Family Guy
Family Guy
Seth MacFarlane
Animation, Comedy

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Family Guy - Review

This Review was written following only one rule - binge-watching the tv-show for around 10 hours with a lot of popcorn and then wirting down the thoughts - so you can trust this review is honest and truthful.

Designed to Make Us Laugh and Cry: Seth McFarlane's Family Guy

"It seems today, that all you see is violence in movies and sex on TV," is the opening lyrics to the Family Guy theme song, and while these lyrics might make you think that you're in for some family-friendly comedy, Family Guy is actually designed with adults in mind. This comedy, which is another show that's arisen from the mind of Seth McFarlane, is all about absurdity; the characters are parodies of small town families, and the situations that they get into are often larger-than-life.

Family Guy has been running for just about 20 years, and while it's been canceled at least once, it has become something of a television institution throughout the world. The show follows the exploits of the Griffin family, and since each member of the clan is so different, this enables the writers to explore just about every kind of plot imaginable. Not only are the Griffins packed with such variety, but their family dog, Brian, who can talk, provides his own storylines and unique adventures.

In many cases, the show has a message, but that isn't to say that there aren't multiple episodes where the main driving force behind the plot is just plain hilarity. In any situation, a lot of the comedy in Family Guy is designed to shock the viewer, and just about no topic is verboten, so those with thinner skins might want to avoid the show altogether. While topics aren't quite as controversial as they are in shows like South Park, the writers still aren't afraid to make fun of the majority of topics and groups.

In the end, each show does have a core of morality that is designed to convey a message to the viewer, which is part of the charm of Family Guy. As mentioned, each character has a lot of nuance when it comes to their individual personalities, and each character is allowed to have his or her own episodes that provide a look into their perspective.

One of the most iconic features of Family Guy is the cutaway. In many of the plots, there are frequent pauses that lead to an outrageous joke. In most circumstances, a character will set up one of these quick cutaways by saying something along the lines of, "This reminds me of the time that I…," and then there will be something of a flashback that is always utilized for comic payoff. Every character has had the opportunity to do a cutaway, and the show uses these to give a quick break from the episode's main narrative.

Over the years, Family Guy has greatly affected popular culture, and the show has led to the creation of two spinoffs that include The Cleveland Show and American Dad. Both of these shows feature a heavy attention to the family dynamic of the characters, and both of the shows have tied into Family Guy in one way or another.

Also, the show has performed another major feat: it's had a crossover with The Simpsons, which is the longest-running animated series of all time. This episode, which was titled "The Simpsons Guy," was a hit and finally let viewers see what would happen if the two most famous cartoon families were to meet each other.

The Cast of Characters

When it comes to characters, Family Guy has almost as rich a cast of townsfolk as The Simpsons. Still, if you're looking for the most important to the Family Guy plot, then here are the characters to look out for:

  • Seth McFarlane as Peter Griffin: Peter is the dimwitted protagonist of Family Guy. Like Homer Simpson, over the years, the character has seemed to lose much of the limited intelligence that he displayed during the pilot episode. Still, Peter is fairly moral, and it's through him that many of the show's lessons are learned.
  • Alex Borstein as Lois Griffin: Lois is Peter's dutiful wife. In many situations, she seems the rock of the family, but this isn't to say that mild-mannered Lois hasn't gone off the rails from time to time. She's also desired by town letch, Glenn Quagmire and her own dog, Brian. Lois seems to have a lot of patience when it comes to Peter's shenanigans, but from time to time, cracks do show in her veneer of calmness.
  • Seth Green as Chris Griffin: Chris, like his father, is oftentimes very simplistic. That being said, his sometimes slow-witted persona is offset by a good level of intuition. Chris is known to be a bit awkward around his high school peers, and in several episodes, his school adventures pay off as some of the funniest in the series.
  • Seth McFarlane as Stewie Griffin: Another character voiced by series creator Seth McFarlane, Stewie was designed to almost be a Bond villain-in-training. In many situations, he has a plot, is known for his scientific skill, and in much of the early series, he was always hatching plans to kill Lois. Over the years, his villainous ways have mellowed a bit, and the relationship between Stewie and Brian has become much closer.
  • Mila Kunis as Meg Griffin: Frumpy Meg is almost always the butt of the jokes of the rest of the Griffin clan. While she's almost as awkward as her brother, Meg is often the most insightful of the Griffins, and even though she's regularly bullied by her other family members, in many cases, she's also the strongest.
  • Seth McFarlane as Brian Griffin: While three members of the family are voiced by the same person, you can hardly tell. Brian, who is a very liberal and intelligent talking dog, often serves as the conscience of Peter. In the beginning seasons, he even stood out as the most intelligent Griffin, but as the character progressed, his character started to take on some insufferable character traits. A running gag about the character is that he's constantly in the middle of writing his own book, which is full of clichés and is almost unreadable.
  • Patrick Warburton as Joe Swanson: A paraplegic police officer, Joe is also the most athletic of the Family Guy cast. While his disability is often mocked, he's still an integral member of Peter's group of friends.
  • Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown: Like Peter, Cleveland isn't very bright. Also, he is very soft- and slow-speaking and is known as the lead in the show's spinoff, The Cleveland Show.
  • Seth McFarlane as Glenn Quagmire: Glenn is a pilot and is known for his womanizing. He's also much older than he seems and is a conservative counterpoint to Brian, whom he dislikes intensely.

In addition to these integral characters, many celebrities have voiced some of Quahog's other citizens. This includes Star Wars' Carrie Fisher as Angela, who serves as Peter's boss. When she passed away, they even had a funeral for the character. Similarly, Adam West, star of the 1960s Batman series, played the mayor of Quahog. His character always seemed spaced out, but during the plot, he married into the Griffin family, and when he passed, he was honored by the show in a similar manner to Carrie.

This show was created by Seth McFarlane, and it's based on a short that he created called The Life of Larry. Also, many of the Rhode Island locations are based on McFarlane's years studying animation at the Rhode Island School of Design. Overall, if you love irreverent humor, non-politically correct humor, and chaotic cutaways, then Family Guy is a good choice.

Family Guy
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