Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My thoughts on The Family Guy

I finally saw a couple episodes, though only four recent ones. The show has come up a couple times as some are rabid loyalists, while others devoutly hate the program. I guess that makes it the definition of a cult show, though my thoughts seem to align with my buddy Q the Winged Serpent on this one. I can see why it has fans: There are some wonderful right turns throughout that often take their time and go far enough to be truly inspired. Alas, the show, by the very nature of The Simpsons and South Park, feels a bit like Victor Salva's Jeepers Creepers in that I think its effective for what it is, it decidedly has moments... But it can't escape how derivative it is and will always be a little second run. I mean, in one of the episodes the baby character (often a comic ace) drinks someone's tears for sustenance - and steals perhaps the greatest punchline to a South Park episode. And like many of its contemporaries, often the reference is the joke (though paying their respects to Rocky III and Revenge of the Nerds makes me sympathetic).

Speaking of, hasn't South Park jumped the shark now? The last couple seasons have had their brief moments, but the show doesn't hold up outside of a handful of truly great episodes, while their Passion of the Jew episode may very well have been the shark jumping moment. I'll still watch whatever Parker and Stone do, but their time may have passed. Or maybe that's just my leftover resentment towards the poison pen letter that is Team America.

Oh, also, I watched Revenge of the Nerds last night, in a last minute "I just had two references made to that film today, sign from God" moment. Speaking of, I should call God, it's been a while. That said, I think I first saw Nerds when I was nine, and I think it played a big role in my sexuality. Not in that I so identified with the nerds, or whatever, but the moon room sequence is probably tied up in my psyche - something probably enhanced because Robert Carradine dresses as a pseudo Darth Vader. Wow, that's way too personal. I do think Nerds is a really great formula picture. We empathize, and then we enjoy their revenging, and they win by using their smarts over strength, and there's just some nice moments and jokes. I like the nerds getting high and having a great time. It's the moment the audience gets to really love the characters - they just want to have a good time and get laid.