Family Guy: Boys Do Cry
I think I probably came into this one with my expectations set a little high. Those previews that revealed the family packing up and taking a trip put the thought in the back of my mind that this could be one of those classic episodes. It called to mind the season three episode "To Love and Die in Dixie." Unfortunately, now having seen it, it wasn't a classic.
Not that it was horrible. I thought the episode had it's moments, but there were some pretty big breaks between them. I liked the setup to get the Griffins out of town. It's cheap, and we've seen it many times before, but when Brian does dog things, like peeing on the paper in the house, it makes me laugh. Lois getting a gig as an organist was a nice way to go because it does fit in well with what we already know about her. I thought the audition section was particularly good with Quagmire barely getting in the door, Seamus playing "Great Balls Of Fire", Herbert doing "I Know What Boys Like", and Jake Tucker doing the "William Tell Overture" with the music upside down.
Lois deciding that the family needs more church was a little odd. Maybe she's just at the end of her rope, and really, that's not a big leap to make given Peter's antics. But Lois has always been kind of a whore. I'm willing to forgive that bit of strangeness since it got us to Stewie puking wine and wafers and being labeled the antichrist. That was a strange coincidence considering that the History Channel was running a bunch of antichrist programming last night as well. It worked nicely to get the family on the run to Texas.
Just where the Texas portion of the episode was going came across right away when they met their new neighbor, Mr. Lynch, and he described himself as a queer chaser and beater. The southern stereotypes are an easy target, and there is a lot of humor to be found there. Hell, Larry The Cable Guy has made a career out of it. My only problem with it is that Family Guy has already taken us down this road, and I would have preferred to see a different take.
While it wasn't the most original of backdrops, a few of the scenes were very good. The Texas newscast that revealed the new threat of the superdevil was funny, and it paid off well when Brian, in his excitement over shooting his free gun, shot the superdevil out of the air. Superdevil was also the payoff in the portrait joke at George Bush's ranch. It was the perfect topper to the series of pictures of George with Reagan, Hussein, Bin Laden, and the superdevil.
The George Bush scene was notable for a couple things. First, it was a decent plot for Chris and Meg to do something together. That's something we haven't seen a lot of. Old man Cheney and his shotgun, the coke on the table, planned parenthood receipts, and George's adult beverages were ok, but what really sold the scene was the Sixteen Candles reveal of the underwear, in all their Bushy glory.
And then there is Stewie. What the hell are they doing with Stewie? I've said before that I preferred the earlier evil genius Stewie to the newer gay Stewie, but it just keeps getting creepier. The scenes where he said his makeover into a girl felt right and how he was worried that the cake would go to his vagina were funny. But the bit with Stewie meeting Jesus? To me that just comes across as doing something in the hopes of offending someone, whether it fits or not. Given the final scene, maybe that was the point. I did like Peter's parting shot at the PTC and their ilk. It didn't have the spirit or charm of the FCC song, but it's a point that is always worth repeating.
The cutaways this week were really hit and miss. I'm counting the ongoing Chuck Norris references among them, and those were, for the most part, pretty good. Even if they are a little late to the Chuck Norris facts party. I wasn't into the WNBA bit until they sold it on the end, saying it was up to the fan. Singular. My favorite of the bunch was Meg as the girl from the anti-drug commercials. Those are ripe for spoofing, and I can only hope that they will turn their guns on the TRUTH ads next. Gladiator mice, straight guy figure skater, the stubborn mule, Sneakers O'Toole, Bigfoot sighting, and senior citizen porn were just ok.
Overall, it was a good episode. I'm still waiting for one that blows me away and reminds us all just how good this show can be when it's firing on all cylinders. That said, there was enough good stuff here to give it a 5, out of 7.