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Thread: How has Family Guy changed over the years?

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  1. #1

    How has Family Guy changed over the years?

    Since the creators weeks ago talked about differences you'd see now vs. say 2005, what are some differences you've noticed. I've noticed the current episodes are much more self-aware to the point of every line carrying some sort of *wink-wink* *nudge-nudge* to them. It started in "Saving Private Brian" with Stewie's " clip?" line, and has become more and more each season. Peter's character has toned town from season 5, when he was a complete Archie Bunker archtype. They have toned down on the cutaways, which is a good thing. Your observations?

  2. #2

    In the early years, it was like a more cynical Simpsons. It had potential to at least be a cult classic like American Dad ended up being. Then when it came back, it slowly started indulging in cutaways and random bits and ignoring the development of the characters. It worked for a while because it was really funny, but once it lost its sense of humor, there was nothing else to it. It exposed itself as a really shallow show after seven or eight seasons.

    Then it went through a period where they were trying to be as mean-spirited and ruthless as possible. This also included them handling topics they didn't understand, like with "Peter-assment" or "Quagmire's Dad" or "Screams of Silence," or turning the characters into genuinely awful people. Peter and Brian were two of the best characters in the earlier seasons, now they're the two worst. Every character got reduced to one trait, or became stereotypes. Joe is a hapless cripple, Quagmire is a sex addict, Cleveland is a poor black man, Lois hates Peter but can't get it together to leave, Mort and Neil are Jewish and nothing else. Not saying these characters always had the best writing, but they used to be actual characters. Now, they're just the shallowest possible versions of themselves.

    That doesn't even get into all the stereotype jokes they continue doing with no new variations or insight. Did you know Italians wear grease in their hair and are mobsters? Did you know Jewish people are cheap? Did you know Mexican people are illegal immigrants and have big families? Well, the show doesn't know that because they keep making these jokes. They're not making fun of people who believe in the stereotypes, they're just reinforcing them.

    Now, they've pretty much abandoned traditional storytelling in favor of being as random and awkward as possible. The writers are hopelessly bored with these characters and believe the show should have ended years ago, so every joke is some self-aware commentary on how much the show sucks. The characters are all fully aware of themselves and the fact that they're not real, so you're just watching them say things that no human being would ever say and having inorganic responses to everything that happens to them. The only time it seems like they care is when they do episodes like "Emmy-Winning Episode" or "Family Guy Through the Years," because they don't have to worry about writing the characters in any specific way. Other than that, the show now feels more like a sketch comedy because every episode comes off like it was written in one or two days. Especially this season, which has had some of the worst episodes in the history of the series.

  3. #3
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    Jul 2003

    Very well summed up, there.

    I feel like the writing staff also got rather smug when the show was brought back from cancellation. The jabs at other shows and celebrities increased, and rarely were they in good fun. Not only that, they were rarely explained or justified. It'd be one thing if they were pointing out the foibles of other shows and making a valid criticism through parody and satire, but it's usually just been a cutaway with the basic gist being "this show sucks". No reason as to why or how it sucks, no clever commentary, just mean-spirited bashing. I suppose it resonates if you hate the show in question as much as the writers seem to, but if not, it's pretty grating.

    It's also become jarring when they try to do an episode with any kind of unironic emotion. They've dedicated so much time and energy to making the characters repugnant and basically saying you're a fool if you care about them and a nerd if you care about continuity, that it's virtually impossible to go along for the ride because they haven't earned that emotional reaction. We've basically been told we shouldn't care, so it's jarring to be asked to suddenly care.
    A little less Generic than before.

