The season premiere of Family Guy had tons of amusing meta-jokes. It was a decent season premiere for the long vaulted comedy cartoon
Season 20 of Family Guy kicked off on Fox and it has been revealed that Season 21 is also in the works. Never fear, right? Many people have critiqued the comedy content of shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons in recent years. And it gets you wondering if Fox holds onto these franchises because there isn’t a better alternative.
A NEW HOME
Adult Swim said goodbye to Family Guy in mid-September and has since replaced the late-night slot with reruns of Rick and Morty. A comedy cartoon that has not YET lost its luster with fans. However, it’s best to keep an open mind about something we once loved. And the premiere episode, LASIK Instinct, was surprisingly not too bad. Family Guy has definitely lost its muster for plot development in favor of meta-jokes and references. But it’s still easy to follow and moderately entertaining.
The story begins with Lois hitting a young child with her car, and his parents are contemplating suing the Griffins. The kid in question is Doug. Another adult-baby caricature, who is at odds with Stewie, the genius baby who only some understand. Doug is a recently added character who has been promoted from bit character. And he is somewhat of a more civil Bertram to Stewie. He is pompous and annoying and his parents are shown as shallow and inattentive to him. Especially the father. To prevent a lawsuit, the Griffins agree to build Doug’s treehouse. And Lois opts to get LASIK surgery due to the belief her eyes are bad (hence hitting Doug). It’s odd that her husband Peter is not the one getting LASIK, as I assumed when I first heard the title of this episode.
Family Guy shys away from making any permanent changes to its characters, and Doug and Wild West are the only current examples of story evolution. The LASIK is a hilarious fail, and Lois wakes up blind due to the complete and well-established incompetency of Dr. Hartman. The blind jokes come in, and I felt nostalgia as over a decade ago, Peter became blind due to ingesting a large number of nickels (don’t ask). And now it is his wife’s turn to experience that horror.
Peter is largely absent in this episode, and barely takes advantage of his wife’s blindness, but smartly says “look she’s blind. They are one of the few people left you’re allowed to make fun of.” Truly a horrible comment, but I like the reference to how PC the world has become this last decade. And it is true. You really can’t make fun of anyone anymore, or you run the risk of being “canceled.”
Now blind, Peter, Chris, Brian, and Stewie need to do things for Doug that his father does not want to do. And Doug is quite irritating to work for. He has also attracted the eye of the local elderly pedophile, Herbert. Herbert lusts after Chris who is completely unaware of Herbert’s insidious intentions and becomes jealous of Doug. A perfect satire of cheating on a relationship.
LOIS’ ICU BRAND
Lois’ newfound blindness, allows her to start her own “brand”, called ICU, where she tries to inspire people with her disability. She even features on a talk show called Helen Disingenuous. And it is a HUGE dig at the popular soon-to-be-former daytime host, Ellen DeGeneres who came under fire in 2020 after it was revealed she wasn’t as nice and kind as she was on her show, off the cameras.
This episode had tons of amusing meta jokes, but what really got me laughing was the mock “advertising” for Burbank, as an alternative to Hollywood. Let’s just say, if I lived in Burbank, I would be blushing and sporting a cringey smile after watching this. It was a decent season premiere for the long vaulted comedy cartoon, and I will be doing a follow-up review for the Season 20 finale, to gauge the season as a whole.
Family Guy is too meta now for episode-by-episode reviews. However, I am delighted to see that in the solicitations for the 4th episode of this season, Doug appears again. And I am hoping they will make him a permanent character if the show survives. Stewie needs another d-bag to rip on besides Brian all the time.
Family Guy Season 20 is now showing on Fox.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!