One hundred and fifty episodes is an impressive achievement, but it's particularly gratifying for Seth MacFarlane's 'Family Guy.' Once canceled by FOX, and revived due to fan response to DVD sales and airings on cable, MacFarlane is now the king of FOX Sunday nights. So how did he choose to celebrate his perseverance?
'Family Guy' is known for elaborate musical numbers, innumerable cutaway gags, and sheer nonsense sequences like a giant chicken fight that lasts for minutes and minutes. Quite literally, anything was a possibility, so what a surprise that MacFarlane chose to have two of the show's most popular characters have a conversation. And that's it.
The tail end of the hour-long episode was a clip compilation of some of those musical numbers. But the bulk of the episode had Stewie and Brian, locked in a bank vault for two days, just talking to one another. No cutaways, no broad humor, though I won't say there wasn't toilet humor.
(S03E19) I was a little disappointed that this week's episode didn't start with a woman in her underwear, but the later appearance of Julie Bowen's pregnant stomach more than made up for it.
I was also a little put off by the appearance of Frank Whaley because I remembered what a tool I thought he was the day I worked with him on Buddy Faro. What I had forgotten is what a fine actor he is. His performance in this episode was perfect. In a very short amount of time he was able to create a character that I knew enough about to actually care what happened to him. His flashback scenes, in particular, were very good.
So you were an adorable kid on a couple of hit TV shows (Gimme A Break and Blossom), an underrated show (Brotherly Love) and endless other shows and TV movies. You want to get away from your kid actor days because you're an adult, so you drop the whole "Joey" thing and start going by the name "Joseph." You want to graduate to meatier roles, more mature roles.
So why do you agree to star in an Ice Breakers commercial with the Duff sisters and say your famous "whoa!" line? I can understand why some TV stars might want to cash in on an old catch phrase - how many times have we had to sit through Gary Coleman saying "whatchoo talkin 'bout Wills? when he got older? - but why you, Joey? (Sorry, Joseph). You're a talented guy who could probably do a lot of things, and while I'm all for self-deprecation and even some nostalgia, I think you're too young to be looking backward like that. So stop saying "whoa" and grab a meaty character role or co-star in a nice ensemble drama.