Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Family Guy: Oh Yeah, I Hate That Thing

The Griffin family. From left to right: Brian,...
Once upon a time I watched Family Guy and enjoyed it. Now I can not even hear Stewie's voice without exploding into a violent rage (as opposed to my normal quiet rage). People talk about how funny it is all the time and I just do not understand why. So here I sit at nearly four in the morning trying to figure out what happened to me.

At first I thought maybe I have just become one of those assholes who hates things that people like (I do mostly), but I used to like the show when it came out and I vaguely remember most people my age liking it then too. Perhaps I outgrew Family Guy. By outgrow I do not mean I only believe in "high brow" humor or something. But from the time the show came out in 1999 (I was 14) to now (25) I have had the opportunity to experience many more shows, movies, comedians, etc and have expanded what I think comedy is or can be. Meanwhile, it feels to me that Family Guy has become stagnant, relying on the same stupid thing over and over again. And its boring to me now.

Here are a few of the things I had not seen in 1999 that I now love:

  1. Mitch Hedberg
  2. Arrested Development
  3. The Office
  4. The Marx Brothers
  5. Everything Tim and Eric have done
  6. The Colbert Report
  7. The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Bill O'Reilly Inside Edition
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News
    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News
    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Cookie Monster
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News
  8. Demetri Martin
  9. The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Martin - The SAT
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
  10. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

As I mentioned earlier, it seems Family Guy is stagnant. From the beginning it was always formulaic and that got boring. Plot is really not important, instead the show relies on the crutch of sometimes vaguely related asides. Once funny, the asides grew tedious and appear to be aimed at drumming up interest on the internet. People post the videos of these short pseudo-scenes on Facebook and create buzz. It kind of annoys me they force these obvious marketing ploys into their episodes. Then everybody falls in love with these stupid videos. I can't even mention something I like without someone saying, "Oh, like on Family Guy!" And I have to say I don't watch Family Guy and try to explain why because nobody understands how that would ever, ever be possible! For instance, the song "Surfin' Bird" is one of my favorite songs. It was on a record I listened to when I was a kid and it is just a plain incredible garage song. Family Guy throws it into an episode, damn near ruining it for me.



It isn't even funny, just obnoxious. Kind of the way the show is.

One other thing about Family Guy is the way it tries, and fails, to "push the envelope." Nothing about the show is new and fresh. The Simpsons was when it first aired. So was South Park (even though I got tired of it, I still don't hate that people like it), M*A*S*H, Arrested Development, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Saturday Night Live in the early years. Family Guy copies other shows and presents it as something new. But they do a poor version of it.

Actually, my brother asked on Facebook why he didn't find the show funny anymore and one of his friends had the perfect answer, "Because you aren't retarded." About 80% of people agreed with him! That was very encouraging to me. I think eventually most people may outgrow the show because it is essentially a one trick pony. We will one day be united in wondering why we ever watched. At least I hope so (and the same for that unfunny jackass Dane Cook).

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