Sundays With Seth: 'Family Guy' and 'Cleveland Show' Recaps
by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 10th 2011 6:40AM
['Family Guy' - 'New Kidney in Town']
['The Cleveland Show' - 'Ain't Nothing but Mutton Bustin'']
'American Dad' always seems to be the unloved stepchild of the FOX Sunday lineup. It gets pre-empted and bumped around more than anything, and this week was no exception.
With 'Bob's Burgers' premiering this week at 8:30PM ET, 'Cleveland' jumped to 9:30PM and 'American Dad' got the night off. When it comes back next week, it'll be in its new unfriendly 7:30PM timeslot.
That's where shows like ''Til Death' and 'King of the Hill' went when FOX didn't know what else to do with them but wasn't ready to put them down yet. Of course, if 'Bob' doesn't click with audiences, 'Dad' may be called back up to the big leagues before we know it.
Luckily, 'Cleveland' and 'Guy' were more than up to the challenge of bringing the funny this week. Uncle Seth also taught us about the depths and bonds of love that make a family. Whether it's acceptance, hope or sacrifice, there's no limit to what we will do for family.
Or even beyond family, as we ultimately saw on 'Family Guy.' McFarlane peeled back some of the mystery surrounding Ernie the Giant Chicken, as we discovered that Dr. Hartman may have created him. It also turns out that the Griffin family are Hartman's last patients, which isn't much of a surprise when you consider he suggested Brian donate both of his kidneys to replace Peter's failing ones.
But, and I feel almost odd in saying this, the funniest moments of the episode had limited connection to the main storylines. It was the random humor that has long been a staple of 'Family Guy,' but had become underplayed since about midway through Season 8.
Regardless, the sequence with Peter on Red Bull that opened the episode had the most laugh-out-loud moments of the episode. When he busted in the house, flipped Meg and the couch over and then proceeded to speed bounce Stewie, I was dying laughing. Then, he appeared on 'The Price Is Right,' with Drew Carey, and even though I should have seen it coming, the crazy spin he gave the giant wheel sent it flying through the crowd.
'The Cleveland Show' wasn't as much about bringing the funny as it was about exploring this blended family. After Cleveland forgot to take Rallo to "Take Your Kid to Work Day," Donna forced the pair to do some bonding, and they found a connection when Rallo turned out to be brilliant at Mutton Busting -- riding sheep like bulls.
The episode also revealed a bizarre connection, as Lester revealed that his father had another family a few towns over. And that this was how he first met Kendra. We don't know for sure, of course, but this is Seth MacFarlane. I think we do know.
Cleveland started ignoring Junior and lying to Donna about what he was doing with Rallo. This led to both boys going missing after Junior followed them and wound up locked in a porta potty (dressed as a sheep), and Rallo went on the lam after discovering the sheep were slaughtered for food when they were no longer useful for Busting.
So while 'Family Guy' showed us how love will make us sacrifice for our families, 'Cleveland' was about learning how to balance your love between your children, and trying to be a responsible parent. You know, something Cleveland is notoriously terrible at.
'Family Guy' and 'The Cleveland Show' Funnies:
--Brian starting to chew on Peter's arm the moment he thinks he might be dead.
--Peter and the boys watching and riffing on the entire 'Charles in Charge' intro like 'MST3K.' We need a show that does that!
--"Let's go find the big, black, sassy nurse. There's always One." -Stewie
--Brian telling Meg to be realistic and not reach for the stars. He then tells Chris to reach for the stars.
--Rallo spent last year's "Take Your Kid to Work Day" in a strange 'Pulp Fiction' re-enactment with his dad.
--Cleveland goes feral on ham night.
--Junior thought he was traveling through time in the porta potty.
--Rallo sports a Roger ('American Dad') belt buckle. A shout-out to their missing compatriot.
'American Dad,' 'Family Guy' and 'The Cleveland Show' air Sundays at 7:30, 9:00 and 9:30 PM ET, respectively, on FOX.
[Follow Jason @ultraversion21 on Twitter.]