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)

Current Standings

The Simpsons – 24
The Cleveland Show – 24
American Dad! – 20
Family Guy – 19


SHough610 said...

It pains me to say this, because there is no show I've ever loved as much as the Simpsons, but I think that the lack of continuity has caught up to the show. At some point, you run out of ideas that can sustain a 22 minute show. If Futurama ever has a chance to carry on for as long as the Simpsons I think the character growth will give it the edge over the Simpsons.

To end this on a happier note, I'm surprised you didn't give the quote of the night to Tim's orgasmic bear roar (which had me and my brother laughing so hard we had to pause the show).

That Bootleg Guy said...

Last night, I caught two Simpsons repeats. The first was from '07 and involved Bart and a female shrink. The second was from the late '90s and was the one where Homer fills in for the late "Reliable" Red Barclay. I remembered nothing about the former (even though, I know I'd seen it) and the latter just slayed me (even though, I know I'd seen it).

Also, loved the bear roar. Good call.

SHough610 said...

"I'm red barclay and I'm a trucker. I've eaten steaks from coast to coast with taters and toast".

honestly, up to season 11 or 12 I can name the season of each episode. After that it gets fuzzy. I can name about ten episodes since then (and one of those, when Nelson moves in, is an episode that I despise).

What I think sets Simpsons and Futurama (and to this point the Cleveland Show) is a heart: the families and characters like each other. I still keep waiting for the Cleveland Show to insult Tim's faith, but they treat him as a decent guy.