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‘Family Guy’ Clocks 300: A Dog and His Boy
January 14, 2018  | By Eric Gould  | 1 comment

Presidents and iPhones come and go, but some shows are downright perennial. In the case of Family Guy, it is less like a rose and more like a turnip, but maybe still enjoyable nonetheless.

That Fox wallpaper over there next to The Simpsons in its 16th season will celebrate its 300th episode Sunday night (“Dog Bites Bear,” January 14, 9 p.m., ET).

Don’t look now, but the bad-boy of adult cartoons is approaching Gunsmoke and Law and Order territory (20 seasons) on the all-time longest-running scripted prime-time list. (Bart and Homer still reign at 29, and are still going.)

Sure, that’s perhaps surprising (and depending on your point of view, offensive) but you have to admire the longevity of creator Seth MacFarlane and his gang – and their ability to transmogrify and find new politically-incorrect avenues for the Griffin family to wander, when they seemingly have excavated every dysfunction and body cavity possible in the prior 15 seasons.

In recent years, the Family Guy writer’s room has seemed to have trended considerably younger, with surprise murders and liberal gore becoming more frequent… maybe out of desperation or as a way around having cycled through every possible inappropriate sexual reference imaginable.

So for the 300th milestone then, it’s perhaps a little comforting for long-time fans that rank scatology takes a back seat to another Brian and Stewie adventure after Brian commits a shocking act to one of Stewie’s beloved toys, putting their friendship in danger.

Of course, this is only after the opening scene when Peter mentions, in front of the children, the new sex technique Lois is now practicing.

Says Chris, “I can’t tell if they have a really good marriage or a bad one.” Meg replies, “I feel like it’s really weird but strong… like Danny Trejo.” (Cut to the standard FG non-sequitur gag, with the real-life Trejo thanking the animators for the shout-out.)

This is, ahem, after all, a series about a family that stays together.

“Dog Bites Bear” returns to Family Guy standards (think extended fight scene and left-field film references) but lands squarely, and lovingly, on Brian and Stewie’s relationship in all its literary irony and age-inappropriate enmity.

At one point Brian observes, “Stewie… you’re so mature in so many ways. You’re the smartest person in the house, you’re incredibly perceptive, you’re wiser than people 40 times your age.”

Coming from a best-selling canine author, regarding his British-accented, cross-dressing sidekick who once built a time machine, we have to agree.

Family Guy viewership has dwindled over the years, retaining only its most steadfast fans, with TV having completely transformed since its premiere in 1999. Still, that’s a noteworthy achievement, with over 2 million on Sunday nights, along with additional DVR and online viewings. That’s been enough to keep the network and advertisers happy and to continue on.

Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty would be appalled, though.

But we’ll keep looking in.

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Futurama,another animation series once ditched by Fox,bloomed on Comedy Central. Family Guy-dunno. Add American Dad and I run away from anything Seth MacFarlane throws his weight towards(though his association with Neil deGrasse Tyson is commendable). Those Sinatra stylings: better than Rod Stewart, not as good as Harry Connick(Harry is indeed at musician first),but I think Frank would still bump both of them out of the picture and show them how its done.
Jan 14, 2018   |  Reply
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