Family Guy Season 11 DVD Review
The talking dog and the gay baby still carry the day
By Richard Luck, 7 November 2011
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane recently said that it might have been a good thing had the show come off air a couple of years ago. This was something of a strange admission given that the show has made him rich beyond his wildest dreams while providing him with the leverage to make such programmes as American Dad, The Cleveland Show and Cavalcade Of Comedy. What's more, in confessing that Family Guy ought to have been shelved after Season Seven, MacFarlane will have left some fans wondering if they should bother investing in this latest DVD release.
Anyone worried that Season 11 finds Seth and co spinning their wheels should have their fears dispelled by a stunning episode opening that perfectly recreates the credit sequence from the Incredible Hulk TV show. Other series highlights include a fine rendition of Mr Booze from the Rat Pack movie, Robin And The Seven Hoods and a history lesson from Peter in which he sums up the shortcomings of the 1980s by playing the video for Mick Jagger and David Bowie's cover of Dancing In The Street in its entirety.
This being Family Guy there's also a fair smattering of bad taste material. From gags about Michael J Fox's on-going struggle with Parkinson's Disease to siblings Meg and Chris 'gettin' in on', this is the stuff that attracts the headlines but divides the fans, many of whom would prefer that the show would stick to doing what it's best at, which is being uproariously funny.
Still, at least show stalwarts Brian the talking dog and Stewie the sexually-ambiguous baby are at the top of their game. Since they're rarely at the centre of the show, the pair are free to pass comment on the bizarre goings-on, rather like an animated equivalent of Statler And Waldorf from The Muppet Show. This season also gives the audience the opportunity to see what Stewie would look like if he dressed up like his canine accomplice, which is very cute indeed.
Since so much of Season 11 (in actual fact a hotchpotch of episodes from Seasons 9 and 10 from the show's American run) is excellent, you have to wonder why MacFarlane has come out against his million dollar baby. Perhaps it's simply a case of familiarity inevitably breeding contempt. Check out the Apt Pupil-inspired episode German Guy in which dirty old man Herbert and Nazi-in-hiding Franz Schlechtnacht have the most tedious fight in television history and you'll be left hoping that Seth has at least a couple more seasons in him. Just keep thinking about the money, Mr MacFarlane.
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