is an animated series
created by Seth MacFarlane
about a Dysfunctional Family
who... well, that's about it, really. It presents us with four main characters—slow-witted blue-collar jerk Peter, who is basically a crueler, more imbecilic, and often more cheerful Al Bundy
; smart and efficient (but neglectful and wild) House Wife
Lois; insecure daughter Meg; and good-hearted but moronic son Chris—and puts them through a series of adventures usually sparked by Peter's selfishness and/or idiocy. In addition to these somewhat cookie-cutter characters are Brian the martini-sipping intellectual and incredibly pretentious dog and Stewie the laser-toting megalomaniac baby, although they've gotten much more screen time in recent seasons.
Chaotic and somewhat out of the ordinary, the show is notorious for its Cutaway Gags
, as well as targeting literally every subject under the sun with a million gags per minute
. Depending on who you ask, it's either sloppy, unstructured and tasteless, or unorthodox and acceptably simple entertainment. With later seasons, the randomness increased and character dynamics shifted, with Stewie becoming less of a mad conqueror and more of a showman with homicidal, homosexual, and/or violent tendencies, Meg becoming a Butt Monkey
(supposedly due to the fact that the writers felt her too bland a character), Lois becoming much less of a good housewife, and Brian becoming more and more of a pompous loser. The animation style became stiffer, and the show as a whole became far darker
. It's drawn flak for this, but its fanbase is as loyal as any other, and like South Park
, it's up to the viewer to decide which version is better.
The show made history for American network television for being uncanceled
— twice. FOX
announced the show's cancellation after its second season in 2002. The show was resurrected not long after, but ratings suffered as its time slot changed constantly and it competed against the ratings-behemoths of Survivor
. After the third season, FOX called the show "canceled for good". But in 2005, the show was resurrected yet again, due to popular request, impressive ratings for the reruns on [adult swim]
, and unusually successful DVD-set sales. Family Guy
is now one of the network's most successful franchises, promoted by the suits with the same fervor as 24
, The Simpsons
, and American Idol
. This made Seth MacFarlane
THE highest paid Hollywood writer for a few years after its second revamp- it allowed him to produce the Spin-Off
series The Cleveland Show
, and American Dad!
, both under the same studio, along with the Star Wars
spoof Family Guy Presents: Laugh It Up, Fuzzball
As a final point, it's worth remembering Seth MacFarlane
is not as heavily involved in the writing of more recent episodes as you might think. While he's still an executive producer, and thus can veto scripts, chances are he's not the one you should aim bile at
when it comes to specific gags, aesops and messages in the plotlines.
There are currently four video games based on the series. First was the Family Guy Video Game!
for PlayStation 2
, and PlayStation Portable
. Next came Family Guy Online
, a browser-based MMORPG. The third is Family Guy Back To The Multiverse
for PlayStation 3
, Xbox 360
, and PC. The fourth is a The Simpsons Tapped Out imitator
called Family Guy The Quest For Stuff
for iOS and Android. A Licensed Pinball Table
was released by Stern Pinball
in 2007; click here for details.
Tropes found in the series: