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Family Guy

Family Guy is an animated comedy about the dysfunctional Griffin family. Head of the house is lazy drunk Peter, married to Lois, with dim son Chris, unattractive daughter Meg, evil genius baby Stewie and talking dog Brian. FOX 1999-???


Episode 6 - The Son Also Draws

22 March 2012

Synopsis: Chris wants to quit the scouts but Peter won’t listen and insists on helping him stay in. On the drive to Scout head quarters in New York the Griffins stop at an Indian Casino. Lois quickly develops a gambling habit and loses their car. Peter pretends to be a Native American in order to recover it. The casino owners insist he go on a Vision Quest in the neighbouring forest to prove himself. He takes Chris with him and learns to listen, finally understanding that Chris would rather draw than be in the scouts.

The Good: This is our first glimpse at who Chris really is. His shy reluctance to disappoint his father makes him an instantly sympathetic figure.

We get our weekly does of Stewie misunderstanding the world when he walks in on Lois and Peter having sex. He steadfastly refuses to believe that that is how he was created. It’s another clever way to show the world through the eyes of this unique baby. “You know the tub where you take your little baths? They’ve done it there too!” teases Brian. The fact that Brian can understand Stewie is a development which with hindsight was very clever to throw in.

The odd joke is bound to work here (see Best Joke) and if you are a fan of One Day at a Time or Happy Days then there is more to enjoy.

Flashback ratio (good-medium-bad): 0-5-3

The Bad: Although the story is about Chris, it really doesn’t develop his character beyond the most basic idea. Chris wants to leave the Scouts and it takes him the entire episode just to say that. We don’t learn anything about him beyond his love of art. In the meantime we have to suffer through a pretty dull story which veers about from toilet jokes, to Native American jokes, to Lois gambling addiction and finally to Peter being a better parent. But in none of these cases does the story have enough focus to draw out good jokes or anything very interesting in terms of plot.

In fact Lois developing a gambling habit is exactly the same story a Simpsons episode (510) where Marge becomes the addict. That type of plagiarism is difficult to ignore. It doesn’t make any sense either that Lois would be allowed to bet her car while playing a video poker game.

The joke that Peter and Chris getting “close” has some homosexual connotation is pretty weak in any context. But we get the same joke twice here which shows a serious lack of imagination on the part of the writers. All eight of the flashback jokes are either predictable or just dull.

Best Joke: Peter decides not to panic about Lois losing his car. So he channels the plot of Indecent Proposal and says:
P: I just need to go back into the casino and find a high roller who'll pay a million dollars to sleep with my wife.”
L:  “What? That’s ridiculous!”
P: “Come on Lois, these people took twenty four dollars for the isle of Manhattan. They have no idea what things are worth.”

The Bottom Line: A very poor episode. A lame unfocussed story with a bunch of jokes to match.



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