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FAMILY GUY

26 November 2005

,,Hey waiter, there's a dead guy in my soup.'
,,I'm terribly sorry sir, of course your soup is gratis.'


Roommate Jasper is a Family Guy nut. Practically not a day goes by where I don't hear that familiar tune that says: 'here's another 20 minutes of top notch comedy writing. Enjoy!'. Needless to say I've seen my fair share of it because of this as well. And I have to say, nearly no episode goes by that doesn't have something for me to get giddy about.

I think it's funnier than The Simpsons. This may be because The Simpsons has grown pretty old and I've gotten used to it seeing it my whole life. Or maybe it's because Family Guy has less obvious morality tales to weave, is less plot-oriented and more about non-sequitur comedy. Regardless, in my head it stands out as a far more interesting show. And funnier.

At first glance it may appear full of dumb humour, fart-jokes and easy political incorrectness. But every time I notice that the lines are wonderfully sharp and that they constantly try (and succeed in) avoiding or overtopping the clich?s. One of the token ways they do this is by making jokes go on and on and on? and on, until it's passed the point of being clich?d and becomes funny again. A staple of Family Guy are the random insertion of flashbacks or alternative timelines that are only connected to the plot on the flimsiest of pretexts. But it's exactly these that are so very, very funny. And again, by dragging these sequences out way longer than any other series would, they become their own kind of fun. A scene that normally wouldn't at all have been witty suddenly becomes utterly hilarious because it won't stop. It's absolutely Family Guy's forte.

You may argue that Family Guy is taking cheap shots at people and events without fully comprehending who or what they are; that they've become (excuse me the phrase) so postmodern that it actually begins to detract from the cultural value of the object of mockery; by telling so little about it it teaches the audience nothing but the joke. But, again, that's also their strength. The constant barrage of references and in-jokes makes it highly amusing to watch if you know what it's about. It's the sort of, spot-the-references kind of fun, mixed with the self-serving idea that you may be the only one getting a particular obscure joke. If Family Guy wasn't constantly running at hyperspeed, it'd be a brilliant audience participation show. 'Cause everyone always wants to exchange meaningful glances of acknowledgement when watching.

Quagmire: ,,Heh! The only tent I'm pitching today is? err, well, you see where I'm going with this.'

Roderick.