Hello, Spongey here.
Well, Seth Macfarlane’s newest film, “A million Ways to die in the west” is coming out later this month. So I figured I might review a Family Guy episode because why not? I’ve been wanting to review an episode anyway, since I want to jump on the hate train.
That and I’ve done Ted and I don’t care about his other stuff. Pretty much everyone has given their piece of Family Guy. I mean, Tooncrap reviewed an episode, The Mysterious Mr Enter did two episodes, (calling one of them one of the worst episodes ever), and TVTrash dedicated an entire month to how much he hates it!
How can I top that? Well, I can’t it, but I will try. As you all know, Family Guy is an animated sitcom about the Griffin family: The dumb dad Peter, the stern Mom Lois, the dumb kid Chris, the normal teen butt monkey Meg, the evil smart talking baby Stewie, and the subject of this episode, the talking dog Brian, who is mostly a mouth piece of Seth’s views. The first 4 seasons were decent, showing case some funny jokes and sweet moments.
Sure, Meg got dumped on for no reason, some of the sweet moments were forced, and of course it had those infamous cutaway gags, but it knew what it was and it was fine. However, after it got uncanceled….twice, the show went down hill. Actually, it went under the hill and into the center of the freaking earth. That’s how it bad it got.
The Meg bashing got really mean spirited, the jokes were often offensive, and Brian turned into one of the biggest assholes ever. It got so bad that the writer wised up and had Quiagmire chew him out in the one best moments in Family Guy history.
Here are a few infamous episodes I could have reviewed, to give you an idea of what the newer episodes are like: “Not All dogs go to heaven”, in which Brian says God doesn’t exist because Meg is ugly (really). “Screams of silence”, which is a very special episode about domestic violence (really). And last but not least, “Seahorse Seashell party” in which the writers say Meg MUST be abused so the family can be stay together. REALLY.
I don’t hate FG as much as others do, and I once defended it the way I defend Spongebob. But after awhile, I realize how bad it got. Oh, it has it’s decent episodes and okay moments, but the show is really hit or miss. But you know that gag in the Millon ways to die in the west trailer where Seth shoots point blank at some cans in front of him and still misses?
It’s like that . Irony.
Those other episodes are bad, but everyone has done those. That and no one cares about them anymore. Sure, the one I picked has been done by Mr Enter too, and Tooncrap will likely do it because it won this poll he did, but….screw you.
This episode was infamous as soon as it aired. Not because it’s bad, that remains to be seen. But because of what it does: It kills off brain. That’s not a spoiler, everyone knows it. Now, killing off one of your main characters is a bold move. I can work if done right.
I mean, this was a big character who meant a lot to the fans that were left. I’m not against killing him because it could lead to a lot of complex stuff. But this is Family Guy, so maybe not. I know what happens with him later, but I’ll mention that at the end. I haven’t seen this one, making the first TV review outside of Teacher Creature that I haven’t seen before.
But given the subject matter, this could be an interesting one to review. So I’m going into this blind. Will Brian’s death be handled well, or well it just be another bad FG episode? Let’s find out!
This, is Life of Brian
(I’ll try to mention the writer of each TV review I do, if I can find the writer)
WRITER: Alex Carter
The episode opens with Brian and Stewie running from some Indians that are shooting at them. ….That’s one way to start an episode. They get away, and one of those Indians tries to call their boss with a smoke signal. A racist joke, not one minute into the episode. ….This is gonna suck.
Brian clumsily explains what is going on:
‘You went back to 17th century Jamestown, you gave guns to the Indians, and now they’re running everything.”
So many questions….that I will skip.
“Thanks to you, Indians killed all the white people and took over America”
So much racism, that I will not go into.
“Let’s be honest, I frequently alter the past”
And we get our first cutaway joke: At the last Supper, Stewie pisses Judaest off by telling him Jesus ordred too much. …Okay then. Also, I’ll be counting all the cutaways.
Cutaway Count: 1
And we get two more in a row, as we see how the Indians are running things: Hospitals use weird Witch doctor chants, and the radio only plays a stereotypical chant.
Cutaway Count: 3
I won’t do a racist joke count, cuz no one can count that high.
