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; 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!