Family Guy Season 11 Review “No Country Club for Old Men”

In the final episode of “Family Guy” of the season, cheekily-titled “No Country for Old Men”, we sadly went out not with a bang but a bit of a whimper. Or should I say, a blast of fetid harmonica air?

We started with a prolonged bit that anyone would have seen coming a mile away, when Peter sat on Stewie’s harmonica and got it lodged inside of himself: “It was in the tub and now it’s in my butt! (Yelling out into the hall) Stewie, daddy needs your tiny hands for a very special project!”

Cue a series of bits with Peter making music with his butt-monica, the best being the thing with Lois where he “punctuated” a story with appropriate musical cues, then confessed to Lois that “I pushed a boy behind a car so that I could do all this harmonica stuff.” Talk about going a long way for a joke! I did laugh in spite of myself at that, and the part where he played the Sanford & Son theme on “America’s Got Talent”.

In the next part of the episode, we alternated between Chris dating a rich girl named Amanda (Emma Roberts) and Peter taking advantage of this newfound connection by becoming a member of her family’s swank country club, which Lois’ father had long since longed to be a member of, hence the title. As Peter took full advantage of the situation, we saw him put Pewterschmidt through all manners of paces, including an exploding eyeball “gag” and an attack by “Topsy, the Roid Rage Horse”, plus some wacky disguises (see above pic).

Later, the tables get turned and he gets his revenge on Peter: “Here, skip this rope and do a lively school girl chant.” Peter: “But Carter, I don’t know any city girl rhymes.” LOL. When Amanda’s father sees how awful Carter is to Peter, he opts to let him into the club in the end, so all’s well that ends well.

Chris’ tryst with Amanda does not, and before Chris gets to “get in that”. Too bad, since, as Chris puts it: “Everyone knows that rich, WASP-y girls are the best at [sex].” Ha!

As ever, most of the funniest bits came from the random cutaway jokes, my favorite being the completely left-field esoteric Picture of Dorian Gray-allusion. Way to go highbrow, “FG”! Other funny bits included Peter’s stint face-painting with kids (“Sir, you’re going to have to leave. You’re just drawing penises with a Sharpie on children’s faces”); Peter being revealed as “Gossip Girl” (which I pretty sure was a dig on that show’s ludicrous final revelation of the same); Peter’s gay vacation (“I love smelling me on your breath”); the bit about StewieGriffinFacial.com; the surreal bit with the refrigerator (loved the police “line-up”); the zipper hat/buckle hat Pilgrim flashback; and the religious-themed cutaway with Snake Jesus and Tree Jesus.

They were all pretty random jokes that typically had nothing to do with anything (especially the “backward-knee bird”-thing and the aforementioned “Gray” joke) and were less funny than strange more often than not, but at least they kept things moving, I suppose. Of course, the show is known for its cutaway jokes, so I guess people who like that aspect of the show are probably happy to see that happening more often as of late. I did miss that approach more than I thought, but these jokes didn’t land as much for me as with previous episodes, being more funny in concept than execution.

That said, I will admit that I got a kick out of the Michael Stipe jokes: “Is that him in the corner?” But the people I watched it with mostly groaned, whereas we all relatively enjoyed the previous episode, Road to Vegas. It seems like the fans prefer the show when it sticks to its classic formula, but also when the jokes are more pop-culture heavy, where a lot of these jokes were more surreal or weird than funny. I don’t mind that sort of thing, to be honest, I just wish that the jokes were funnier, period.

So, not the greatest show to go out on, to be sure, but it was okay, I guess. I laughed here and there, but the main plot-lines were pretty predictable and the Chris one in particular didn’t really go anywhere. I get why they led with the “Vegas” one, though, as it was clearly the stronger of the two. It’s a shame that these last two episodes weren’t up to the level of the last few, especially “Total Recall” and “Farmer Guy.” Hopefully, with The Cleveland Show likely to be cancelled, MacFarlane will be able to retool his surviving shows somewhat with one less show to focus on and take this show and “American Dad” back to the basics that made them work in the first place. Let’s hope so, anyway.

What did you think of the “Family Guy” season finale? Which episode did you prefer? Did you care for the various storylines here? How about the oddball nature of the cutaways this time out? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

About The Author

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. His impossible dream is that "Twin Peaks" will one day be resurrected and pick up where it left off. Until then, he drowns his woes in anything remotely similar, from "Buffy" to "Lost" to "Pretty Little Liars." This has not always been a good thing-cough, "Ringer", cough- but now at least it can help pay the bills.

  • NatT96™

    I was not too thrilled, this was 2 episodes slapped into one and it is not the only show that did this. I just honestly thought that Family Guy’s season finale would sort of bring “oh, I get you on that” or “ha, ha, haha Peter don’t drink that”, but I guess I got my hopes a little too high. Got a pizza and sat down, chuckled.a lot over Brian and Stewies Las Vegas adventure and it was ok, sadly the cut-aways blundered a bit.Now the second episode was a pain, I actually turned my head like a dog trying to understand human communication. The second episode was sloppy and I left the couch 5 times slowly loosing attention in it. The only part that caught my attention was, yes, the jump rope part of the episode. The Cleveland Show had it’s finale. To me, if Family Guy still had it’s prime in satire I could deal with The Cleveland Show(Season 1-2) but now it just not worth it knowing that the spin off was from a show that once clocked over 7-13 million viewers (family guy) It’s been hit worse. Rating don’t really matter, but maybe that is what it’s about now….the money.

    • Mark Trammell

      Yeah, it was a bit of a cheat. (Not to mention a lot to review!) I would have preferred an hour long Stewie & Brian in Vegas to two episodes, especially with the second such a letdown. I mean, it probably would been stretched a little thin, but at least the time machine/S&B on the road eps maintain one’s interest. Cleveland is pretty hit and miss, but it does still feel a bit fresher than FG does now. Which makes it a shame that it’s probably gone for next season. Oh well. There’s always American Dad!

      • NatT96™

        Yep, American Dad! had some amazingly funny episodes. I even watched at least 7 of there episodes 3 times this season. Hope Seth pulls something great out of his hat when season 12 hits or his masterpiece could fall apart……gosh I might jump ship on the show if it puts me to sleep, makes me get off the couch or make me roll my eyes…….I will be done with it.