Friday, May 7, 2010
TBG TV: FOX's Animation Domination -- 05/02/2010
Sunday's Rankings (5, 3, 2, 1 scoring)
(1) The Cleveland Show ("Brotherly Love") -- This show's been one of my favorite sitcom piñatas, but everything clicked this week. Cleveland's side gig as a stripper-cum-pimp? The wink n' nod self-awareness over the Cyrano de Bergerac bit? The Bea Arthur/Maude catchphrase from beyond the grave? Clicked, clicked and clicked. But, it was guest star Kanye West -- in a parody of himself -- who took this episode over the top. His character's two-minute rap battle with Cleveland, Jr. is worth a look if you missed in the first time around. Sure, the Zac Efron and John Edwards references already feel dated, but any satire of Auto-Tune gets my stamp of approval.
(2) The Simpsons ("To Surveil with Love") -- So, that Ke$ha "Tik Tok" couch gag was supposed to be a big deal, huh? Huh. I liked Eddie Izzard's guest voiceover work and...that was about it. I'm not sure where all this nonsensical "best episode in years" jibber-jabber is coming from, but I'd like to believe the bar for The Simpsons hasn't fallen this low in recent seasons. The brief "17 Incredible Hulks and a Spider-Man" sight gag generated most of the guffaws from my gullet this week.
(3) Family Guy ("Brian & Stewie") -- I get what the writers were trying to do (win an Emmy), but the interminably repugnant poop stuff during the first 10 minutes turned me off almost immediately. The super serious stuff about suicide and love simply didn't work with characters that have been written as one-note caricatures for eight seasons. I appreciated the obvious nod to one of my favorite episodes of All in the Family and this was an EPIC bit of voiceover work from Seth MacFarlane (who voices both Brian and Stewie...the only characters to appear in the episode), but the effort and intentions were greater than the results.
MVP: Kanye West's "Kenny West" spoof was proof-positive that he'd be negligibly more likeable if he didn't take himself so damn seriously all the time.
Quote of the Night: "Tell me little man: how the HELL do you support that big-ass afro with that tiny-ass neck? You're like a ?uestlove bobblehead!" -- Kenny West (The Cleveland Show)
The Simpsons -- 74
The Cleveland Show -- 55
American Dad! -- 43
Family Guy -- 42
I never got around to writing reviews for the April 18 and April 25 "Animation Domination" that only featured The Simpsons and American Dad. I had American Dad in first place on the 18th and The Simpsons on the 25th. And, kudos to The Simpsons for the Dr. Dre "Let Me Ride (Remix)"-inspired reference to "gas, grass or ass". Eight points total for both.