My name is Luke Duffy, I am an aspiring media journalist from Ireland and this is my website, Media Pancake. Media Pancake is a site devoted to my reviews and thoughts on the latest in film, television, and video games. If you enjoy my articles then please share them with your friends and stick around for my upcoming posts. Thanks.
Monday, 16 July 2012
TV Review: Family Guy Season 9 Episode 1 "And Then There Were Fewer"
'Family Guy' has gone on I've always felt that the show has degraded in humour, I thought that over the course of its 10 seasons the jokes have become stale and often
self-indulgent to the degree that it's no longer about entertaining the
audience but about pleasing the writers. I was happy to find then that the
season 9 premiere possessed the razor wit and brilliant satire the series is known for,
it proved that though this show is now over 10 years old, it's still got plenty
of life left in it.
mockery of the classic "whodunit" plot, many of the citizens of
Quahog are invited to a mysterious mansion for a meal in their honour. Upon
arriving they learn the identity of the host who has summoned them, Hollywood
actor James Woods who has terrorised the people of Quahog for years, but upon
becoming a born-again Christian he seeks to make amends. Events spiral out of
control when the guests begin to be murdered one by one by an unknown
assailant, the characters realise they must band together and figure out who is
responsible for the homicides, knowing that it may well be one of them.
story of the episode is really strong and allows plenty of opportunities for
the characters to have humourous asides and to deliver cutting jokes. This
episode employs the largest use of the show's extended cast seen outside of the
'Star Wars' parodies, and it really speaks to the episodes strength as to how
well fleshed out each of their episode arcs are. Old favourites such as the
elderly paedophile Herbert and the wooden pirate Seamus appear and are given
plenty to do thanks to the episodes 55 minute runtime. The extended episode
length allows for further elaboration on the plot and for the sardonic tone of
the episode to really shine. 'Family Guy' is a show that excels during its 20
minute runtime and any deviation in the length can lead to an episode full of
hollow jokes and general lack of tightness to the humour (such as the second
'Star Wars' parody) however in this episode the story and characters come
together so well that there are no moments where the viewer feels the episode
is dragging on and so it is free to pace itself thanks to the time extension.
The citizens of Quahog arrive at James Woods' mansion.
jokes are as good as ever with more hits than misses. The humour throughout is
solid thanks to the various situations the characters have to play around in
such as Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons' hatred for each other and Peter's overall
idiocy. The back and forth between Brian and Stewie is particularly great in
this episode where they are really given the room to go off in hilarious tangents.
There is a joke towards the end of the episode directed towards the Hollywood
foreign press and the Golden Globes that was just as ruthless as it was funny,
and thanks to being delivered straight to the camera by Stewie I had to pause
the episode so as not to laugh over it.
of my favourite moments from the episode include the characters declaration of
how much a douche Brian is due to his forced Hollywood mannerisms such as
referring to famous members of the movie industry by nicknames (Bobby DeNiro
and Jimmy Woods) even though he has only been in one failed TV pilot. Stewie's
story about how his "elegant" way of killing someone was hilarious as
he described such a twisted act as if he were simply telling a joke. For the most part
though I really liked how the writers and cast handled their satire of the
"whodunit" genre, it was simultaneously lampooning it whilst being
faithful to its formula.
Stewie and Brian are on top form in this episode.
are a few low points in the episode such as the scenes involving the Quahog
mini-mart clerk Carl, in these scenes the comedy just wasn't as strong as the
rest of the episode and really killed some of the momentum it was building, the
same goes for the scenes involving Brian's dimwitted ex-girlfriend Jillian and
the too often repeated jokes mocking her intelligence, in her earlier
appearances such jokes worked well within the context of the episode but at
this point it's dragging on too much, aside from that I feel she isn't a good
enough character to be featured near as often as she is, perhaps the fact that
Drew Barrymore voices her is reason enough for the writers to include her but
for me she's more of a hinderance to the show than anything.
Overall though I was
pleasantly surprised by this episode of 'Family Guy', it changed my opinion of
the more recent episodes of the show and made me realise the truth that the
show still possess the same wit and flair for unique humour it started with.
For being an hour long this episode entertained me more than any 3 consecutive
episodes of the series has before and that speaks volumes of the great writing
and talented cast this show can still deliver enjoyable episodes with.