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October 7, 2015

Family Guy: The Former Life of Brian - VIDEO

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 28th 2008 1:11AM
Family Guy(S06E11) Brian learns that he had an illegitimate 13-year-old child from a previous relationship (voiced by Harvey Fierstein). The child is dropped off at the Griffin household and Brian now has to raise him.

It should be noted that this season has been shortened to 12 episodes, most likely due to the writer's strike. The season finale will be shown next week. The remaining unfinished episodes will be part of next season's broadcast.

The jokes were very acerbic this episode. Okay, it's usually very acerbic every episode but examples like Brian's response to his ex-girlfriend's confession of being molested by her father of "So...you do go all the way?" crossed a line for me. It was one of those jokes I was afraid to laugh at. The Doug Henning joke was another one.

The show, as usual, gets some clever pop culture jokes in. I remember those Owens Corning Fiberglass Insulation commercials with the Pink Panther from when I was a kid. In fact, he's still their cartoon mascot after all these years.

The Count Crotchula joke was funny for about five seconds. Similarly, the Matthew McConaughey joke went a little long, but the ending was funny. "You suck donkey ass." "You can't prove that." It sounded like Seth Green doing the McConaughey voice, but I'm not certain about that.

I'm glad the episode mentioned the arithmetic problem of Brian having a teenage son before I had a chance to. This is a method that Family Guy has used before. It shows that a story can still work even when writers acknowledge the logical inconsistencies of a story (even going so far to using it to their advantage).

Of course, there is still confusion about exactly what Brian is. He can be confused like a dog when a bag is put over his head yet he can father a human child. Perhaps he's a space alien.

When Brian visited his Baby Mama with Stewie, she had one of those "Hang In There" kitty posters on the wall in the background. Marge made a joke once on The Simpsons about the same poster. It's another case of "Simpsons Already Did It".

The moment of Brian and Dylan bonding over a joint was very Jerry Springer (I was thinking the same thing when Stewie started chanting "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!"). Only on Family Guy could such an event lead to a turn around in Dylan's life. I know of several parents who are the overprotective, obnoxious sort that Brian became.

Some other good bits from the episode: the joke about the goodbyes in the Wizard of Oz, when Dylan beat up the evil monkey in Chris' closet, "Boy, there is a lot of feces in here.," "I'm a girl. I don't even like the good Monty Python sketches.," "Thank God I'm full of Play-Doh.," "'Knock, knock.' 'Who's there?' 'You're there.'"

The plywood cut-out folk art joke was a repeat from a previous episode and wasn't really funny the first time.

This week's episode was pretty good. It had it's ups and downs but it came out ahead overall. It could be because the writers have had the time between episodes to get creative. I have my doubts about the season ending on a high note next week because technically it would have been a mid-season episode, but I'm hoping to be proven wrong.

Would Brian have made a good father?
Yes, he turned his son's life around.289 (49.3%)
No, he was getting obnoxious and overprotective. Plus, he's a dog.297 (50.7%)

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The overtly-gay Stewie thing threw me, too. I do remember reading/hearing somewhere that the writers were planning to make Stewie full-blown gay, so I guess this was the start of it.

May 16 2008 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The scene with the foreigners speaking english is being very funny!
"All Your Bases Are Belong To Us"

April 28 2008 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
j quality

II could not actually bare to watch this all the through. Not even funny anymore. Barely a chuckle here and there. But American Dad lifted up my spirits.

April 28 2008 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think you totally missed the point with the inconsistency about Brian's age. "Go complain about it on the internet" means just that, and also, it's a cartoon. You could say that everything on the show is inconsistent and illogical, but at the end of the day, you should just be laughing and not thinking about it too literally.

April 28 2008 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Caroline's comment

Even though you review it on the internet...

April 28 2008 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorite parts were Brian at the bar not wanting to hear about the plane crash and the argument with Lois over white bread. He was just like all those overprotective parents that are annoying as hell.


April 28 2008 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RC's comment

Brian just reminded me of...my wife.

Oh, and best line in the episode? After Stewie and Brian discus the math issue of Brian's son's age:
"If you don't like it, go on the internet and complain about it!"

April 28 2008 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Wyant

Is it me or were the writers laying the Stewie gay angle pretty thick this week? I always thought it was funny to balance his matricidal sociopathic tendencies with a little gay nuance, but some of the lines in this ep were pretty ridiculous.

April 28 2008 at 7:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Chris Wyant's comment
Eric Matisoff

I agree! It was laid on MUCH more thick this week. Usually it's just hinted at. But this week Stewie was purposefully prancing around naked to entice a man, chose to dress up as a woman (which we've seen him do before, but it seemed like it was his first choice this time 'round), and more - it just seems like usually they hint towards Stewie's tendencies, but this week acted as if he's been out of the closet as long as Mr. Garrison.

April 28 2008 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought so too. When the naked tea party came up I cringed, and said "WoW".

Yea.. it was THICK this week.

April 28 2008 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How could you like the play-doh joke? Completely pointless.

The plywood cutout joke has actually been used twice before. I think the voice actor just likes showing off his talent.

April 28 2008 at 1:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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