Sunday, May 30, 2010

Family Guy - Season 8

So Family Guy trundles on through middle age, now having aired double the number of episodes made before the cancellation since they came back. They're doing pretty much everything they can to stave off stagnation, getting increasingly dark and esoteric, seeming to go anywhere to avoid the accusation that they're running out of ideas. And I have to say, it's mostly working for me. I thought this was the best season in a few years as the focus has shifted away from the more spiteful and uncreative pop culture jokes and more towards pure weirdness. They've gone places I'd not have expected, even for a routinely controversial show like this, but haven't quite gone too far yet.

There were a number of notable episodes, including a couple that were double length. The 150th trapped Brian and Stewie in a bank vault, and mostly focused on their unique love/hate relationship. I didn't like all of it, but it was an interesting experiment. The musical stuff was mostly just filling time though, as there was only a single piece I hadn't seen before. They finally aired the sequel to their Star Wars episode from a couple years ago, this time based on The Empire Strikes Back, which was already put out on DVD last fall. While I often don't like it as much when the show just recreates a famous scene wholesale because there's not actually a lot of creative energy behind it, for some reason these remakes of the movies work for me. It's half nostalgia for when Star Wars was fun, and half enjoyment of all the ways they poke fun at the sillier or illogical moments in the series. The yearly road show episode was really good too, this time traveling through a bunch of parallel universes with increasingly wacky differences. I wonder how untouchable this show is at this point. In ten years are we going to be looking at season 18 of Family guy alongside season 31 of The Simpsons? I guess we'll find out in time.

Also, I blogged about American Dad! a while ago because Sons of Tucson took over its time slot, but that show was quickly canceled and Dad was brought back for five more episodes to finish season 5 with 18. I wouldn't have bothered to mention this if they weren't really good, especially "Bully for Steve", which is one of the best in the series. I won't forget Stelio Kontos for a long time.

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