Monday, May 02, 2005

Please permit me a few geriatric remarks about the unexpected return of Family Guy to FOX the other night:

1) It's good to see FOX bring back a halfway decent show, essentially admitting that they've done a horrible job of deciding which shows to keep over the past few years. Family Guy has moments where it's one of the funniest things on TV, especially now, with The Simpsons only hitting about 25% of the time and Arrested Development off the air. However, it also seems to take the easy laugh far too often and its political humor is always forced (Don't even get me started on the mess that's American Dad). In the end, though, this show's return is a bittersweet victory: The vastly superior Futurama has not followed Family Guy back to primetime, at least not yet. Family Guy is the kind of show that plays well at frat parties, Futurama is the kind of show that plays well at an ACM meeting. Actually, that's probably why they're not bringing it back. Shame on you, FOX.

2) The last 10 minutes or so of yesterday's episode featured a scene-by-scene parody of Alfred Hitchcock's wonderfully entertaining North by Northwest. You have to wonder what percentage of Family Guy viewers caught the reference, what with the complete lack of historical knowledge (cinematic and otherwise) usually demonstrated by its primary demographic. 1%? Probably even lower. This isn't the first time Seth MacFarlane has pulled something like this, one redeeming quality of his work is that it keeps stuff like the old Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "Road To ..." movies floating around on the edge of popular consciousness.

Now get off my lawn, dagnabbit!