What do you get when a borderline mentally challenged but lovable buffoon inexplicably marries the beautiful heiress to the Pewterschmidt fortune? Apparently, three very strange kids, only one of whom could actually be considered homicidal, and a talking dog who votes Democrat. Family Guy follows the weekly misadventures of the Griffin family as they cope with their patriarch’s incomprehensible blunders. In the manner of many family comedies, the corpulent but adorable Peter Griffin is married to a beautiful and intelligent woman that most would consider way out of his league. Peter’s wife Lois is the glue that holds the Griffin family together despite many flaws.
She is nearly the perfect woman, aside from a small gambling habit. Chris Griffin, their eldest son, takes after his father in many ways while their daughter Meg is nothing like her mother. Unloved and unappreciated, she is a bit of a cutter. Stewie, the adorable baby, is an evil genius with a closet full of doomsday devices that the League of Doom would find enviable. He spends most of his time having wacky adventures with the family dog and plotting his mother’s untimely death. The family dog Brian has the miraculous ability to speak. Too bad he only uses his amazing gift to hit on women and push the liberal agenda to its limits.
America’s Most Successful Adult Cartoon
To be clear, Family Guy is an adult comedy with a sick sense of humor that is, thankfully, over the heads of most 8-year-old children. Peter’s friend Quagmire, whose coin phrase is “giggety,” is beyond sick and known for his hilarious antics with the ladies. His other friend Joe Swanson is a wheelchair-bound police officer and is constantly the brunt of handicap jokes. For instance, upon Joe’s arrival to heaven in a cutaway gag, he discovers that he is still in a wheelchair. He asks God, “Is this a thing up here?” God replies, “Oh yeah, that’s forever man.”
Nothing is Sacred
In fact, absolutely nothing is sacred to the makers of Family Guy. Songs like “You’ve Got Aids” and “Bring Me a Jew” have pushed the bar so far past the limits of acceptable humor that it seems impossible that they will be able to outdo themselves the following week. And then they push the bar even further with “Down Syndrome Girl.” The result is so horrifyingly funny that Family Guy has become one of the most successful shows on television to date.
Don’t expect an ongoing plot when watching this show. The storyline doesn’t always follow itself, even through the course of one episode, let alone a season. As a matter of fact, it would not be a stretch to speculate that entire episodes have been nothing more than a setup for one appallingly funny 30-second cutaway depicting a current pop culture reference. Most of the show’s humor is based on these cutaways, which poke fun at our most sacred of cows.
The show’s creator, Seth McFarlane, voices the majority of the show’s main characters, including Brian, Stewie and Peter Griffin. Meg is voiced by Mila Kunis of That ’70s Show. Alex Borstien, formerly of Mad TV fame, plays Lois Griffin. Other repeat appearances on the show include Adam West, who plays himself as the city’s utterly incompetent mayor. Patrick Warburton is the voice of Joe Swanson. There have been many celebrity guest voices on the show, including Jennifer Tilly, Drew Barrymore and Patrick Stewart.
They Must Be Trekkies
Patrick Stewart is the voice of Joe Swanson’s infant daughter, a pairing that can only be explained by the fact that Seth McFarlane and Seth Green are clearly Trekkies all the way. Some of their best cutaways portray Captain Kirk on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and William Shatner’s now-infamous style of overacting. A very amusing episode featuring the cast of Star Trek, The Next Generation includes the entire main cast of the show, kidnapped by Stewie Griffin on his homemade transporter and forced to spend the day with him at a carnival and answering questions about the show. Stewie finally returns the cast home with the exception of Denise Crosby whom he vaporized on arrival after he tires of her indecision at a McDonald’s drive-thru. Apparently they no longer serve McDLT’s, but Micheal Dorn was convinced one could be special ordered. This is the nature of watching Family Guy. The show will not make sense. The cutaways poke fun at the most unthinkable targets, including victims of the Holocaust. The characters are so twisted that it is difficult to like them, yet it’s impossible not to love them.
Watching Family Guy is Addictive
Family Guy is now in its 13th season and going stronger than ever. The upcoming season will be sure to offend and entertain with its often remarkably deep yet subtle commentary on our current political and societal woes. The season premier will feature a crossover with America’s other famous cartoon family, The Simpsons. Guest stars for the one hour episode will include Liam Neeson, Lea Thompson and Julie Bowen. Fans can watch Family Guy online to catch up on all 12 seasons of the Griffin’s infamous misadventures. Just be sure to pace yourself as one word effectively sums up this show — addictive.