Family Guy is complete trash. I don’t know how people can consider it anything other than that, and yet it is consistently one of the top rated shows on Fox. Family Guy is in fact popular enough that it was brought back from cancellation, and was able to spawn several DVD movies and a spin-off show. As much as I am aware that humor is an extremely subjective experience and that a persons entertainment choices do not always reflect who they are as people, I can’t help but think that the majority of people who enjoy family guy are below average intelligence.
The typical Family Guy episode has little or not plot and no interesting characters to speak off. It isn’t many shows that have characters as one dimensional and flat as those of Family Guy, and for a cartoon that is saying something. Peter and Chris have been made so retarded that is does not even resemble human anymore, and exist simply as a plot device to accelerate the various gags. The show generally consists of nothing but pop culture references and time fillers. Peter fighting a giant chicken for an extended period of time as a once off thing. When every episode has up to two minutes of Peter laughing in a retarded way or other characters farting or puking or such, it becomes a bit much. I genuinely don’t understand how people can watch that crap. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the same people that enjoy most reality shows.
When South Park satirized Family Guy in 2006 it was 100% accurate in it’s criticisms, as is often the case. In the Cartoon Wars episodes, it is discovered that the Family Guy writers consist of manatees. Manatees that randomly nudge “Idea Balls”, balls with a single name, place or object printed on them, into a machine which then comes up with a gag. The example used in the South Park episode contained the words “Laundry” + “Date” + “Winning” + “Mexico” + “Gary Coleman” which manifested as a clip of Lois asking Peter to do the laundry, from which Peter recalls winning a date in Mexico with Gary Coleman.
There is also the claims that critics of Family Guy make – that they have plagiarized much of their material, especially from The Simpsons. I don’t know how true this is, certainly The Simpsons have been around for a very long time and it would be hard not to do an original storyline that may resembles a Simpsons episode in some way. Yet, most other animated shows manage not to imitate The Simpsons as numerously as Family Guy has seemingly done. It is important also ti separate show concepts from actual plot points. Many shows can be accused of copying another’s formula, i.e. The Simpsons can be said to have borrowed from The Flintstones which in turn can said to have borrowed from the The Honeymooners.
An interesting case is Stewie resembling the comic book character Jimmy Corrigan. I can get making a character who is a genius self aware baby. Even making Stewie matricidal could be put down to a coincidence. However with Stewie even resembling Jimmy Corrigan in appearance, it becomes harder to dismiss as simple coincidence. I don’t think Seth MacFarlane necessarily consciously stole this character, but considering this is just one example of the show lacking in originality I think it is highly likely that Stewie was at least subconsciously inspired by Jimmy Corrigan.
American Dad on the other hand is amazing. I really, really do not understand how people think that American Dad are basically are the same show. What nonsense. Yes, at an abstract level they are similar as both are cartoons with a non human family member, but that is about where the similarities end. The primary characters of Family Guy are so retarded that it is impossible to relate to them. At least with the characters from American Dad they are caricatures of real life stereotypes that people can relate to. More importantly, American Dad has a plot – unlike Family Guy, which to quote South Park simply has one interchangeable joke after another with no relevance to the plot.
This is where see the main difference. No one could seriously make the claim that American Dad was written by manatees. The show has had some very original plots and jokes, no doubt helped by the interesting setup of working for the CIA and having access to all kinds of technology. I can only guess that the people who claim American Dad and Family Guy are the same show are oblivious to plots and have a blank mind until some sort of throwaway joke inevitably appears. Which is a shame.
Additionally, American Dad has Patrick Stewart on the cast as American Dad’s boss. How cool is that?
One thing I did notice that was slightly annoying was that Rogers nose stopped being an issue. In the earlier seasons it was hard for Roger to leave the house because he obviously did not look human, a large part of which was his lack of a nose. This actually inspired many plot points, such as one where Roger picks a fake nose that ends up with him being mistaken for Kevin Bacon. Lately this hasn’t mattered, with a mustache and glasses or a dress and a wig sufficing. I wonder why such things are forgotten…a change in writing staff perhaps? No matter.
In conclusion, Family Guy is complete trash without original or interest plots or characters and much of the time of episodes being dedicated to Peter laughing for extended periods – simply to bypass the time. American Dad is purely a plot based show with original and relatable characters and clever and relevant jokes. If you have not seen the Cartoon Wars episodes of South Park I highly recommend them, if not for the fair criticism of Family Guy(critics and fans are equally represented) then for the argument it makes against censorship.