  4. #4
    Stonecutter John95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Mauston, WI

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Nihilistic View Post
    Quagmire is a sex addict
    More like sex addicted cynic.
    Family Guy Season 18 Ratings - Yacht Rocky: 1.5/5 Bri-Da: 2.5/5 Absolutely Babulous: 1.5/5 Disney's The Reboot: 1.5/5 Cat Fight: 1.5/5 Peter & Lois' Wedding: .5/5 Heart Burn: 1.5/5 Shanksgiving: .5/5 Christmas is Coming: 2/5 Connie's Celica: 0/5 Short Cuts: 2/5 Undergrounded: 1.5/5 Rich Old Stewie: 3.5/5 The Movement: .5/5 Baby Stewie: 0/5
    American Dad! Season 15 Ratings - Fantasy Baseball: 1.5/5 I Am the Jeans: The Gina Lavetti Story: 0/5 Stan & Francine & Connie & Ted: 0/5 Rabbit Ears: 1.5/5 Jeff and the Dank Ass Weed Factory: 1/5 Lost Boys: 0/5 Shark?!: 1/5 The Long March: 2/5 The Hall Monitor and the Lunch Lady: 0/5 Wild Women Do: 2/5 An Irish Goodbye: 3/5 Stompe le Monde: 0/5 Mom Sauce: 0/5 Hamerican Dad!: 0/5 Demolition Daddy: 0/5 Pride Before the Fail: .5/5 Enter Stanman: 0/5 No Weddings and a Funeral: 0/5 Eight Fires: 1.5/5 The Hand That Rocks the Rogu: 0/5 Downtown: TBD Cheek to Cheek: A Stripper's Story: TBD

  5. #5
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Jul 2018

    I couldn't agree more with @Dr. Nihilistic. This show used to be so funny and really clever when they talked about topics they actually understand (PTV). Now this show is his own shadow. The writers gave up and the more the seasons go, the more we can see it. They gave up with the stories (tackling topics they clearly don't understand), they gave up with the jokes, they gave up with the characters (I don't know if there is a single character I still find likeable nowadays). The light atmosphere give his place to unsettling stuff just for the sake of it, and yeah, they want us to know they don't want to write for Family Guy anymore, in an unclever and too much self-aware way. There are fortunately still some good stuff here and there but we really have to dig deep to find it.

  6. #6
    Junior Camper erichoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Fort Worth, Texas

    Season 5 was where the show started to plummet and it really got so bad after the writers' strike. Why?

    1. Too much focus on Brian/Stewie/Peter
    2. Meg having little or no voice lines
    3. The overly long (filler) jokes like Stewie yelling for Lois for 30 seconds straight, cool whip, or conway twitty
    4. Brian becoming a political d-bag
    5. Using live action scenes more often (They seldom did this in the first 4 seasons but it got really out of control later)
    6. Self-awareness
    7. 95-ish percent of the later episode being about relationships and nothing else (Long John Peter could've been great but instead of Peter and his pirates having laid siege to Quahog, they go with Anna and Chris's relationship)
    8. The excessive Meg bashing (It wasn't even bashing in season 4, every character was getting the same treatment)
    9. Excessive violence
    10. Lois being a bitch who couldn't give two fucks about any of her children for no apparent reason (I mean god even in season 5 she outright acknowledged her mistakes after she spanked Stewie)

    Honestly I could go on forever. This show used to be so well written for four seasons, and then they just went "aw screw it" and just start working half assed or something.

    Seriously if I was running this show I'd fire all the writers. They could've easily patched up so many mistakes to salvage what was once a good show nearly 15 years ago. Stuff like having Lois back to piano, no long jokes allowed, etc.

    And of course the number 1 rule: KILL BRIAN AND STEWIE and don't bring them back!!! I am dead serious. Both characters used to be so good in seasons 1-4 but when the writers started not doing their homework or saying that the dog ate it, the two characters became so unlikable, annoying, and just boring. I've watched so many cartoons as a youth and still today, and I can honestly say that Brian and Stewie are in the same league as Barney and Dora for being some of the most obnoxious and some of those characters that you would just love to cap.
    Last edited by erichoff; 02-18-2019 at 07:26 AM.

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