Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Family Guy

So of all the cartoons ever made, why is "Family Guy" the most talked about? People either really LOVE it or HATE it.

No other shows, not even "Simpsons", "SpongeBob" or even "South Park" fuels bloodbath of a debate like "Family Guy".

Is it because the show is successful? Meh, there are billions of successful shows I don't like but you don't see me bitching about it. Hell, I don't even like this show much and I don't bitch about it. Instead, I'm bitching about people who bitch on this show. It's not the death of animation. FG didn't lower the standards for others to come (not that it's ever been high in the first place).

Sometimes I hate the animation community.

Just had to rant.


Anonymous said...

The only reason I can think of that people would bitch and moan about it is the amount that fans of the show quote it, which a lot of them do. All the time.

Jerry Beck said...

Whenever I'm forced to watch FAMILY GUY, I laugh and I usually enjoy it. But I'm one of the haters of the show.

My problem with the show has nothing to do with the actual show itself. I resent the reason it was created.

FAMILY GUY was conceived by Fox as a way to manufacture a hit show on the level of THE SIMPSONS. Fox shares/splits revenue from THE SIMPSONS with Matt Groening and Gracie Films (Jim Brooks). Fox saw how much THE SIMPSONS was making and wanted their own version of that success. When Seth MacFarland walked in with a rough idea of a "family" animated sitcom, Fox bought it and staffed it with the top comedy writing talent money could buy. The show was hilarious - but it bombed in the ratings.

However, as we all know, DVD sales and an Adult Swim run revived it. And Fox got their wish for a duplicate SIMPSONS that they own 100%. Good for them.

Unlike the Simpsons, South Park, and numerous other animated series, Family Guy has no soul. It doesn't come from any creators point of view. It's simply a manufactured product - not that there's anything wrong with that.

I'm delighted with Family Guy's success, because its success reflects well for animation, hand drawn animation in particular - and it spawned many other animated shows for prime time. And that's always a good thing.

Brubaker said...

Thanks, Jerry. That's probably the most sensible thing anyone has ever said on the show.

I agree with the "no soul" part. You're right that the show is manufactured, unlike the other two shows you mentioned (with one of the co-creators of "South Park" actually writing and directing all the episodes).

Of course, every once in a while one wants ease off with a fast food burger. "Family Guy" is a television equivalent.

Martin Juneau said...

Family Guy used to be funny but the problem i got is too many flashbacks references who came nowhere. If they made it in 1 or 2 episodes, i will accept but not every episodes. Otherwise, it turns out formulaic and imagination lackest. The Simpsons having better results despite the Matt Groening's lack of supervision within the show.

Mr. Semaj said...

The controversy behind Family Guy is ridiculous. You have one group that goes beserk when someone makes a critique against their precious series and anything Seth MacFarlane, and another group that (pretends to be) allergic to Seth MacFarlane.

Whether or not Family Guy was intended to be a manufactured product as Jerry describes it, what I saw in its early years was a writing team trying to make the funniest show on television. And they did. A lot of the early episodes even made subtle yet tasteful awareness of its own eccentricity in the comedy market.

Unfortunately, that offbeat incentive is gone. Family Guy has become exactly what it regularly criticizes itself; a show that recycles the same plot points all the time, a show that seldom comes up with anything funny anymore, and a show that's just crude and annoying for its own sake.

Yet at the same time, there are a lot of worse cartoons out there. But every problem needs a scapegoat, doesn't it? Seth MacFarlane is a very talented actor, and when he's in the right mind, a decent storyteller. He's just not using his talents wisely anymore.