Wednesday, April 26, 2006

On Family Guy 2.0 and sucking

Family Guy sucks. Or rather, Family Guy 2.0 does.

See, the show, as of its miraculous fourth-season-and-beyond renewal, is not the same beast it once was. Wether it be the new writers, the amount of time the veteran writers have been working on other stuff, or the reasons I will list below, it has changed for the worse. It is still technically Family Guy, but it's a new version. A 2.0. And as many will say, an upgrade does not always mean better performance.

Family Guy has always had a high amount of non-sequitor cutaways and flashbacks. Anyone who denies that is mixed up. But that doesn't excuse 2.0for absolutely skyrocketing their rate of appearance. Not only that, but they have leaned less toward being funny and clever and more towards being straightforward nostalgic bits for children of the 80s. And when I say straightforward, I am being literal- many of the pop-culture references play themselves completely straight with no joke other than the fact that so-and-so is randomly appearing. I never thought I'd say this, but Robot Chicken is coming up with more clever nostalgia-based jokes than Family Guy now. And that is not a good thing.

Hey, look, it's Evil Monkey! He's funny, right? Well, not after whoring him out so that he now appears in every other episode instead of every 10-15 or so. Not only that, but 2.0 has inexplicably decided to ressurect one-joke characters who never made additional appearances before and beat them into the ground. Herbert the pedophile. Greased-up Deaf Guy. The vaudeville players. And so on. And this is in exchange for Joe and Cleveland's sons vanishing without a trace. Smooth move.

When the writers run out of stock characters and references to use for jokes, they do the cheapest thing they can think of: drag a scene out endlessly with endless "Ummmmm....."s and "......Huh....."s. These scenes are not just torture; they're insulting.

I never thought I'd be analyzing Family Gut's plots, but there is no longer any effort put into them. The last new episode that I will watch for now went like this:

- Peter starts publishing erotica with funding from Lois's dad, who gets sued and loses all his money due to the books.
- Without any mention of the erotica, things turn into a sketch show of sorts as Peter and Carter go through various wacky (And very, very drawn-out) sketches to earn money.
- In the last 40 seconds of the show, Lois's mom, who married Ted Turner, walks in and says she earned half his money from divorcing him. The end.

Also, at 3 random points, there are scenes of Stewie doing Olympic training. There is no setup for this, and no real resolution. It's there, once again, just to pad time- they had the material but didn't bother writing an episode to fit it in.

So in the end, Family Guy is now just a vehicle. A vehicle for worn-out characters and catchphrases, old cartoon references for those who don't know better to laugh at, and characters who show off little of their old personalities. But Seth MacFarlane and company could hardly care. They get paid, so what difference does it make? God forbid they try and make something worth watching.