Tuesday, December 15, 2009
TBG TV: FOX's Animation Domination – 12/13/2009
Sunday's Rankings (5-3-2-1 scoring)
(1) The Cleveland Show ("A Cleveland Brown Christmas") - First things first: the first nine episodes have been wildly uneven as this show still isn't sure what it wants to be. I would humbly suggest that it be…this. A 22-minute tour-de-force of riotously raunchy comedy, I watched it twice just so I could expose Mrs. Bootleg to lines like "…bushy in the front" and Rallo's "letter to Santa". The writers have aped the entire Family Guy formula (loosely tied mini-scenes and sequences in place of a real plot) but, damned if it didn't all click this week. And, the reindeer running gag – especially the climactic Santa scene – killed me.
(2) The Simpsons ("O Brother, Where Bart Thou?") - Those of you who abandoned this show over the past decade – and, really, I can't say I blame you – should hunt this episode down. Bart's dream sequence in which he longed for a baby brother – featuring The Smothers Brothers, The Smith Brothers (of ancient cough drop fame), The Super Mario Brothers and Peyton, Eli AND Cooper Manning was off-the-charts awesome. A terrific, heartfelt outing that indirectly highlighted the Lisa/Maggie sisterly dynamic, it could've claimed the top spot if it hadn't blatantly lifted Homer and Marge's "complicated sex" sequence from this.
(3) Family Guy ("Business Guy") - Loved some of the more subversive stuff (the "Lacey Chabert" line and the Billy Joel goof), but hated the unfunny low-hanging fruit (jokes/riffs on Bill Cosby and Scooby-Doo). And, isn't FOX's House already an unintentional parody of itself? Exhuming Hugh Laurie for a voiceover – and nonexistent laughs at his expense – didn't make much sense.
(4) American Dad! ("Rapture's Delight") - Yeah…see, here's the thing: With rare exception, most of these attempts to tweak the nose of organized religion don't work. The Simpsons found the right formula a few years ago with one or two episodes filled with twisted renditions of well-known Stories from the Bible ™. This episode's whole Mad Max meets Christ's second coming simply didn't do it for me – with the SOLE exception of the Antichrist/Riddler. HEE-larious.
MVP: Even though I made the mistake of watching this episode with Mrs. Bootleg, Bart Simpson's push for a kid brother was really well done. I could feel my wife making mental notes in preparation for another "why our son needs a sibling" debate.
Quote of the Night: "God pays twice as much attention on Christmas. Like the media whenever a white kid disappears." – Stan Smith (American Dad!)
The Cleveland Show – 29
The Simpsons – 27
American Dad! – 21
Family Guy – 21