Thursday, November 12, 2009

TBG TV: FOX's Animation Domination – 11/08/2009

Sunday's Rankings (5-3-2-1 scoring)

(1) Family Guy ("Brian's Got a Brand New Bag") - On the increasingly rare occasions when this show maintains a semblance of focus for its 22 minutes of airtime, good things can happen. The rapid-fire old jokes ("Has anybody made a Jessica Tandy joke? I'll be right down!") consistently killed me. I especially dug the meandering final scene with its old-fashioned furniture names and Brian's expletive-filled finish. Not a fan of the show's occasional need to fill its first act with a ridiculous Peter story (Road House!) just to set the rest of the episode up, though.

(2) American Dad! ("Man in the Moonbounce") - Started slow, but finished strong. The set-up with Stan's "inner child" was essentially – and annoyingly – the same character as Family Guy's Peter Griffin, but things got rolling once the scene shifted to prison. Also liked Steve's ascension to the head of the household and loved Roger's sabotage of Stan's parole hearing.

(3) The Cleveland Show ("Cleveland Jr's Cherry Bomb") - Started strong, but finished abominable. Here's a shock: the minor league baseball stuff ("…guys I've never heard of, who don't play very well…") brought the funny. Nothing else worked. I mean, I'm old enough to have watched Flip Wilson (in syndication! in syndication!) and the church sequence smothered in dated Black catchphrases was awful. And, then there was Cleveland's rap solo. "Do the Bartman" it was not.

(4) Family Guy ("Hannah Banana") - Hey, it's the return of that Family Guy plot staple: the "real" celebrity who acts TOTALLY different from their "real" public persona! And, we can now officially proclaim all Miley Cyrus jokes are as old as Miley Cyrus. Even worse, in the secondary story, the writers finally closed the loop on the "evil monkey" running gag, but without any discernable payoff. The monkey's really just misunderstood? Boo!

Not Receiving Votes - I only caught about three minutes of Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show. Was the rest of the show as unwatchable as the 180 seconds I saw? I watched a bit of the Marlee Matlin thing and the "Cleveland" bleeping thing. Did it get worse? It couldn't have, right?

MVP: I lost count at the number of times I glanced towards Mrs. Bootleg whenever Rita (Brian's middle-aged love interest in the "Brand New Bag" episode) did or said something "old". Hit too close to home – wait, other men are sent out on superfluous prescription runs at odd hours? – for me not to acknowledge it.

Quote of the Night: "We'll put you in the '80s so you look hot. Now, get in the van with Kelly McGillis." – God to Ellen Barkin (Family Guy)

Current Standings

The Simpsons – 15
The Cleveland Show – 14
American Dad! – 14
Family Guy – 11

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