Family Guy and I

I’ve recently had the opportunity to watch multiple episodes of “The Family Guy”. I’m thankful for that, since it’s allowed me to clarify my ambigious feelings towards this show.

In short – I’m not fond of it. Even stronger words – “Even though there are moments of hilarity and high wit, on the whole the show is superficial”

I’ve been advised that the reason why Family Guy is well-liked is that it takes a swipe at everyone. Hmm. Wow. What a reason to watch it. That’s what the world needs right now – a show that trots out every single stereotype possible about all divisions possible.

Something that bothers me about the Family Guy? Oh right – Stewie. Hmm. I dunno. I gotta admit – the little kid is funny – he’s often the most humorous guy in the show. But come now, doesn’t the “I’m gonna kill you all” act grate a little thin sometimes? And isn’t this all a bit unbelievable? The kid is a super genius? Or are the makers of the show trying to pull a Calvin and Hobbes – what Stewie sees is _not_ what the world sees? If that’s the case – umm – they gotta try a bit harder.

Also, there are times when it seems like the cartoonists aren’t even trying. In the episode where Peter wins a trip to the beer factory there was a _1 minute_ (an eternity I’m telling you…) scene where all Peter did was:

Clutch his leg and moan “Owww. {pause} Owww.”

I kid you not. The first time I saw that, I thought something had frozen, there was a read error…something – anything!

Family Guy has been compared to the Simpsons with various friends stating that it is the Simpson’s logical successor. Well hardly. Maybe I’ve been idealistic here and am only remembering the early seasons of the Simpsons, but I remember the Simpsons being more funny and I guess, a step up the ladder of sophistication than the Family Guy. I suppose my lack of cable has allowed me to sidestep the supposed slow and dismal slide of the Simpsons into TV vampire land – where a show is sucked dry of every ounce of ingenuity it once had…

Oh yeah, and just a final word for all the ladies out there. I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there like Peter. But, as a guy, I’d like to take an opportunity to challenge some of the stereotypes I see portrayed about males.

1) Believe it or not – we don’t think about sex/women all day. Or even half the day. Or even a quarter. Hell – most of the time I have I’m thinking about my work, stuff I have to hand in, the long list of stuff I have to do etc.

2) We’re not dumb. Cartoons, sitcoms and advertisements notwithstanding not all guys are short half a brain.

3) Just because we’re guys doesn’t mean we’re slovenly or that we don’t care at all how we present ourselves. Most guys make an effort to look presentable and neat and just because we do so, doesn’t make us metrosexuals (who coined this travesty anyways?) or any other label.

4) Yes we can communicate. And unlike Peter of Family Guy fame we don’t start staring at breasts the moment women start talking to us.

5) No we don’t all drink beer all day and watch sports. Alcohol is expensive. Time is limited. Everyone has work to do – and that includes guys.

There’s more. Heck, there’s always more – but my time is limited and my vitrol is depleted…

Comments

  1. The_Voice - November 23, 2003 @ 21:55

    I completely disagree with this entry in it’s entirety. Family Guy is genius. The “oww” inhale “oww” scene was hilarious. Stewie is always funny. The show has me in stitches constantly. Before me, Rob and Teehan watched 24 every night, we watched Family Guy on DVD every night. Cause it made us laugh. The show has been cancelled, but, as noted on Slashdot, it may be returning.

    Realism has nothing at all to do with the show. Yes, Peter isn’t your typical guy, but then again, neither is Homer. I’ve laughed more during Family Guy episodes than I’ve EVER laughed while watching the Simpson’s. “Black to the Future”… can it get any more creative than that? I don’t think so.

    But, to each their own, I guess. Give a couple more episodes a try, but if the “oww” inhales “oww” scene didn’t srike your fancy, and if the _Emmy_ nominated song “This House is Freakin’ Great” is too lowbrow for your liking, then I guess the high level of humour provided by this Seth McFarlane creation isn’t for you.

    OH, and with Stewie, they poked fun at that bit… one episode they had a guy saying, “So, do the people actually hear what he’s saying, or does only the audience hear him speak?”, before he was gutted, I think.

  2. Masurium - November 26, 2003 @ 23:02

    I would just like to comment on your list of “Guy” things.

    1) Believe it or not- I would say I think about sex/women at least half of the time I am awake. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that either. It’s almost hard to avoid too, considering nearly all ads that exist sell their product through sex appeal, and we live in a consumer society.

    2)We are dumb. So are girls though, so if that was the comparison you were drawing… I’m generalizing humanity here… Anyways, I would question the fact that there is a person who hasn’t done at least one thing completely stupid at some point in their life.

    3)I hate the word “metrosexual”. Sometimes I care how I look. Usually I don’t, as long as my hygine is within acceptable* limits.
    (* acceptable becomes dismall during exams)

    4)Ugg. Me guy. Me do not talk about gushy-feely stuff. Okay, you may win this point. I’d pit most guys I know against most girls I know in communication skills any day (unless the girls were fighting in jello [see point #1])

    5)Stupid alcohol being so expensive. And a lot of people live on the dole, drinking on publicx funds.

    Last point. The scene with Peter hurting his leg was pure idiotic genious. It was not smutty, and the humor did not arise directly from the pain. It was the response, which anyone who has hurt their leg will agree, that is what you do when you fall.

    Bed time now. Stupid three hour round trip commute for a seven hour work day.

  3. Allen George - November 27, 2003 @ 22:03

    Hmm…I seem to have spurred some very differing opinions. I’ve been busy over the past few days, so my reply is a little late in coming – but bear with me.

    Mas: (Good to see you here BTW!)

    1) I’d say its individual then. I’d feel comfortable in saying that a good number of guys would identify with my POV as well. We may live in a consumer society – but each one of us has the capability and the right to step back and say “No. I don’t want to live like this”

    2) Just because we do something stupid _sometimes_ doesn’t make us dumb. (I generalize here too – us means humanity). I’m talking about doing stupid things consistently and not recognizing the flaws in our actions. I would call that behavior ‘dumb’.

    5) I can’t argue with this. I’m still surprised by how quickly people will turn to drugs/alcohol/cigarettes when their money runs down. Isn’t it more important to try and save and use the money for something less … addictive? How about food?

    Rob/Paul: Perhaps I’m just humor impaired in this area then – because quite honestly – I don’t find it funny in the least. I’ve never been a fan of slapstick and this scene strikes me as an example of that vein.

    Also, simply because a song is nominated for an Emmy doesn’t signifiy that its great :) I’d like to point to some Oscar winning films that I just never connected with – despite people constantly telling me that they were ‘simply the best’. I think with things like movies/tv shows it comes down to a very personal choice.

    That gutting scene sounds random. Almost like its thrown in. Well yes, I see the irony of being asked whether Stewie is real or not just before being killed by him (conclusion: doesn’t matter if he’s real – in the show his actions have consequences to us at least)

    But then again, I never did identify with cartoons in general…

  4. shufler - November 29, 2003 @ 14:35

    5) Drugs/Alcohol/Cigarettes sometimes act as a “better” fuel than food. Food has a tendancy to make you sleepy, and lose focus.

    I’m not trying to justify using/doing/taking any sort of intoxicant, but rather show that some people can legitmize them in their head in this sort of manner.

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