Here’s how old Family Guy is at this point: the first time I ever saw the show, it was on a portable DVD player (remember those?!) when I was in like the fourth grade. That was about 15 years ago, and yet, despite what most original fans may consider a dropoff in quality, the show is still going as strong as ever.
I personally haven’t watched an episode in years, and normally, I wouldn’t bother writing an article about it. But *this* one caught my eye. Why? Because anyone who is about the same age as me will remember the glory days of Family Guys and they will remember Stewie being one of the main parts of their early success.
So now, to find out almost 20 YEARS after the show first premiered (the pilot aired on January 31, 1999) that Stewie has actually been faking it all this time … it feels like a betrayal. It feels like everything I thought I knew and once loved about Stewie and Family Guy is a lie.
As we learned in last night’s commercial-free episode — “Send In Stewie, Please,” which had Stewie discuss his sexuality with child psychologist Dr. Cecil Pritchfield (Sir Ian McKellen) — that’s not his real voice. This may come as a surprise, but the Rhode Island-born child doesn’t sound like he’s auditioning for Macbeth. He sounds like, well, his father’s son.
I didn’t know if Seth would go for it,” said writer Gary Janetti. “[But] when he read it, it was hilarious, because he instantly read that voice that he does in the episode, which is this normal kid voice, and it’s very disarming. It felt very true. I didn’t want to do anything unless it felt true to the character because I’m very protective over him. Like all kids can, when you feel like you’re an outcast, and you feel like you don’t fit in any place, you construct a bit of a façade to protect yourself from the world. His is just extraordinarily sophisticated. What would that mean if he felt like he could release it and be more authentic — and himself?”
While many people expected the episode to feature Stewie coming out, his sexuality was left as a question mark (even though, I mean, come on).
How much of Family Guy‘s past are they going to tear down in order to keep limping on into the future? Only time will tell.