More unoriginal FOX jargon
Yes, this is a movie blog. Yes, my goal is to bring you the most up-to-date film news and the best opinions about said news anywhere on the web. Well, at least, opinions about said news. But every once in a while a piece of non-movie news will get me so riled up, that I can’t help but complain about it on Movie Chutzpah — I’ll never stray too far away from the world of cinema, though. In this post, we’ll be taking things to the small screen: the theater’s special-needs little brother, the television.
Remember when animated shows directed at adults were funny, creative and well-written? When “The Simpsons” first became the global phenomenon it is today, it was so intelligent in its quick-hitting pop-culture jokes and diverse storylines that people thought it could change the face of television forever.
Well, I think it’s safe to say that it has done that, but not in the way we would have hoped.
At first, things looked good. More brilliant and socially aware cartoons directed at adults followed in “The Simpsons” footsteps — shows like “South Park,” “Futurama” and early “King of the Hill” seemed to prove that the primetime cartoon was a legitimate platform for social commentary.
But then “Family Guy” changed everything.
I’m sorry, does “changed” usually carry a positive connotation? Would something like “ruined” or “crapped on” work better? OK, I know that “Family Guy” has a huge fanbase, and I am probably opening myself up to some negative responses towards this post, but I think someone had to say it.
“Family Guy” made a conscious decision to forgo the solid storytelling and narrative genius that made “The Simpsons” such a staple in American culture, instead focusing on cheap laughs, usually involving some sorts of bodily function. Sure, that formula works in small doses (who here can honestly say they don’t chuckle at a well-timed fart joke?) but when used as consistently heavy and repetitive as “Family Guy,” the show just becomes a disgusting experiment in how low the American pop-culture and media can get before the general population fights back — a battle not yet started.
For some reason or another, the intellectually devoid formula the “Family Guy” uses has become wildly popular — everyone watches it. And now, instead of “The Simpsons,” Seth MacFarlane’s show has become the measuring stick for animated primetime programs.
Even “The Simpsons” is visibly dumber than its pre-“Family Guy” days. And I’m brave enough to say that “The Simpsons” is trying to cope with and compete with the new Big Boy of primetime animation. On top of ruining “The Simpsons,” new shows like “American Dad” (another MacFarlance product) have graced the airwaves with their shittiness.
Well — we’ve hit a new low, ladies and gentlemen. Cleveland, Peter’s African-American friend, is getting his own show produced by MacFarlane and the rest of the “Family Guy,” which means that we’ll be subject to not one (“Family Guy”), not two (“American Dad”) but three terrible half hours of this mind-numbing “entertainment” every week.
“The Cleveland Show” will drop in 2009, enough time for me to figure out how to block FOX from my television forever. So here’s my my question to you: is there any way to get back to the way things were, or is smart, funny and well-thought-out animated comedy gone forever from the primetime airwaves?