Stewie’s time machine is broken, so they are stuck. So they have to hope that this world’s Stewie made one, or …they’ll be put on a white people reservation. Which leads to another fucking cutaway gag.,
Cutaway Count: 4
We cut to the Griffin house (It’s a good thing that the Griffins somehow still exist in this world, eh?) as we get an amusing gag with this world’s Brian being a Buffaloo. Conveniently, this Stewie has a time machine and they go back to set things right. They show up after the past Stewie gave the Indians the guns, and they take the guns back, and leave. Also, the Indians talk like most racist Indians talk, but after they leave…
“Okay, they’re gone, we can talk normal now”
Eh, that was kind of funny.
So our heroes head back home, and they find out everything is normal by doing a google search for Indian role models. They find 0 results, which means it’s normal now.
So, when’s Brian gonna die? I mean, that could have been it’s own episode, but it’s shoved into this one for no reason. A few hours later, Stewie takes down the machine because it’s almost killed them too many times. Yeah, I forgot to establish that a once….semi realistic show now does time travel plots for no reason. Sadly, those episodes end up being the best in recent memory.
After two Cutaway gags that isn’t worth mentioning-
Cutaway Count: 6
-Stewie officially trashes the time machine for good. Gee, I wonder if that will bite him in the ass later? They find a street hockey net at the dump, so they take it home to use it. They stop in the middle of road because they are idiots, and Stewie goes inside to get his knee pads.
And then it happens. Brian is ran over by a car. So after all that build up, he is just ran over by a car? This would be okay if we didn’t waste 7 minute on pointless bull crap. Also, I hate to be a dick, but it’s his fault for being in the road to begin with.
Everyone is horrified by this,,,and a squirrel kicks Brian.
“That guy sucked!”
They take him to a vet….and we get a joke with a chicken with his head cut off that is there too.
“Aren’t you supposed to be running around?”
“Don’t talk to me. You have a bad reputation in the chicken community”
Okay, that was funny. After that, we get the doctor telling the family that Brian is dying.
“I suggest you all go in and say your good byes”
And to be honest….it starts out kind of moving! It’s given the right respect it deserves, and it’s …sweet!
“You’ve given me a full life. I love you all.’
He dies. ..Okay, that was a tear jerker. That was very well done. I have to give credit where credit is due….the death itself was okay. They didn’t ruin it with a bad joke or anything!
If it ended here, it would be great. …But nope, we’re only 9 minutes into to a 20 minute episode. They go home and they are sad.
PETER: I’m gonna do a sad yank.
….Way to ruin the moment.
But I do like that Stewie feels guilty, as it his fault, kind of. Stewie thinks he can rebuild the time machine to bring back Brian, but he can’t find the technobabble thing he needs for it.
“I guess that means Brian is really gone for good”
Man, this episode has nice moments….but also some of the worst jokes ever.. I mean, I skipped a drawing Muhammad reference. A bit late on that one, dude.
So we get the funereal of Brian. It’s sad until we get a joke from Joe about how he avoids funereal because he gets hit by a black woman with a purse. Does this show just hate everyone?
Then Adam West gets pissed that no one came to his funereal and he fades away like a ghost. The fuck?
Peter says a few words.
“Brian wasn’t just my dog. He was my best friend in the whole world. He was smart, he was loyal, and I guess what I’m trying to say is…he was like a brother to me. And I’m gonna spend the rest of my life missing him.
God damn, this is good. It’s very sad and I kind of feel their pan, as much I dislike New!Brian. I really hope we get no more bad jokes from this point on. Thankfully, the funereal ends with only one small gag with Quagmire that isn’t that bad.
We cut to the Griffin house a month later, as Lois suggests they get a new dog, so they can stop missing Brian. If this were a normal cool dog, this would be fine. But this is an actual character. You can’t just replace him!
STEWIE: I miss Brian more than any one of you, but at least now no one is forcing us to watch those awful PBS documentaries.
….Not only is cheapening Brian’s death, but this is also a lame cutaway joke that mocks Albino children. ….fuck you!
Cutaway Count: 7
The Griffins go to pet store, (because they didn’t think about it first, they just went out to replace their dead dog), and here we meet Vinnie, our Brian replacement that happens to be an Italian stereotype, Joy.
