We had to write an argumentative essay for an English class I'm taking this summer at UBC (university of british columbia). I thought, "I hate Family Guy, why not write a paper on it?" So, here it is.
Family Guy: Another Incident in the Decay of Humanity
Television is an American tradition. One can watch the presidential election and later flip to their favorite sit-com. The wide variety of shows that cable television offers leaves the consumer with many choices of what to watch next. Family Guy, an animated satirical comedy that portrays the typical nuclear family, exaggerated to the limit, has become the choice program for millions of Americans. It is easy to see why so many people love the show – animation allows more material to skip by the censors – but taking a closer look, Family Guy is truly a moronic and tasteless program that is ultimately lowering the entertainment standards of the general public.
At first glance, Family Guy has potential to raise a few chuckles and has avid fans laughing out loud. The content of the show is simple enough to reel in anybody looking for their comedic fix. But under the surface, it becomes obvious that the show is made to have every possible element be funny, which in turn reveals how lazily it is written. The characterization of Family Guy is weak and mundane – Peter, the main focus of the show and the father figure, follows the same trend of sit-com fathers pop culture has come to know over the years. He is fat, lazy, and dim-witted, frequenting the local pub with his bizarre array of friends. His character leaves much to be desired from the rest of the cast, but it doesn’t get much better from there. His wife, Lois, nags as much as anybody would guess. Daughter Meg is an awkward teenage girl that struggles for acceptance, but is shot down by everybody, not only her peers but also her family. Son Christopher is an exact replica of his father – fat and lazy, but far more idiotic. Stewie, the baby, is exceedingly different from the rest of his family, concocting evil-genius-esque plans to annihilate his mother and having power over all of humanity, which is only funny because he is, ironically, a baby. And the dog, Brian, is the only addition to the family that has any sense at all. The characterization of Family Guy shows the lack of creativity on behalf of the writers. There is no uniqueness or dynamics because the characters are so specifically designed to be what they are: annoying and unrealistic. And the characters are only a fraction of the less-than-mediocre entirety of Family Guy.
The humor of the show has as little substance as the overall talent and ability behind Family Guy. A single joke is made an obvious point, as if a prompter is on the screen for the audience to laugh. And then many of the jokes become run-ons, milking every last bit of humor until it’s dried up. Imagine the same punch line repeated consecutively for about two minutes, and Family Guy’s basis for laughs is exemplified, the same treatment for a number of jokes awaiting in the same episode. The humor is also constructed to be offensive and stereotypical. This is typical for many satire works, but falls flat when in the hands of Family Guy. Racial jokes are common, but are used in a loose manner with no real purpose but just to fill up the time slot. The racial groaners are nothing more than ignorant and juvenile, peppering in unneeded intolerance for the sake of laughs. And when it comes to offensive material, Family Guy does little to cross any boundaries. The issues raised do relate to some social event, but do not give any real views on the topic. Instead, the dialogue is written to belittle the issues, making them seem unimportant or stupid. A television show is truly making a point when somebody, somewhere, is angered by the point of view made in the show. People cannot be angered by the views of Family Guy because there simply are none. Truthfully, some real opinions would do wonders for the show.
References and flashbacks are the most common devices used in Family Guy. The plot of an episode can be completely forgotten and the staggering number of “That reminds me of the time I…” sequences takes its place. The references are completely random and tear the attention away from the story, which is, frankly, irritating. Perhaps the flashbacks are needed to give the viewer something to smile about while the plotline continues to make a nosedive from beginning to end, which is more evidence at how lazily the show is written. Simply changing the channel is a better way to ease the pain of watching an episode of Family Guy instead of having the show do it for you. When the funniest moments of a television show are the moments that have nothing to do with the plot, then a brick wall has officially been reached. And Family Guy has been banging its head against the same brick wall for far too long.
It is impressive that a show can be cancelled and revived twice, but when it’s Family Guy, one has to consider the fact that it has been taken off the air so many times. Looking at the mediocre content, it’s easy to see the reasoning behind the original movement to do away with the show, and it should have been left at that. Americans just have to put up with the Family Guy mania until it becomes another embarrassing moment in pop culture history.
PS: Watch SouthPark's episode called "Cartoon wars" where the southpark team dis/burns family guy and the family guy directors/producers took the insult like a pussy.
Here are the episode where southpark makes fun of family guy:
Here's the emmy awarded episode called make love not warcraft: