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Worst TV Show of the Week

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Family Guy on Fox

 

In the doldrums of late summer, little original programming is shown on broadcast TV. Instead, TV watchers are inundated with a veritable flood of reruns. In such circumstances, finding the Worst TV Show of the Week becomes more difficult. Difficult, but not impossible; for even in reruns, the misnamed and ever-obnoxious Family Guy (Fox, Sundays, 9:30 p.m. ET) provides viewers with a toxic brew of blood, crude sex jokes, and toilet humor. For once again scraping the bottom of the TV humor barrel, the August 23rd rerun of the April 26th Family Guy has earned the title of Worst TV Show of the Week.

 

This episode of televisual bolus, titled “Stew-Roids,” takes its name from the antics of Baby Stewie. After Stewie is attacked and beaten with Barbie dolls by a female toddler, father Peter fears for his youngest child’s masculinity and takes him to a gym, where he injects Stewie with steroids. Interspersed between Family Guy’s crass, tiresome pop culture cutaways – a drunken Santa Claus surrounded with bloody, slaughtered reindeer; Fred Flintstone remarking that “nobody asked you to smell” his rear; a reference to the now-muscular Stewie’s resemblance to “Lou Ferrigno’s poop;” and Lois and Brian watching Lady and the Tramp and Michael Vick, in which both dogs are drowned in buckets of water – are scenes of Stewie threatening others and beating himself bloody.

 

One of the most irritating facets of Family Guy it its conceit that its content is original…a conceit shown hollow in this episode. The major plot revolves around popular high school girl Connie’s decision to date Peter and Lois’ disgusting outcast son Chris, in an experiment to see if she can “make him popular.” In a plot all too familiar to anyone who has ever watched any family sitcom aired in the last five decades, Connie succeeds – only to have Chris’ popularity go to his head. After treating his own sister Meg badly, Chris learns a lesson when he is humiliated himself. As a story, this plot has been done to death – and done better – on shows ranging from Father Knows Best to The Brady Bunch to Family Ties. Apparently, originality is not a requirement for writers on Family Guy.

 

Indeed, the only thing “original” about Family Guy is the atmosphere of sleaze which pervades every episode. For example:

 

After Peter remarks, “I'm so hungry I could eat a horse,” he’s shown in bed with a lipstick-wearing equine (though after an episode in which Baby Stewie eats horse sperm, mere implied bestiality must seem a trifle to Family Guy‘s creators).

 

****

Lois sees her friend Bonnie sunbathing in a bikini, with the following sexualized dialogue ensuing:

 

BONNIE:  “Hey, do you mind rubbing some of that sunblock on my back?”

 

Bonnie unties her bikini top and lies down face first.

 

LOIS:  “Of course, Bonnie.  But I don't want to get any on my shirt.”

 

Lois removes her shirt, exposing her bra.                  

 

BONNIE:  “Ooo, that feels good!” 

 

Lois' hands wander down to Bonnie's rear.

 

BONNIE: “You're going a little low there, Lois.” 

 

In the background, Quagmire cuts an eyehole into the fence, then cuts a

second hole over his crotch.

 

****

When Chris brings Connie home for dinner, Peter reacts with lecherous remarks directed at his son’s girlfriend:

 

PETER:  “You’ve really filled out. I like what you're doing with your boobs!...You’re all natural. Man, your dad must be proud.”

 

CONNIE: “Actually, my dad passed away four years ago.”

 

PETER: “Yeah, yeah, he did. He sure did. You gonna shower before dessert?”

 

****

 

And later, Meg enlists the aid of an AV club member in humiliating her brother:

 

AV GEEK: “OK Meg, remember our deal. I do this for you, and I have your permission to think about you later tonight when I’m in the tub…I might even go lefty tonight. Stranger in the tub!”

 

Bestiality. Child molestation. Masturbation. Just another typical Sunday night’s entertainment, according to Family Guy. Why Fox feels the creator of this program is worth $100 million a year is a baffling question; but even more elusive are the answers to the questions, “Who thinks this kind of thing is funny?” and “How much longer must the public’s airwaves be polluted with this show?”

 


Worst TV Show of the Week

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