South Park already did it.

  • 5/15/2006 02:23:00 am
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

Things to do if you meet Seth McFarlane: Number One.

"Oh my god, it's Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy! Man, this is more awesome than the time I appeared on Number 7T3 when it was guest-hosted by Mickey Thomas, Wendy Craig and the Roly-Polys..."

Then just sort of stand there, staring into the middle distance, kind of thinking to yourself for exactly one minute and twenty seconds, before piping up again.

"Heh. Sweet. Oh. Sorry, I was just thinking of an unfunny retro pop-culture non-sequitur that went on for too long without even adding any additional jokes or anything, so I don't have to bother thinking up a proper plot or ending or anything. DO YOU SEE WHAT I JUST DID THERE?"

Yeah, I've just been watching a few recent episodes of once-mighty Family Guy. Why the cocking hell can't they get it right any more? No wonder the BBC aren't in any particular hurry to show any of the post-season three episodes any time soon. Now, I'd complain more vociferously about the whole affair (using Venn diagrams to better illustrate points, and everything), but I've noticed that the quality of new Family Guy episodes seems to be inversely proportional to the quality of American Dad broadcast at the same time, and I don't want to jinx anything.

It's even got proper sub-plots and everything!

American Dad really is uncommonly good at the moment, you see, and getting ever better with each passing week (or, thanks to American television schedulers, every one-to-six weeks. I've a good mind to not pay my imaginary illegal BitTorrent downloader licence fee, you know). Possibly this is due to Seth McFarlane actually having very little to do with the scripts for it, so there's no way he can shoehorn in the ten minutes of rejected Robot Chicken sketch ideas that end up finding their unlikely way into the reminiscences of the Griffin clan. Thus, I can at least expect a rip-roaring twenty-one minutes of US animated sitcommery on a Monday evening, even though it's likely to be followed by a frustratingly similar period spent making the occasional chuckle before angrily staring at the screen waiting for a seemingly endless cutaway gag about Katie Couric to end, just on the off chance there’s another rogue great episode, like the ‘PTV’ one.

Honestly, during every tedious sequence featuring Stewie continuing to play 'Marco Polo' with Helen Keller a good ten seconds after everyone got the not-that-great-in-the-first-place joke, I can actually feel a tiny bit of my life ebbing away. Curse you, McFarlane.

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