New Year’s is typically a time to start fresh, to chart a different course, to begin anew. Fox, however, has essentially picked up where it left off.
It closed out 2012 with the final two Worst TV Show of the Week nods, and it begins 2013 in the same fashion. Once againFamily Guy (Sundays, 9:00 p.m. ET) trivialized sexual violence, with its January 6th broadcast earning the title of Worst TV Show of the Week.
In this episode, Chris attends Space Camp in spite of the fact that his parents think he’s too dumb to participate. He’s also socially awkward.
Lois tells Chris that sometimes it's difficult to fit in with a new group of people.
Peter: “Yeah, I sure had my troubles when I got involved with the Boy Scouts.”
Cut to: Press conference where Peter is dressed in a Scoutmaster uniform, while his lawyer addresses the media.
Lawyer: “At no time were the campers and Mr. Griffin naked simultaneously. They merely engaged in horseplay.”
Reporter: “Did Mr. Griffin sodomize the boys?”
Peter smiles and nods his head churlishly.
Lawyer: “Mr. Griffin vehemently denies all allegations.”
Later, Chris and his family become inadvertent stowaways on a space shuttle that launches into orbit. As they brainstorm ways to safely return to Earth,
Peter reassures them.
Peter: “Don't worry, Griffins have a long history of figuring stuff out. Like my great-grandfather who invented the first marital aid.”
Cut to: Oil Field. Peter's great-grandfather stands next to a drill.
Great-grandfather: “This gives me an idea.”
Cut to: The drill is propped up against the side of the house, drilling into the bedroom and presumably into his wife. The great-grandfather exits the
Great-grandfather: “She's dead.”
Additionally, the show contained the requisite misogyny and objectification that has always been its trademark. When Peter conducts a space walk, he
foregoes the majesty of the cosmos to watch a video of a drunk woman falling out of a shopping cart. “Ha! Stupid drunk bitches,” Peter
chortles. When Lois appears overtly cheerful at the breakfast table, Stewie remarks, “Sounds like someone got her vibrator working again.”
The media proclaimed 2012 the “Year of the Woman,” after the box-office success of female-driven films and the ascendance of women in
television. You wouldn’t know that, however, watching Family Guy, where women are the butt of puerile jokes that reduce them to body parts
and trivial sexual violence against them. Of course, the show’s creator Seth MacFarlane would argue that women aren’t singled out. Everyone on
the show is sexualized – even children – so that makes it all okay. Either way, it’s an inauspicious beginning to the New Year.
For explicit sexual content, Family Guy has earned the title of Worst TV Show of the Week.
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