Family Guy first appeared on our TV screens back in 1999 and follows the adventures of the Griffin Family; family man and centrepiece Peter Griffin, wife Louis and their children – Chris, Meg and calculating infant Stewie as well as the anthropomorphic family dog, Brian.
Within its first few years the show had to jump a number of hurdles to get to the point that it is at today. In fact, the show failed to jump the initial hurdles at all within its first few seasons and was consequently cancelled not once but twice during its second and third seasons. Thankfully the network behind the show realised the monumental error of their ways and resuscitated the adult-aimed animated comedy and it has since grown into one of the most successful sitcoms of the past twenty years…and one of the raciest too.
As far as animated shows go, there really isn’t too much competition for Family Guy. The show continues to raise the bar not just for its risky content but for the originality of almost every episode since the shows debut back in the late nineties. Since the show began, Family Guy has raked in new fans, retained its loyal fan-base and kept the ratings high for its creator, Seth MacFarlane, who in my opinion, is nothing short of a comedy genius. MacFarlane has stretched his talents over the creation and concepts within each season, the voices of several of the main characters – as diverse as each character is – and also has a fine set of vocal chords on him as we have heard throughout the shows run with several episodes centring in on MacFarlane’s love of musicals and singing. His talents have also led him to create other sitcoms including the equally amazing American Dad as well as the recently wound-down The Cleveland Show. He has also managed to build a side career as a swing singer, an actor in films like A Million Ways to Die In The West and a film director (Ted). His talents have no limits and with Family Guy he has been allowed to stretch each one to their fullest extent which we have learned over the years and its latest season which has recently been release to DVD and Blu-Ray.
The fourteenth season was a much talked about inclusion within the Family Guy portfolio due to the shows centrepiece episode, ‘Life of Brian’, which centres in on the death of the Griffin family dog….sort of. Other notable highlights from the fourteenth season include the second episode ‘Vestigial Peter’ where Peter, following a visit to the hospital after Louis notices a lump on his neck, discovers that he has a vestigial twin growing beneath his skin. The episode is one of the strongest within the season as the twin takes on a character of its own and steals the episode. Within the season the Griffin’s sexually obsessed neighbour Quagmire gets more than he bargained for with a new girlfriend in ‘Quagmire’s Quagmire’ who turns out to me into much more risky sexual activities than Quagmire can keep up with as the relationship takes a turn for the worst.
The Griffin’s revisit 3 much loved fairy-tales (Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella) during ‘Grimm Job’ which sits midway into the season while Brian decides to exploit his long-suffering writing career through his son Dylan who first appeared in the show back in the season six episode ‘The Former Life of Brian’ and now re-emerges as a teen TV star in episode eleven, ‘Brian’s A Bad Father’. Outside of the usual Griffin family antics, celebrity guest voices are also ample throughout the fourteenth season with actors Jeff Daniels, Liam Neeson and Lea Thompson, TV host Conan O’Brien and Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine all signing up to be a part of this animated phenomenon.
While many sitcoms like Family Guy tend to drift off into the realm of irrelevance after a couple of seasons – much like Seth’s Family Guy spin-off sitcom The Cleveland Show which was dropped recently following its fourth season due to poor ratings – Family Guy provides the much needed adult comedy that fans have been enjoying from the show for over a decade and given the success of its currently airing season and the shows fourteenth season, we will no doubt have plenty more to look forward to from the Griffin Family.
OWN FAMILY GUY SEASON 14 ON DVD 10 DEC
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