episode where Peter got amnesia on Family Feud, being one of my favorite episodes ever. I also still say that even though the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover was admittedly bad, it was still way more enjoyable than any new Simpsons episode I seen in quite some time. But just like The Simpsons, Family Guy’s best days are WAYYYYYYYYYY behind them. And why is that? It’s not just because the characters are assholes. It’s one of the reasons, but not the main reason per say. The reason is because it’s just isn’t funny anymore. You get an occasion laugh or two from an episode, but that’s it. Bob’s Burgers makes me laugh throughout. American Dad! makes me laugh constantly. Hell, South Park has as many an asshole of characters as Family Guy does. But you know what South Park does that Family Guy doesn’t? It keeps things fresh with its characters and keeps up with all the same stuff that others like Family Guy does, but has the writers that actually make it work. You know I guess in a way, Quagmire was right. I guess I can forgive Family Guy for all the stupid shit that goes on with it. From the constant callbacks, to the sex and fart jokes, to the usual “abuse Meg/Joe for no reason” angle, to everyone being assholes to everyone. But if only it weren’t so damn boring. You can’t do much if you are a show that is boring and uninteresting. Unless you’re The Big Bang Theory. But that’s a whole different story.

 

*UPDATE* The original post I said Peter got amnesia on The Price is Right, when it was actually on Family Feud. Sorry about that. I sometimes get episodes mixed up.

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