According to Variety, Adult Swim has ordered 40 additional episodes of 'Robot Chicken,' providing the top-rated stop-action series with enough material to fill seasons 5 and 6. Prior seasons have aired 20 episodes at a time, already a strong display of network confidence in the product.
I'm not sure what chip I'm missing that I don't find Family Guy as fascinating and hilariously funny as some. Reading some of the Twitter updates after a show airs, it's clear that some folks think it's the funniest thing they've ever seen. Then again, my son usually regales me with all the cool stuff he sees in TV shows, but didn't mention much about the Live Variety Show, so maybe it wasn't that great.
Jason had this to say about it: "Really, it was about the least funny or entertaining variety show I've ever seen. Going into this, I was going to suggest that maybe FOX should have skipped the second Family Guy and given them an hour for this thing, but now I'm going to say they should have skipped the variety show altogether." Here it is, from our sister site, SlashControl. Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed some parts of the episode. The "shut up Wil" line by Patrick Stewart had me in stitches, as well as the sudden death of Denise Crosby (obviously, the writers are ST:TNG fans). Hell, Patrick Stewart is a recurring guest on Seth McFarlane's other series American Dad.
It just seemed to me that after the brilliant Star Wars parody from last year, they would do something more with such a line-up of talent than simply "Stewie gets to hang out and go bowling with the cast." It was even relegated to the "B" plot, with the "A" plot being Meg's sudden faith in God as a result of watching Kirk Cameron on TV.
I was hoping for something more akin to an episode of The Next Generation done Family Guy-style. Or would that have been redundant of the Star Wars episode? What do you think? Was the episode decent or could it have used improvement?
No doubt the speculation regarding this decision will run wild throughout the Internet. My guess is that Fox wanted more episodes for a stronger Sunday night animation line-up. With the end of King of the Hill on Fox, there is now room, plus three of the four shows will be from Seth McFarlane (the non-Seth show being The Simpsons). No wonder he's so loaded.
Kevin Richardson from The Cleaner is voicing the character of Lester, a redneck neighbor of Cleveland. Interestingly, Mike Henry is a white man voicing an African-American while Richardson is African-American voicing a white man.
Also joining the cast is Sanaa Lathan who will play Cleveland's love interest Donna and Nia Long (pictured) who will play one of Donna's children, a rebellious teen named Roberta.
I suppose the success of this show will depend on the execution of it. It has to be similar enough to Family Guy to not alienate those fans but different enough to spark an interest. Cleveland Brown never struck me as a character who could carry his own show but maybe I'll be proven wrong.
McFarlane will be developing fifty two-minute animated vignettes for Seth McFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy which will be distributed via Google's AdSense network (a competitor for Fox's Myspace).
The article goes into the corporate issues behind this strange move and asks a few good questions: why didn't Fox get a first-look offer at this idea? If they did, why did they pass on it? It seems inexpensive enough to produce and given the popularity of the creator, it seems a no-brainer.
Seth McFarlane shows his Massachusetts background in this episode (his parents are from there). I saw references to Boston Harbor (the John Hancock building was in the background) and Six Flags New England (which is very close to Connecticut, the state where he was raised).
The show continues to explore Brian's artistic tendencies as he wins a writing award (we later learn the piece he wrote was mostly plagiarized). It's debatable if this is better or worse than the time he was a porn director.
Following in the footsteps of the recent Colbert Report and 30 Rock shows at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theatre in NYC, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane along with Alex Borstein (she voices Lois) are putting on a benefit show for the WGA East at Carnegie Hall on January 31st. Janeane Garofalo and Patti LuPone will be making special appearances.
I saw an ad for the show in the newspaper this morning and checked out the Carnegie Hall website the second I got into work. Looks like the show is supposed to feature a night of "music and comedy." Sounds great! The idea of hearing McFarlane spout jokes in the voices of Peter, Stewie, Brian, or Quagmire in a live show is pretty cool if you think about. Plus, it's even funnier if you consider all the cultured events that have been hosted at Carnegie Hall over the years. Orchestras. Theater. Opera. And now Peter Griffin saying "penis" and giggling.
- Episode commentary by Seth McFarlane and a bunch of other members of the production team (absent are any of the character voices other than McFarlane himself).
- A twelve minute interview of George Lucas by Seth McFarlene on Star Wars, Family Guy, and a variety of other topics including dating.
- A nineteen minute documentary about how much the creators of Family Guy love Star Wars.
- The original animatics for the episode (includes jokes and animations that didn't make the final cut).
- A Family Guy Star Wars Clip Show (clips from Family Guy episodes which reference Star Wars).
- A generic Family Guy promo for Fox.
Family Guy has such potential to be an original and funny series and so much of it is wasted. I saw hints of really good ideas in the episode but those were superseded by some hack writing and poorly executed material. Another reason to loathe the WGA Strike.
Spoilers after the jump.
I never liked episodes which end up saying "the whole episode you just watched never happened", but the nice thing about Family Guy is its tendency to call itself out on its own crap before the viewer can. I believe Brian described it best when he called it giving the audience a giant middle finger.
(S06E04) During last Festivus I mentioned the secret constitution that the networks have to regulate their industry. This is the document that says the Regis Philbin robot must have a full check-out every six months and that one network or another must produce a musical-based drama every twenty years or so that will fail right off the bat. I'm hoping that, after watching this week's 100th episode of Family Guy, the networks add a new amendment to their constitution: clip shows will no longer air before special episodes or series finales.
Call it the Seinfeld Amendment for simplification. Before the series finale of Seinfeld NBC aired a one-hour retrospective featuring classic scenes from previous seasons. This got the viewing audience all hyped up to see an exciting and entertaining finale. Then, as we all know, that last episode was a huge suckfest that disappointed millions. If they had not aired the retrospective before the last show perhaps the anger surrounding the episode may have been lessened.
If you haven't seen the previews for next Sunday's Family Guy, here's the scoop: it looks like Stewie goes beyond all talk and no action and actually kills his mom Lois. Sounds like "a very special Family Guy."
To promote the episode, titled "Stewie Kills Lois," FOX is going to have black hearses drive around New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, handing out flyers and candles promoting the episode. The promotion starts this Friday.
The answer is maybe. The Hollywood Reporter writes that creator Seth MacFarlane is looking at the possibility of doing a Family Guy movie sometime in the future, which makes sense because it's much harder to make movies in the past.
One plan McFarlane mentioned was to have former Family Guy scribe Ricky Blitt come back to work on the film script. It's worth noting that none of this is official, and that a basic plot for a Family Guy film hasn't even been thought up, though McFarlane does state he doesn't want to do a huge movie like the upcoming Simpsons Movie, but rather a smaller story focusing on the Griffin family.
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