Dani’s Top 5 TV Shows: #4 – FAMILY GUY

FAMILY GUY (FOX)
I agonized over my #4 on my Top 5 TV Shows of All Time list as I was torn between FAMILY GUY and The Simpsons. Yes, The Simpsons debuted almost 10 years prior to Family Guy and is still going strong, but I was younger when I watched The Simpsons and 10 years older when I started watching Family Guy. In a way, I feel that Family Guy took me, and my humor, to the next maturity level. Well, as mature as depraved humor riddled with thinly veiled sexual innuendos can be. Now doesn’t that sound like a great TV show?

What is the show about?

The show centers around an average family, the Griffins, in an average town in Rhode Island not unlike The Simpsons actually. The father, Peter Griffin, is a loud mouth blue collar worker whose wife, Lois, still finds loveable and endearing. Despite Peter’s brash exterior, he does have a big heart and quite often comes to the aid of family, friends, and neighbors whether they want him to or not. Lois is the opposite of Peter, coming from a wealthy family, and whose father practically disowned her when she married Peter. She is a stay at home mother and part-time piano teacher. Also in the family are three children, daughter Meg, son Chris, and baby Stewie. Meg is the oft forgotten one, Chris is the somewhat dimwitted one, and Stewie is a genius disguised as a baby. Stewie’s head is always filled with two things (1) a plot to take over the world or (2) a plot to kill Lois. Finally, we have the family “dog” Brian who is less like a dog and more like the sensible older patriarch of the family. He even speaks, yes he speaks, with a clipped and somewhat snobby sounding affect.

Why I love it?

As I said earlier, Seth MacFarlane basically took the success of The Simpons and elevated it to a more adult themed show complete with adult themed humor. Although if your children were to stumble in while you were watching the show, it is likely that the humor would go right over their heads. My favorite feature of the show is when they would do what I called “asides” where the character would actually walk off to the side to tell some hilarious story, envision the story in a giant bubble over their head, or almost do a dream sequence. Not many shows can get away with this (think Sex and the City Season 1 and how those asides did not return in the second season), but Family Guy does. Some of the funniest lines were contained in those asides. Also, what other show can get canceled only to be renewed three years later as a result of fan letters and petitions? Now six years later it is still going strong. It also features two of my favorite actors (Seth Green and Mila Kunis) as voice actors, voicing Chris and Meg Griffin.

Why should people watch it?

Family Guy can always be counted on for delivering the laughs. From the beginning with the opening sequence that is reminiscent of All in the Family, but that suddenly turns into a huge production, the viewer knows that this isn’t your typical comedy or cartoon. So many of the episodes stay with you for a long time. In fact, even when I find myself landing on an episode that I have seen hundreds of time, I will laugh as if it is the first one. In fact, there is one particular episode featuring an evil chicken that cracks my household up every time. If that sounds appealing, check out the episode entitled “Da Boom” featuring Ernie the Chicken. Other good episodes include “Death is a Bitch”, “And the Weiner Is”, and “The Perfect Castaway”. If you have a somewhat warped sense of humor, cynical outlook and a somewhat sarcastic side, Family Guy is for you.