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Worst of the Week

Family Guy on Fox

Release Date: 2/14/2013

The ensemble romantic comedy, or “rom-com” (exemplified by films such as Valentine’s Day and Love Actually), is a genre ripe for parody, what with their bloated casts, formulaic set-ups, and more-is-better approach. So you can’t fault Fox’s Family Guy (Sundays, 9:00 p.m. ET) for wanting to skewer such low-hanging fruit, particularly right before the actual Valentine’s Day. But in true Family Guy fashion, the parody featured more salaciousness than satire. Really, it was just an excuse to haphazardly slap a few gags together with a liberal dose of misogyny and racial stereotypes. So, yeah, basically the February 10th Valentine’s Day special was just like every other Family Guy episode.

Quagmire – as is often the case – provided some of the tawdriest moments. His vignette employed the familiar rom-com trope of the misogynist-magically-turned-into-a-woman. The following opening scene establishes his inveterate chauvinism:

Quagmire walks to his living room in the morning. He's surprised to see the woman he slept with the previous night still there.

Woman: “After a wonderful night I thought we could get some breakfast.”

Quagmire: “Haha, clearly you're not familiar with how this works. See, you're supposed to be already gone. There's no breakfast. Here, let me help you to the door.”

He pushes a button and the sofa lifts to slide the woman onto a moving cart that dumps her outside on the doorstep.

Woman: “You're a jerk, Glen Quagmire. One of these days, you’re going to get what you deserve.”

Quagmire: “You better put something warm on. You got an icicle forming down there.”

Quagmire returns to his bedroom and sees that the woman left something behind.

Quagmire: “Dumb broad left her electrical tampon warmer.”

He touches the appliance and electrocutes himself. When he wakes up, he has inexplicably been transformed into a woman. As he passes by his bed, robot arms retract, rip his clothes off, and pin him spread-eagle onto the bed.

Quagmire: “What's wrong with you, Hold-Her-Downer-5000? That's just for women.”

Meanwhile, Stewie has a few awkward, incestuous moments with his mother. In the opening montage, Lois enters the darkened living room, illuminated only by a projector.

Lois: “Peter, are you ready for your Valentine's gift?”

She disrobes and turns on the light, revealing Stewie sitting on the couch, gazing at his naked mother.

Stewie: “No, but I'm ready for therapy.”

Later, Stewie travels back in time to Quahog where he experiences love-at-first-sight. He chases the girl down and kisses her, discovering moments later that she’s Lois as a baby. He vomits at the thought of lusting after his own mother.

Other storylines include Consuela the Mexican maid (Latinos and basically all other minority groups are only depicted as racial stereotypes) sneaking into Mexico to have sex with her husband. It is implied that she polishes her vagina with window cleaner beforehand.

Also, elderly child molester, Herbert, helps his teenage niece woo Chris Griffin in a sick twist on Cyrano De Bergerac. During this vignette, Herbert watches his favorite show:

Announcer: “Coming up next on ‘To Catch a Predator Who's Proud of Being a Predator.’”

Chris Hansen accosts a man who has just entered the home.

Hansen: “Good evening, sir. I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline. Do you know the boy you were coming here to meet tonight is only 13-years-old?”

Man: “No, I drove 900 ___ (bleeped fucking) miles for a 14-year-old.”

Family Guy is running out of national holidays and observances to skewer. Perhaps Earth Day is next, in which case the show would most likely include plenty of rape jokes and Native-American stereotypes. If there’s one thing more formulaic than a rom-com, it’s the crude, low-rent humor that earned Family Guy the title of Worst TV Show of the Week.

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