Family Guy: A Review


Mia Frazier

Photo courtesy of Mia Frazier. Student Maddie Sales watching Family Guy on her i-Pad in class.

“Family Guy” – Created by Seth MacFarlane – Rated TV14 – Watch on FOX or Hulu

When it seems that today, that all we see is violence in movies and sex on T.V, we must return to our good old fashioned values and be thankful there’s a Family Guy!

Since the 90’s, there have been several cartoons geared towards adults animated and premiered. Some of the most famous ones include fan favorites like ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Futurama” and ‘King of the Hill.’ Of course, since then, there have been many more and there will likely be more shows to come. However, there is one show that is especially popular amongst teens and adults, especially on TikTok. With relatable characters and bizzare plot lines, ‘Family Guy,’ created by Seth MacFarlane in 1999, is one of the funniest and most entertaining adult cartoons.

The show stars the Griffins, a hilarious nuclear family that lives in Quahog, Rhode Island. The main character is named Peter Griffin. He works for a brewery and often spends time with his friends, causing shenanigans. Peter’s wife is named Lois, who is a stay at home mom and occasionally teaches piano. The Griffins’ oldest child and only daughter is a teenager named Meg who is constantly bullied by her family and her peers. The second oldest child is Chris, who is mostly characterized as a teenage boy who occasionally says some disturbing things. The Griffins’ youngest is Stewie, a talking baby. Well, only some characters can understand him. His goal is world domination. Stewie’s best friend is the family dog Brian, who can also talk. Brian is an aspiring author and over the course of the series, he has published many books.

The family lives on Spooner street, next door to Peter’s best friends Joe, Quagmire, and Cleveland, who got his own spin off called ‘The Cleveland Show.’ Although there are several more side characters, the episodes mostly focus on the main characters and their friends and what they get up to. Every episode has its own plot line and each character has their own story and development. The episodes are filled with jokes and cut scenes to keep the audience entertained for hours.

Before Family Guy’s creation, Seth MacFarlane created a show called ‘Larry and Steve,’ which starred a man and his intelligent dog. Sound familiar? After executives at Fox saw MacFarlane’s work, they immediately contacted him and asked him to create a similar show starring a guy and his dog. Thus, Family Guy was born and first aired January 31, 1999.

The show’s cast and writers are all great and hilarious people. Seth MacFarlane voices roughly one-third of the characters, including Peter, Stewie, Brian, and Quagmire. Alex Borstein has perfected Lois’ nasally voice and Mila Kunis as Meg is an iconic and ironic choice. And Seth Green really has the diction of a teenage boy. But, it’s not just the cast that makes ‘Family Guy’ such a great show, it’s the writers too. Usually, a team of 14 writers create a script and then check it with each other. It usually takes around ten months to produce a full episode.

Fox debated canceling “Family Guy” around the second season due to it not getting high enough ratings. However, the show lasted until season three before being canceled. After Cartoon Network started to play reruns on Adult Swim, the show had a resurgence, selling millions of DVDs of the first three seasons. Finally, in 2005, Fox brought ‘Family Guy’ back for good, much to the delight of viewers.

‘Family Guy’ has also been the center of several controversies over the years. Several jokes that have been made were offensive and left a bad taste in many mouths. In the show, there are also many jokes and allusions to famous people, although they are usually just digs at the subject matter. Despite Fox and the Family Guy cast being sued several times, most cases were settled under the Parody Law.

Despite the controversies, Seth MacFarlane has done the world a great favor by creating ‘Family Guy.’ This show provides comfort, entertainment and even relatability. Each character has their own unique personality and their own struggles with mental health, body issues, and addiction. Although some of the storylines and episodes are silly and bizarre, the show does a good job in all aspects. The animation over the years has improved, and is great now. The cast still has that great vibe and the audience can tell that they really are a family working together to bring smiles and laughter into people’s hearts.