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Stewie Griffin for an Emmy?

by Brad Trechak, posted May 29th 2009 10:04AM
Family GuySeth McFarlane is trying to break the Emmy barrier by having Family Guy compete with such shows as 30 Rock and The Office. For the second year in a row, Family Guy is being submitted as a nominee for the general comedy series category (as opposed to the animated 'toon category).

I'm ambivalent about this choice. On one hand, a lot of great comedy has come from animation that certainly is on par with the live-action television comedies. On the other hand, if a comedy series did compete against live sitcoms, I'd prefer it was The Simpsons or South Park which historically have been much better at intellectual humor than anything McFarlane has produced. It's also difficult to do a direct comparison since cartoon shows are more flexible storytelling vehicles than live sitcoms. It's like having an unlimited special effects budget.

I note that McFarlane and company have also jumped on the Obama campaign poster parody bandwagon. That's so six months ago.

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You're confusing "cartoon format" with family guy format. When a character alludes to something that happened in the past, and then we're shown a quick flashback clip of that funny thing happening, that is not "cartoon format." That's how Family Guy is formatted. Other non-animated shows, like Arrested Development and 30 Rock, use that same basic format. But that doesn't mean they're cartoon-like. It's just a very good method of producing a single-camera comedy without a live studio audience.

May 29 2009 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I don't mind the idea in principle, nothing in "Family Guy" can be considered in the same realm as say, the "Imaginationland" trilogy of South Park, which was really incredible story, narrative, animation and also remained true to being comedic in some way. But hey, I could also add, the last episodes of adultswim's "Harvey Birdman" were brilliant on taking on the Supreme Court ruling and funny too. It's just FOX trying to dominate as always, and Seth fits perfectly to that. I think the point would be to still consider the meaning of cartoon culture in terms of American entertainment - it's more than obvious in cinema and on television, cartoon culture leads on many levels. And please, "30 Rock" is practically a cartoon narrative, as were earlier vehicles like "Malcolm in the Middle". Good acting, but in a cartoon format. Perhaps more important would be for the Emmys to rethink the award categories and address this -- and then decide how to acknowledge such incredible efforts like South Park "Imaginationland" before just any old "Family Guy" episode.

May 29 2009 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

South Park is the only animated show worthy of an Emmy (though the only really good episode from this current season thus far has been the Jonas Bros. episode). Family Guy has not been very funny since it was un-cancelled.

However, American Dad is pretty hilarious and some of its best episodes may very well be Emmy worthy. These days the worst American Dad Episodes are still a bit funnier than the best Family Guy episodes. This most recent season of AD was quite good.

Not that I seriously think industry awards like Emmys, Oscars, Grammys, etc. mean shit or are actually given to deserving recipients.

May 29 2009 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Family Guy and Emmy should never be mentioned in the same sentence.

May 29 2009 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I agree that Family Guy is better than the Simpsons has been since season 10, the show has also seen a massive decline in quality. I barely laugh at Family Guy anymore, and I can still laugh watching Season 1 and 2 episodes even though I've seen them many times before. If any show should have ever won an emmy as a cartoon, it would have to be Futurama. And since there's no more Futurama (thanks a lot Fox...), we'll have to wait and see if The Goode Family gets any better.

May 29 2009 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George McBain

I have to agree with you: being a fan of all three, I would have to say South Park should get the nod before either of the Fox shows. Late-90s Simpsons I could have gotten behind, but I don't think the stuff now would hold up, though I still enjoy it. Family Guy, even when trying to take a stance (this past seasons Religion episode as example) just don't seem to catch the right kind of tone.

May 29 2009 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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