Wednesday, December 2, 2009
TBG TV: FOX's Animation Domination – 11/29/2009
Sunday's Rankings (5-3-2-1 scoring)
(1) The Cleveland Show ("From Bed to Worse") - Perhaps I'm the last one to notice, but this show is much more watchable when it puts its own stank on tired sitcom formulas instead of playing up the bad, Black satire. The Rallo/Cleveland static was borderline believable – in an over-the-top, computer-animated way – with a series of zings that repeatedly hit the target ("He called me the 'N' word!"…"Hey, I'm allowed to, aren't I?") The side stories with the bears ("She looks like a beautiful Edward James Olmos!") and Cleveland Jr.'s flame-retardant one-piece yellow PJs were winners, too.
(2) The Simpsons ("Rednecks & Broomsticks") - Solid episode that showed both how good this show can be and why it'll never be great again. For those of us who can appreciate 30 minutes of fun, but forgettable television, the car ride from the ski resort (with the kids playing a knockoff of "Bop It!") was worth some laughs – as were some of Homer's interactions with the hillbillies and the Springfield Witch Trial (…the city's first witch trial in 12 years!") The cynic might ask how many more times will the plot revolve around Homer's new job, Lisa's attempt to fit in/find a religion and an absurd courtroom conclusion.
(3) American Dad! ("G-String Circus") - Meh. The Stan/Hayley conflict does nothing for me as they're essentially mirror-image unlikeable caricatures of each other. They'll always play to a draw. Things didn't pick up until the final five minutes with the "Make It Rain" homage and Steve's crew finally reaching his bedroom – then getting all gross with a previously worn g-string.
(4) Family Guy ("Dog Gone") - What was the "potential-to-execution" ratio here: 20:1? 200:1? Brian kills another dog while drinking and driving, but the episode spirals down the drain at a breakneck pace. Korean dog eating jokes? "Peter vs. PETA"? (And, I don't care how self-aware that one was, it still didn't work.) And, the "Consuela" storyline… M'man Sam made the point last week about the FG writers reveling in stereotypes, rather than lampooning them. "Consuela" was…that.
MVP: I'm kinda-sorta loving the Rallo character when he's given something substantial to do. The Cleveland Show has run hot and cold, but as long as Seth MacFarlane doesn't rewrite Rallo's motivation mid-stream (where have you gone, evil Stewie?) he could have quite the marketing opportunity on his hands.
Quote of the Night: "They say there isn't a sport he hasn't lettered in or a girl who hasn't let him in." – Some random, unnamed character (The Cleveland Show)
The Simpsons – 24
The Cleveland Show – 24
American Dad! – 20
Family Guy – 19