Family Guy: It Takes A Village Idiot, And I Married One
(S05E17) As I got into this episode, two things occurred to me. First, since next week is the season finale, when did they decide to cut this season to 18 episodes? More importantly for our purposes here though, this episode felt very familiar. It took a minute, but when Lois and Mayor West got to the debate, I remembered what it was. The main story was very similar to the season two episode, "Running Mates."
This time Lois is running for Mayor instead of the School Board, and having a debate against Mayor West instead of Peter, but they are cut from the same cloth. But hey, this is Family Guy, so that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The main plots often only serve as a framework to hang the jokes off of anyway. And if the jokes are good enough, rehashed ideas can work out just fine.
Looking at it from that perspective, I thought it was a pretty solid episode. Normally I save all the cutaway bits for the end of the post, but let's go to those right up front. There were four in particular that I thought stood out in this week's group. The Price is Right vacation was very good. Aside from being a funny gag, it was also very timely given all the promotion for Bob Barker's pending exit. Jason Voorhees being interviewed at the lake was solid, but really paid off when he turned up again as the owner of the clothing store, Britches & Hose. I do realize that my fascination with all things Friday the 13th could make me biased on that one though.
Stewie's Amadeus turn was very funny, and also a nice bit of animation. But it wasn't as nice as my favorite part of the episode, the Legion of Doom. Not only was it a cool reference, it was also a perfect marriage of the Family Guy and Superfriends styles. They went above and beyond getting almost all of the characters into the shot too. Unless I missed something, I think they had Giganta, Black Manta, Solomon Grundy, Bizarro, The Scarecrow, Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, Sinestro, Cheetah, Brainiac, Gorilla Grodd, and Toyman. Very well done.
That's a good place to get back to the main story. Much like the debate, Lois having to dumb down her communications with the public felt like it had been done before. But I did get a good laugh as she stretched her crazed reasoning out further and further. Hitler and the Legion of Doom are plotting to kill Jesus while Darth Vader is buying yellow cake uranium from unwed teenage mothers. Crazy.
And now that I have completely thrown the order of things under the bus, I'll also mention that the opening of the episode was very good. Quagmire is such a good character that he's funny even when he isn't on the screen. You just need people to talk about him and it's good for a laugh. As was the case with Lois warning the children not to touch anything in his cabin until she has disinfected it, and Peter activating the knock-out couch. I'm not entirely sure what to make of Quagmire performing Kabuki when they walk in on him, but the image was so bizarre that you couldn't help but laugh. Also, I know it was the cheapest of cheap jokes, but Peter's gay cowboy song was very funny.
The rest of the episode was just kind of there, chugging along. The Quahog Oil Refinery, Jimmy Smitts endorsing Mayor West, Lois corrupted by the power of her new gig, the evil monkey as a Jehovah's witness, Stewie the pimp, it was all fine. All of those bits and pieces moved us along through some very funny scenes. The only two that struck me as falling flat were Don Most and Herbert. The Don Most / Brigadoon bit started in a funny place, but I thought it went on a little long. And I'm still scratching my head as to why Herbert, here asking about registered sex offenders, needs to be shoehorned in every episode. It boggles me.
Overall, I'd call this one pretty solid. For me, it was hampered by a too familiar main story, but it did manage to shore that up with some great moments. Hopefully it will serve as the springboard for the finale to end the season on a high note. I'm giving it a 5, out of 7.