They pick him right away because fuck you, and they bring him home. The only good thing to come out this is a decent gag about Stewie wanting them to have his play-do pasta for dinner. I have a soft spot for Stewie is a baby jokes, sorry.
Vinnie introduces himself to the family, and he proves to be a nice guy that everyone like. After another bad cutaway joke
Cutaway Count: 8
-we cut to Peter showing off Vinnie to his friends. Then we ANOTHER Cutaway where Joe has a ride along with Grimace. I don’t know either.
Cutaway Count: 9
With that pointless bit over, we cut to later as Vinnie is still a hit with the family. To be fair, he is kind of amusing and his jokes aren’t the worst. Stewie isn’t swayed though, cuz he hates Vinnie for no reason.
“I’m going to ruin him, just like I ruined that magician’s act”
Cutaway Count: 10
You aren’t missing anything.
“I’m going to tell Vinnie so much bad news about Italian Americans that he’ll go into Cardiac arrest”
Oh boy, more racist jokes. Stewie does so and it doesn’t work as Chris tells him some good news. Eventually, he just tells Vinnie that he is pissed that the family forgot about Brian.
“I’m not thrilled. I will never forgot Brian. He was my best friend. You’re not supposed to lose a friend at my age”
STEWIE: Brian I’m one.
Whoa, I used a joke from a better episode in this review. Trippy. Anyway, Vinnie tells him it will be okay.
“I once a thing happen to me with some stuff”
“That’s what’s happening to me! Stuff!”
I could bitch about that joke, but it’s followed but a backstory where Vinnie’s old owner died. But he died because his ball sack split in half during yoga.
Humor is this episode’s worst enemy.
Vinnie got over it once the Griffins picked him up. That’s…kind of sweet, but it is kind of tacked on. I like the idea behind getting over Brian, but I really wish this episode was paced better, so it meant more.
That night, Vinnie sleeps in Stewie’s room to make him feel better. Then a witch comes in, asks where Petere’s room is, and leaves cuz it’s too bright in there. …An earlier gag had Peter leaving the night light on because of witches. Lame.
And…that’s it. The file I’m watching this on stops there. I think the credits roll. So…that’s it? Well…..okay then. That was…interesting.
This episode was….a mixed bag. Overall, it was….meh, I guess. One on hand, it some very good parts, that make you feel for Brian as he dies. Some scenes are powerful and pulled off with tact and grace.
But on the other hand, it can get really terrible. I mean, this has some of the worst jokes I”ve seen in these reviews. We have racist jokes and even worse, jokes that cheapen Brian’s death. It doesn’t get better once they introduce Vinnie just we can have Brian 2.0. Plus, that entire storyline rips off another episode where a new dog came in, except that one was….a bit better.
I see what they wanted to with Vinnie, but it fell flat in the end. Mr Enter said that this episode was very manipulative and that is somewhat true. Brian’s endless list of flaws is forgotten and he treated like Jesus. However, if you just pretend this is an early episode, where Brian is likable, it works better.
But even then, the pacing was pretty weak. Here’s what they should have done with Brian: Have an episode leading up to Brian dying at the very end. Spend that episode fleshing out his character, acknowledging his flaws, but looking at his good points, and have him try to change and boom, kill him. In the next episode, no one knows how to feel due to his flaws yet they still love him deep inside. Then at the very very end, after a time skip of a few years, (not just one fucking month), they get a new dog. Go from there.
I just wrote a better episode than some “professional” writers could. That is sad. This episode isn’t awful like some others, and it has some genuinely sweet moments, but it’s ruined by some awful tasteless jokes and weak pacing.
It has it’s moments, and I’m glad I finally saw it, but it SHOULD have been better.
But that isn’t the end. Oh no, they did more with Brian….in the next episode I’m reviewing. Oh yeah, I’m stretching this out. I won’t reveal what you know until the next review, coming very very soon. Join me next time, as I wrap up the Brian’s death saga….with a Christmas episode. Okay then.
I’ll leave you with Mr Enter theory on how was in the car that killed Brian: Seth Macfarlane.
“He had the means and the motivation”