DVD Review: The Laughs Die Down In “Family Guy: Season 15”

“I was always a huge fan of the show in its early days but as it continued to dispense season after season, its humor began to get old.”


 

Enter the world of “Family Guy” as never before with this outrageous collection of 20 episodes (16 are totally uncensored, but the other 4 are still ridiculously funny), in which viewers are taken way too far behind the scenes, Stewie and Brian run a bed-and-breakfast brothel, Peter gets into a sackful of trouble as a mall Santa, and the cast takes a novel approach to reenacting American literary classics.

Like so many people in the world, I thought “Family Guy” was over. It had been canceled twice before and with its creator, Seth MacFarlane, moving into movies (“Ted,” “Ted 2,” “A Million Ways to Die in the West”), and a new TV show (“The Orville,” which has already been renewed for a second season), leaving the Griffins in Quahog, Rhode Island seemed like the most rational choice but I was surprised to discover that “Family Guy” returned for its 16th season this past October. I was always a huge fan of the show in its early days but as it continued to dispense season after season, its humor began to get old. Most shows, if they manage to make it past season five, can either get better or worse. I wouldn’t necessarily say the series got worse but its humor became antiquated and while every season has most certainly got a few chuckles in them, overall, it has become clear that it is slowly running out of steam.

With 20 episodes in Season 15, the one episode that annoyed me the most was the one titled “Inside Family Guy.” It takes us behind-the-scenes of the making of the show but in animation form, no interviews with Seth MacFarlane or his cast, instead, we get a fictional behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make each and every episode. The Griffins, in this altered reality, are a real-life family who works together on the show but when Peter gets too big for his own britches and is fired, he must try to find an alternate line of work, while David Spade is brought in as his replacement. I know, I know, it’s an animated series, don’t take it so seriously but in watching this particular episode, it felt like MacFarlane and his very talented team of writers, ran out of ideas and someone, probably out of sheer desperation, jokingly said, “We should do a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show,” and MacFarlane ran with it. There are hardly any jokes and James Woods acts as our host and guide throughout the episode. Naturally, by the end, Lois, Meg, Chris, Stewie, and Brian all miss him and he learns the error of his ways and is brought back into the show again and all is right in Quahog.

The funniest episode for me was “American Gigg-olo.” After the pilots go on strike, Quagmire is out of work and is mistaken for a stripper at a bar. When he realizes his earning potential, not to mention all the women he can handle, he makes it his full-time profession. When a woman refuses to pay him for his services, he tells Peter who proceeds to get the money out of her. Quagmire is delighted and asks him to become his partner but when the power goes to Peter’s head, Quagmire is gradually relegated to hustling on street corners at pimp Peter’s behest. “Chris Has Got a Date, Date, Date, Date, Date” was another funny episode where Chris hooks up with Taylor Swift and after a whirlwind romance, she suddenly belts out a new tune in which she lambastes and denounces him and as we all know, Ms. Swift is particularly fond of doing that in real life.

As I stated earlier, every episode has a few laughs but they are far and few between. In the early days, it was laugh-a-minute hijinks with some truly laugh-out-loud moments and so Mr. MacFarlane, as funny as you and your team of writers have been over the years, and for all the hours of hilarity you gave to us, thank you, but maybe it’s time to leave Quahog, once and for all, and move on to new horizons.

Now available on DVD


 

James McDonald

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, James is a Movie Critic and Celebrity Interviewer with over 30 years of experience in the film industry as an Award-Winning Filmmaker.

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