• Worst TV Show of the Week: Family Guy on Fox

    by  • January 23, 2015 • Sex, Worst of the Week • 12 Comments

    For women-hating, sexualized dialogue, the Sunday, January 11th episode of Fox’s Family Guy (9:00 p.m. ET) is the Worst TV Show of the Week.

    The episode opens with the Griffin family watching TV. Out of the TV comes an announcer’s voice saying, “Hallmark Original Pictures presents an instant family classic: ‘Summers With My Slow Brother.’” It is of course unsurprising that Family Guy’s writers would trash the Hallmark Channel, since that network presents programs that do not contain crass sexual innuendo, gory violence, bleeped profanity, or brainless non sequitur gags, and are inspirational, intelligent, and in good taste – you know, pretty much everything Family Guy isn’t.

    Meg enters and states she is concerned about getting into a good college. Mom Lois says, “You’re in high school, sweetie. You should be much more concerned about your weight than your SAT scores.” (Literally a minute into the show, and Seth MacFarlane’s misogyny rears its ugly head. But then, what other sentiments would you expect from the man who sang “We Saw Your Boobs” at the Oscar Awards?)

    Talking dog Brian urges Meg to take the SATs seriously, noting that “You could go on to do anything. You could be a doctor, an architect. Hell, you could even coach the Mighty Ducks.”

    Cut to the first of the brainless non sequiturs: Meg coaches a hockey team.

    Meg: “It’s time for a formation they’re not expecting.”

    Player: “The Flying V?”

    Meg: “No, the Stinky V.”

    Cut to newspaper headline announcing that the team won. Below the headline, another pull-quote reads, “Male viewers laugh while girlfriends angrily cross arms and say, ‘I hate Family Guy’”

    Ah – MacFarlane hits the trifecta! Brainless non sequitur? Check. Misogyny? Check. Crude reference to sex acts and genitalia? Check and double check. And bonus points for self-congratulatory narcissism posing as humor!

    Whatever would America’s sex-crazed, adolescent potheads do without Seth MacFarlane to amuse them?

    Then, it’s time for some obligatory racist mockery of African-Americans, as one of Meg’s classmates joins her at the lunchtable:

    African-American Girl: “Wassup, mah sistahs? Oooh, ah aced dat down in a hot minute!”

    Patty: “What the hell? Why are you talking like that?”

    African-American Girl: “Sorry. I have family in town.”

    Because, see, African-Americans ALL talk to one another in racist caricatures! Isn’t that hilarious? But not as hilarious as anti-Semitism – as Family Guy demonstrates with the next line:

    Patty: “Find someone really smart to take the SAT for you in exchange for money.”

    Nerdy boy: “Did someone say JEWISH?!”

    Meg complains that everyone in her family is a moron. Another girl urges Meg to have her “hot mom” take the test for her.

    Friend: “I said, how about your dog? He’s smart.”

    Meg: “That doesn’t sound like what you said.”

    Meg’s Friend: “Your mom’s so (bleeped f***king) hot!”

    After more idiotic non sequiturs about mechanics and lube racks, Amazon, and 1960s British police officers (huh?), and toilet gags in which Brian urinates on a school locker and Peter shoves Brian’s face into his rear and farts on it (whispering, “For luck!”), the dog takes the SAT for Meg – and fails.

    The family learns Brian has a brain tumor which makes him stupid. Eventually, Stewie talks Brian into getting his tumor removed by luring him to the doctor under false pretenses:

    Stewie: “Hey, Brian. Wanna go see Dr. Hartman and get that procedure where you get two wieners?”

    Brian: “Whoah! Hell yeah! That way when I watch Black Swan, I can aim one at Natalie Portman and aim the other at –“

    Stewie: “Yes, yes. We all know who the other one was.”

    After the surgery:

    Peter: “Hey, Lois, guess what? I had them do that two-wiener operation on me.”

    He lifts his hospital gown and gyrates his hips. His genitals are off-screen, but we hear something fall on the ground.

    Peter: “Uh-oh. That was the original.”

    All in all, it was a typical episode of Family Guy – except for the lengthy middle portion of the episode mocking stupid people – which undoubtedly insulted many of Family Guy’s biggest fans. In it, however, Peter did off offer the most succinct summary of Family Guy’s philosophy imaginable:

    “IT’S FUN BEING STUPID! YA DON’T GOTTA WORRY ABOUT NUTTIN’!”

    Like promoting sexism. Or racism. Or anti-Semitism. Or rape and child molestation or violence or hate speech. Or, for that matter, stupidity…all factors which combine to once again render Fox’s Family Guy the Worst TV Show of the Week.

     

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    McDonalds sponsored this program, despite its promises to take its advertising in a more “family-friendly” direction. For more information, click here.

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    12 Responses to Worst TV Show of the Week: Family Guy on Fox

    1. John Turner
      January 24, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      It’s amazing the way the PTC loves Everybody Loves Raymond reruns, even though that show has it’s fair share of sex jokes. If it were a little more raunchier, it would have been considered worst of the week back when it was still on. You would be saying Ray pants like a dog in heat, Debra’s a nag, and Frank is a tired stereotype of a cranky old man. And I bet if Family Guy had been a 100% family friendly show with non sequiturs, you’d be applauding their ingenuity for that. Seth MacFarlane was right when he criticized the PTC. You have made yourselves the judge and jury of all of television. You like to push your conservative agenda. You’ve have decided what you think people should and should not watch, as if human beings are too stupid to think for themselves. Can’t you see how insulting that is? Granted, the December episode of Family Guy was raunchy, but you couldn’t even hide your hatred for Seth Macfarlane in your review. It came across as very bitter and not very Christian of you. In fact, a lot of the reviews have been getting more bitter and hateful.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        January 29, 2015 at 9:50 am

        John,

        I can only presume you don’t read a lot of media criticism. If you think my commentary on Seth MacFarlane was “bitter and hateful,” I wouldn’t advise you to try reading what, say Entertainment Weekly says about Hallmark Channel programs, or what most TV critics say about pretty much anything that’s family-friendly.

