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

(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!)

Current Standings

The Cleveland Show – 29
The Simpsons – 27
American Dad! – 21
Family Guy – 21


SHough610 said...

I thought The Simpsons and the Cleveland Show KILLED it. Loved so many things about both.

Family Guy should just be called "low-hanging fruit". The only laughs for me were the success poster in Brian's office and Quagmire ripping his scalp.

A Seth MacFarlane show intolerantly mocking religion? Shocking! Especially considering MacFarlane's complaint is religion is intolerant.

Jeff Hansen said...

Wait, so not only did you hate American Dad this week, but you LIKED the Anti-Christ? I don't want to say that you're wrong, but...

That Bootleg Guy said...

I'm a stone-cold sucker for the campy '60s Batman series and the Antichrist/Frank Gorshin nod was so over-the-top that it doubled back around to be entertaining.

I was probably a little tougher on "Dad" in my words than I actually felt. It was fine, but it was a tough week to nab one of the top two spots.

And, shouldn't the animated "Jesus" have been retired after "South Park" essentially established the norm?

Jeff Hansen said...

I was SO disappointed in the Anti-Christ. I first wanted it to be Roger, but we saw him, so I was willing to settle for Patrick Stweart's CIA head. What we got was just not worth it, IMO.

And I think you're still allowed to use Jesus when you're in a post-apocalyptic Left Behind.

SHough610 said...

Cam, I don't know if you're a comic book fan but if you like the campy Batman sixties series you should check out Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin. It's Dick Grayson as Batman and Bruce Wayne's son Damian as Robin and it's got this camp gloss and sort of sinister deal going on.