Monday, December 9, 2013

“On With the Show, This Is It (for Brian?)”

After the classic opening to THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW, the best known opening dance number to an animated series (…as if there were very many to begin with) would be to FAMILY GUY. 

Daffy "died" many times in the cartoons -- but was never replaced in the dance number!
And, in keeping with the (assumed temporary) death of everyone’s favorite philosophically articulate canine, Brian Griffin, even the FAMILY GUY dance number opening was modified to insert “Vinny, the Italian-American Talking Dog” in place of the dear, departed Brian! 

Oddly, the episode itself had little or nothing to do with Vinny, nor did it mention Brian's death.  Vinny was "just there" as part of the proceedings, which was a typically funny "Peter and Quagmire" affair. 

I really can’t wait to hear the DVD commentaries, once they cover this period of the series!   

What's "Beyond That Door", Brian?  


Pan Miluś said...

I'm in minority but while most of my friends reactions to Brain death was :


my reaction was : "Huh! This is a very interesting move. I wonder where they go with it this"

For me deaths in "Family guy" are pretty much like in "South Park". It's a type of universe where if they kill a character their will bring him back in some funny way as soon they will need him back, so my gues is Brain will be gone for six episode tops and then they will go back to him. I actually like Vinnie and I hope they will explore more him soon

What the heck is Seth McFarlen obssesion with Italians this seaons?

Joe Torcivia said...


Even though I have not a sliver of doubt that FAMILY GUY will somehow bring Brian back, I was still in the camp of “HOW DARE THEY KILL BRAIN! AAAAAAAAH!!!!”

I can’t honestly say I’ve ever been a fan of SOUTH PARK. Not necessarily that I don’t like it, but more that I’ve never really taken the time to actually watch it to the extent that I’d get into it. You’d think I’d have made the time, over those many years. I know they “killed Kenny” quite regularly – and, apparently, somehow he came back every time. Perhaps that applies to other SP characters as well, not unlike the many deaths and resurrections that regularly occur in mainstream American superhero comics.

I’m not sure that applies to FAMILY GUY. To my knowledge, Loretta Brown, Peter’s father Francis Griffin (whom we later discovered to be his step-father), Muriel Goldman, Diane Simmons, and Quagmire’s abusive brother-in-law remained dead.

We can never say for sure with James Woods – and Ernie the Giant Chicken never seems to be killed, no matter how climactically violent his fight scenes get. There was Joe Swanson’s son Kevin who was presumed killed in Iraq under a case of mistaken identity. The “wartime death / mistaken identity” idea being one of the core concepts of MAD MEN, certainly allows us to forgive its use in FAMILY GUY.

So, yes… I find it “interesting” too. Interesting enough to devote this much Blog space to it. Even as the Internet is full of “Brian Will Return” news. And, Seth MacFarlane always did Italian jokes over the course of FAMILY GUY. They fell a bit behind the Asian and Jewish jokes. Now, though, he has an actual Italian character (albeit a DOG) to work with. For what it’s worth, being of Italian descent, I find it funny.

Pan Miluś said...

It's just this season McFarlane did already episode about Griffins going to Itally and now introducing this Italian character it's almost feels like a theme of this season ;)

As for South Park - The show use to kill Kenny every episode for first 4 season but then they got bored with the running gag so they did a twist when they kill of Kenny for good (in fact as a ironic joke episode makes a big serious deal out of the fact Kenny will die for once)Now Kenny had return but now creators made a rule of only killing Kenny when they had a truly funny idea, so it happeans more or less once a season...

However! Compering it to Superhero resurrections is quite ironic - Few season ago they did a big three part epsiode about all of the boys geting superhero alter egos, and in this episode we lern the mystical secret behind Kenny resurrection power (In fact they tied it to cthulhu mythos of all things)

I prefer South Park over Family Guy. Both show have as vulgar humor, however what I like more about "South Park" is the show's ability to tie the low brown humor with some sort of creative and often very clever social satire.

Now, Family Guy some times has satire as well but in most cases it feels very one sided. The creators are very left-wing so whenver they pick topic like abgortion, gay rights or religon they usaly have 100% jokes targeting the right wing point of view. It often almost feels like McFarlen is yelling

What I like more about "South Park" is that their satire usualy makes fun of both sides of the issue and in some cases it will actualy lead to a very mature message that shows why the entire argument is silly in the first place and while both sides can be wrong in their own way.

Few years ago I did a count down of my favorite satirical moments in South Park on My blog... It's in Polish but you can still read the titles (which are in English) if you would like to check them out ;)
I strongly recomend each episode on the list, especialy "Over Logging" which probaly illustrateds my point in the best way :)

I also recomend this Nostalgia Critic top SP eisode count down as it makes some great points why this show is worth watching(especially two examples after 19:28 )

In recent years I grow to be big fan of Tray Parker and Matt Stone (master minds behind South Park) not just for this show, but for other stuff like "That's my Bush" or the wonderful "Book of Mormon" musical, which In my opinion is the best thing they made...