Perhaps Seth MacFarlane was far more invested in getting the The Cleveland Show off the ground that Family Guy fell to the wayside. No matter where MacFarlane’s head was this past year, Season 8 was uneven and mediocre overall. Those moments of un-PC inspiration – the “Down Syndrome Girl” song – were juxtaposed with the not-so-great – the painful 150th episode, “Brian and Stewie,” for instance. In any case, here are some of the top highlights of last season:
Family Guy Goes Disney
Episode 1: “Road to the Multiverse”
Sure, it’s gimmicky: Give Brian and Stewie a time-travel plotline and change the animation style every time they enter a new dimension. But it’s about time Family Guy parodied Disney. Although Lois is still hot, Herbert still a child predator, and Peter still fat, it’s the subtle additions – transforming Meg into Ursula from The Little Mermaid — and the not-so-subtle – highlighting Disney’s hatred of Jews with Mort on screen – that show just how much on point Family Guy can be at times.
Quagmire Learns About Internet Porn
Episode 2: “Family Goy”
Who knew Family Guy’s resident sex addict was content with only Playboy and hookers all these years?
Quagmire Hates Brian
Episode 7: “Jerome is the New Black”
He’s got a Prius. He’s absolutely pretentious. And is painfully unaware. For all these reasons, Quagmire hates Brian – and gives him a piece of his mind.
Brian is Honored at the Rhode Island Society for Special Literary Excellence
Episode 8: “Dog Gone”
Brian’s writing skills have been dumped on over the years, from a novel plot derivative of Iron Eagle to Carter publishing his book – and it being an epic failure. Brian walking into the room in this scene and realizing the meaning of “special” just goes to show how low his literary career can go.
Watch a clip from the episode on Hulu.
Meg Beats Up Connie DiMico and Co.
Episode 11: “Dial Meg for Murder”
Family Guy does high school revenge short – but not sweet – with yet another 1980s film reference. This time, it’s the cola cans in a pillowcase scene from the 1983 Sean Penn film Bad Boys that gets revisited. While the scene isn’t necessarily funny, Meg finally kicks some butt – or, more specifically, cracks a few skulls.
Watch a clip from the episode on Hulu.
The “Down Syndrome Girl” Song
Episode 12: “Extra, Large, Medium”
It’s sort of predictable: Early in the episode, Chris chases a butterfly, gets lost in the woods, and tells Stewie he wants to go out with a girl – who just happens to have Down syndrome. And the rest falls into place with this scene. Stewie wants to get him ready, Chris gets a makeover, and plenty of semi-subtle Of Mice and Men references are used in a musical number.
Watch it now on Hulu.
Stewie Comes Out on Television
Episode 13: “Go, Stewie, Go”
Family Guy has painted Stewie as a sexual conundrum for a number of years. He crushes on girls, and yet wears the occasional dress and wig. And now, Stewie is a child star on the Americanized Jolly Farm Revue in this parody of Tootsie. It’s not much of a career, however, but the scene offers the resolution many have wondered about over the series’ run. Stewie essentially ends his acting career with, “I’m a perfectly normal boy! Who also happens to be a transvestite! Which – begins with the letter ‘T.’”
Watch the full episode on Hulu.
Peter and Joe Texting
Episode 18: Quagmire’s Dad
How close can a show get to dropping the F-bomb on network television? Family Guy tests the limits with this scene from an episode in which Quagmire finds out his war hero father is actually a transsexual. No one says it, but “ducking” – as in, “so ducking gay” – is the closest any series might ever get.
Star Wars-Themed Opening Credits
Episode 19: “Something, Something, Something Dark Side”
A long time ago, in a decade not so far away, Family Guy was canceled by Fox – twice. Seth MacFarlane, apparently, never forgives – no matter the success of the series or the creative freedom the network offers – and never forgets. The scrolling credits in the opening of this episode, done Star Wars-style, take a more-than-light jab at Fox.