Sundays with Seth: A night of criminal activity
by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 1st 2010 4:10AM
I'm not sure if it was by bizarre coincidence or divine -- by which I mean Seth MacFarlane -- intervention, but all three MacFarlane episodes this week were mired in illegal activities. 'Family Guy' saw Meg go from a sweet innocent teenaged girl into a hardened criminal, Cleveland Brown inadvertently became a drug trafficker, while Stan Smith found himself overwhelmed with a drug problem of his own.
And in both 'The Cleveland Show' and 'American Dad,' we got reminders that marijuana isn't really a drug. 'The Cleveland Show' listed for us where we can get it legally (with a prescription), while 'American Dad' mocked the notion of someone becoming addicted to pot to the point they would need rehab.
At least 'Family Guy' kept it simple. Drugs weren't an issue throughout the entire episode, though Meg was certainly acting like she was on drugs. What she was really doing, though, was acting out over years of abuse by everyone around her.
In a way, you could say her thorough ass-kicking of Peter was fully deserved for the years of crap he's given her on the show, and certainly that her rage and frustration are justified. Look at that: they finally found an angle for a Meg-centric episode that was fully engaging and entertaining. Have her go postal. It's just that simple.
I was with her 100%, as well, when she methodically filled that pillowcase with soda cans. Kids can be so cruel, and what's a little violent assault and battery among classmates? It was a lot of fun seeing the family terrified of her, and giving in to her every whim, though the shower scene was a little disturbing. When she had Peter punch Stewie across the room, that should have maybe been disturbing, as well, but I found it hilarious. "Did I do good?"
Chris Griffin didn't have much to do this episode, but maybe that's because he wasn't feeling well after falling through the ceiling at Cleveland's house in Stoolbend.
I was a little surprised that Rallo behaved so much like an actual child this episode. At no point, really, was he acting outside of his true age. It was refreshing to see. I don't mind him being wise beyond his years, but it's important that we see him acting as a young child, as well. Staying in a costume for weeks on end is the very thing that some kids do, as well as trying to fly like Superman.
The latter he did in a good cause, as Cleveland's questionable judgment was again a problem. His heart is always in the right place, but his brain seems to have a hard time keeping up. When he distracted Donna from the situation with a big-screen TV, you could almost think he was doing that intentionally, but he remained blissfully oblivious to what his group of miscreant teens was really up to until they revealed it to him.
Even the Girl Scouts don't make thousands of dollars a day, though I'll bet there's a real chance Cleveland, Jr.'s cookies are better than anything the Girl Scouts sell. I have a feeling he's really good in the kitchen.
They even kept his streak of "dick" alive by having him first guilt the "Crazy Eights" into helping him rescue Junior, and then threatening them with bodily harm if they ever came around his family again. And this was after they told him they'd learned their lesson and intended to go straight. The perfect sitcom dad, Cleveland isn't.
But at least he's not stealing from his family to support a crack habit. Only Stan Smith could turn a cold into a crack addiction, and he did so beautifully with this week's episode. In fact, the episode did a great job of spotlighting the horrors of the drug without pandering to the audience. The dealer's mother was about enough for me, as was Stan's deterioration throughout the episode. I love that they got 'Breaking Bad's' Bryan Cranston to lend his voice for the episode, considering the subject matter.
Poor Steve was on the cusp of actually scoring a chick, until Stan tried to go down on her father in order to score some cash for his addiction. Yes, you read that right and yes that's what they did. Still, I was actually rooting for Steve on this one. It was a little weird that her dad was so cool with it -- even hooking Steve up with a condom -- but she seemed like a nice girl regardless, and she was cartoon hot. Poor guy.
[To find your own favorite moments, check out clips and full episodes of 'The Cleveland Show,' 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad' on SlashControl.]