Saturday, April 3, 2010

TBG TV: FOX's Animation Domination – 03/28/2010

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

(1) Family Guy ("Brian Griffin's House of Payne") - I've bashed a fair amount of Family Guy episodes this season, so I should point out that it isn't faint praise when I call this the best episode in some time. I can't remember when everything clicked this effectively. The Stewie/spaceship intro – and its terrific finish involving Peter's "real" head – reminded me of how good the Stewie character was before the writers decided to drop the "evil genius" bit. The main story with Brian and his dealings with TV executives was funny from start to finish. Laughs came from everywhere, including a cameo from "pre-gone-crazy" Charlie Sheen and Officer Joe's attempt to assault Brian after watching the CBS-ized version of Brian's pilot.

(2) The Cleveland Show ("The Brown Knight") - It's one of the oldest sitcom plots out there (man and woman go out, man is physically threatened by another guy, woman inexplicably kicks other guy's ass, man now feels like less of a man until he somehow gets his manhood back) but, the writers managed to put a watchable spin on it. The opening sequence with Cleveland's cash-grab machine felt a little too much like Peter Griffin's Family Guy shenanigans, though. Things picked up after the first few minutes with an entertaining Tila Tequila cameo, some Dan Rather mocking and a frantic debate about the technological limits of YouTube.

(3) The Simpsons ("The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed") - There was only ONE thing I didn't like about this episode. I enjoyed Krusty's realization that Jews don't believe in hell. I dug the brief "Veggie Tales" hallucination scene. I was even pulled in by the done-to-death "Homer angers Marge to the point where Marge comes this close to finally leaving Homer before everything's worked out in the end (with Ned Flanders gamely substituting for Marge this week)" storyline. All that kept The Simpsons out of the top spot was the grating guest spot from Sacha Baron Cohen. In just one 30-minute episode, I can better appreciate how white people feel about Stuart Scott and Chris Tucker and how African-Americans feel towards white people they've never before heard of until they say something kinda-sorta derogatory towards black people. We'll never forgive you, Fuzzy Zoeller.

MVP: Brian Griffin wins the pretend trophy. He remains the best written character on Family Guy from week to week. I'm sure Seth MacFarlane is plotting a spin-off as part of his mad quest to add an eighth day of televised programming to the FOX schedule.

Quote of the Night: "Let's see: take my family to a war zone, on a bus filled with religious lame-ohs, in a country with no pork and in a desert with no casinos. Oooh, where do I sign up?!" - Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)

Current Standings

The Simpsons – 60
The Cleveland Show – 49
Family Guy – 38
American Dad! – 30

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