Monday, December 16, 2013

Brian’s Back! Anyone Surprised?

If I’m surprised at anything, it’s surprise at the DURATION of his absence! 

I think it's all about TODAY'S SHORT ATTENTION SPANS... and, an', um, WHAT was I sayin'? 

You can read my initial post on the subject HERE – and my follow-up post HERE.   I must also note that a clue to the key event to Brian’s return was cleverly and subtly introduced in the episode in which he was lost. 
Don't look for clues HERE!  Watch the original episode! 

As Brian’s “death” occurred in the FAMILY GUY episode broadcast on November 24 – and he returned in the December 15 show, he was really gone only for THREE WEEKS – and one of those weeks consisted of a RERUN. 
I feel as if I've been on a THREE WEEK VACATION! 

So, Brian was “gone” for only one full episode.  Yes, really! 

And, ultimately, my reaction is simply… always expect the unexpected from Seth MacFarlane!  …That and:  He didn’t even take the time to “milk it”!  

I dunno how to tell ya this Vinny... but CIAO! 
Then again, “milking it” is exactly what I would EXPECT him to do, so OF COURSE he didn’t do it!  …And “Vinny the Italian-American Talking Dog”, Brian’s extremely temporary replacement, didn’t even get to abruptly “return to his home planet” like Poochie!

Now, if Seth could continue on his resurrection roll and maybe finally get his version of THE FLINTSTONES on the air!   

Our Comments Section contains a SPOILER on Brian's return.  Read at your own risk!  


joecab said...

And they even changed the opening credits for just two episodes? Yeesh!

I'm most upset that it didn't even occur to me for Stewie to just wait until he caught up to his future self around the holidays.

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, I said the clue was cleverly there…

Now, think about it, JoeC…

It would have been morbid to continue to use Brian in the opening credits sequence, at least for those who might not have viewed it as the grand joke it was. Or, it would have been telegraphed clearly-beyond-clear that Brian would be back before we know it. This allowed even the most skeptical of us to assume that Brian would be gone for a while – at least long enough to justify a new opening.

And, you’ve gotta admire FAMILY GUY’s commitment to the gag, simply BECAUSE they reanimated it for two episodes.

Now, having made that commitment, they could have gone two ways. 1: Exactly as they did, by inserting Vinny into the dance number. Or 2: Keep Brian in his usual place, but do him up as a WALKING DEAD zombie… and have Stewie shoot him through the head (as they do on TWD), to put him down for good!

The latter would actually have been more “MacFarlane-esque”, as FAMILY GUY and THE WAKLING DEAD go head-to-head on Sunday nights! (Remember long-ago, when Stewie “offed” Homer Simpson in a show-opening sequence? Seth’s not shy about taking-on the competition! So, why not?) …In fact, for what it’s worth, I DVR’ed FAMILY GUY the night of Brian’s departure, in order to “real-time watch” THE WAKLING DEAD – and maybe that’s why Seth MacFarlane even tried his joke on us in the first place.

joecab said...

OOH OOH I like that second scenario! Maybe they could save it for Halloween :P

Oh wait I forgot that there's an actual Simpsons/Family Guy crossover coming out next season for both shows, isn't there?

joecab said...

(missed the bit where you hint at how Brian came back, which I then thoughtlessly blurted out -- MY BAD) :(

Joe Torcivia said...

Not to worry on that spoiler, JoeC. That’s why I added a “Spoiler Warning” directly above the link to the Comments Section.

Besides, any blurting one might do ‘round here is indicative of ENTHUSIASM! And, one thing we love at TIAH Blog is enthusiasm! …That’s why we use so many exclamation points! …ENTHUSIASM!

There’s really a SIMPSONS / FAMILY GUY crossover event coming? My radar is at a low level these days but, if so, that’s something that’s been begging to be done since 1999! I thought I’d heard something about a SIMPSONS / FUTURAMA crossover, like they did in the comics all those years ago – but, ironically, at this time FUTURAMA is “far more dead” than Brian! (There’s more o’ them exclamation points …ENTHUSIASM!)

joecab said...

I just double checked that crossover announcement from this past summer and it's just going to be on Family Guy. Apparently the Griffins will be visiting Springfield. Hmm! Sounds like a good episode for Sweeps month.

Joe Torcivia said...

That’ll be GREAT! The Griffins visit Springfield? Just imagine the “We’re from Rhode Island. What state is this, again?” jokes!

And, because it’s a FAMILY GUY episode, and not a SIMPSONS, we’ll actually get it on DVD within the following year – and not have to wait nearly a decade for it!

joecab said...

Ya know, since each episode comes out right after they air, I assumed the Simpsons DVDs were keeping pace. Guess not! I know DVD sales aren't what they used to be (and, let's be honest, neither is the show compared to its former glory), so I wonder if it's going to be download only from now on.

Joe Torcivia said...

The reason THE SIMPSONS is so far behind in DVD releases, vs. number of seasons, is that it started so far behind when DVD became a viable format for TV series collections – and simply never caught up because the show never stops.

A mere FIFTEEN days ago from this writing, THE SIMPSONS Season 16 (2004-2005) was released on December 03, 2013. Only thing is, we’re presently in the middle of Season 25! (2013-2014)

They DID “skip ahead” about three years ago and released Season 20 – as the first Blu-ray release, because it was the season DURING which they converted to HD widescreen broadcasts but, excluding that, we’re still NINE YEARS behind.

THE SIMPSONS and GUNSMOKE are the two series I collect that I feel have more than an excellent chance of “outlasting” the format.

joecab said...

Oy, I left out the key words "on iTunes" above, but you probably figured it out when I mentioned downloading.

Nine years! Guess no one should be holding their breath for the rest. :( How weird seeing as how the complete run of Futurama is now on DVD as of last week.

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, we DO have 17 seasons of THE SIMPSONS already released – 16 regular season sets and the “skip-ahead” Season 20.

The first season was released on DVD in 2001, so that’s 17 released in 12 years. Not bad, until you consider that the show had about a TWELVE YEAR head start on the DVD releases. Its incredible longevity has outpaced its DVD release schedule – even with some years that saw two releases.

Premiering about 10 years after THE SIMPSONS (and with its unjust FOX cancelation / hiatus / and 2013 cancelation), FUTURAMA had an easier time keeping pace in the “release derby”.

If THE SIMPSONS ended this season, there would still be EIGHT more seasons (over eight more years?) to go. And, that’s still a trifle compared to GUNSMOKE, with only NINE of its TWENTY seasons released! And that’s with TWO seasons released in each of 2012 (S6 & 7) and 2013 (S8 & 9)!

I’m not counting on completing either one…