        Yes, this is a criticism column. Yes, I am harsh in my criticisms of Family Guy. But simply stating my opinion does not equal “making myself judge and jury of all of television,” any more than Roger Ebert was “judge and jury of all filmmaking.” Yes, I do think Family Guy is in execrable taste, and is bad for civility and society in general; but I have no power to force anyone to do anything. I’m just stating my opinion, as any critic does. I just happen to disagree with 90% of the professional critics out there, most of whom think shows like Dexter, The Following, Stalker, and — yes — Family Guy are brilliant and wonderful. Given the mission of the PTC, and the fact that you’re obviously aware of what that mission is, it’s surprising that you’re surprised we don’t like Family Guy.

        As for believing “human beings are too stupid to think for themselves”…I don’t think that. Surely, that’s the position Family Guy takes? Family Guy is the one saying anyone who watches the Hallmark Channel (or goes to church) is stupid; I’m just pushing back. That you’d complain about the PTC being insulting, and then ignore the non-stop stream of insults hurled by Family Guy, reveals your own attitudes and biases.

        Finally, you say that “Seth MacFarlane was right when he criticized the PTC.” Are you referring to the time he said the PTC “can suck my ****”? Because that seems pretty insulting, too.

        • TheRealFlowerChildII
          July 27, 2016 at 11:17 am

          I do agree with you. I don’t use the word ‘hate’ very freely, but I hate this show. It represents everything that is wrong with this country. It makes everything distasteful acceptable. I would imagine the young audience who watches this is losing its moral compass, a good parent doesn’t allow their kids to view this at all. The creator of the show is an Illuminati puppet – just a sellout writing disgusting scripts and representing the family unit as a joke. It is programming like this that contributes to the downfall of our society. I am happy you posted this, because this show is also promoting liberal views, which are, to say the least, backwards. Immoral, distasteful, misogynist, anti-God, anti-church, anti-virtue — it is a tool to destroy the moral compass.

    2. russell armbruster
      January 31, 2015 at 9:13 am

      Family guy has gotten to the point of being tasteless just for tastelessness’ sake.It’s not funny anymore.The last straw for me was when Stewie tells Chris that Jesus did not die of crucifixion and then they cut away to a scene where the autopsy doctor tells God the father that Jesus died of a cocaine overdose and severe colon trauma.Not funny.How has it gotten to the point that this is acceptable on primetime network TV ?

      • Lynn
        October 19, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        “God the Father” — thanks for the specificity— is a comment that exemplifies the mysogeny of Western Religion. Let’s ignore the female imagery of the Lord in the Old Testament, or Jesus’s yearning to collect his fellow Jews in Jerusalem as a mother hen her chicks.

        But by all means point out Seth McFarlane’s faults and not your own. No log in that eye, if we are to belabor your beloved Christ’s words.

    3. Ben Franklin
      September 21, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      @Russell: why is it not OK for Jesus to be made fun of on television but it should be fine to make fun of Mohammed in a newspaper cartoon? The same people who cry “free speech! Free speech!” when there is angry backlash after Islam is mocked are also outraged by Jesus being made fun of. Well, the same argument can be made. Oh you don’t like Jesus being made fun of on TV? Well too bad! Free-speech free-speech! I guess it’s time for you to turn the other cheek.

    4. James D
      April 15, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Family guy is just a tv show that makes crude jokes for cheap laughs. That being said, I’d like to emphasize the fact that it’s JUST A TV SHOW. People read too far into tasteless jokes that are meant for people with that kind of humor. Sure it might not be your cup of tea but making a huge deal about the show “promoting” many things that we consider social issues such as sexism or racism show just how far people will go to find something to cry about.

    5. June 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      The hallmark channel is literally the worst channel ever. Its low quality actors and low quality shows. Its just touching and eldery people and pregnant woman like to watch it. My main reason for commenting is because this is the most bias article I’ve ever read and it makes me sick how horrible this is written. Please learn how to write. Thanks

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        April 11, 2017 at 11:03 am

        Thank you for your comment, Mr. MacFarlane.

    6. Aeon
      January 3, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Its rayed TV-14, you should not complain about something being inappropriate for children when the intended audience is not children, not every thing needs to be family friendly.

    7. Lynn
      October 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      I don’t think that “non sequitur” is the term you are wanting. While the “cut away” gag does shine a light on (and take advantage of) the increasingly short attention span of the US American people, the nature of the gag follows the form of “reference::scene”— so, quite literally, the gag “does follow” the set up. In fact the fourth wall is broken many times for the adults to criticize the children’s struggles to “set up” said cut away’s properly in a way that adheres to these strict rules.

    8. Randy Marsh
      November 27, 2017 at 10:51 am

      I was wondering if you were aware that Seth and the writers aren’t being mysogonist? As a matter of fact they are lampooning mysogony and pointing out how utterly stupid it is. As well as racism, classism, etc.

      There’s a difference between humor and whatever you believe is happening on family Guy.

      The intent is to be funny.

      Hence the “girlfriends hate family guy” reference.

      It’s funny. My wife finds family guy enjoyable and funny. She sees the humor.

      The fact that you are missing the humor doesn’t mean it’s a bad show.

      Is it for kids? Probably not. But do things need to be for kids?

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