Family Guy Review: Back to the Beginning

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I must confess: I haven’t seen any of the old Family Guy episodes, you know, before it got renewed and got popular. To see the classic animation and former Meg (with Lacey Chabert )was just as jarring for me as it was for new Brian and new Stewie.

"Back to the Pilot " was a great meta episode. From poking fun at its own flaws in the original series to acknowledging how silly the cutaway gags can be, Family Guy shone at its layered best tonight. 

Back to the Premiere

Treating its animated characters like real actors was a nice touch as well. Watching the original family showed how much the individuals have evolved and changed throughout the series’ long run.

And what do real actors do during cutaway scenes anyways? Witnessing the Griffins standing like zombies was one of my favorite scenes of the week. 

“Back to the Pilot” also provided some classic time-traveling adventures between Stewie and Brian. Not only did we get to see old diabolical Stewie, who I miss dearly, but also Brian’s secret dreams of preventing 9/11 and usurping J.K Rowling as the author of Harry Potter.

While I personally wasn’t offended by the 9/11 satires, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people were. Was the high-five celebration after successfully reinstating 9/11 inappropriate? Definitely. But even they acknowledged that “it didn’t look good out of context.”

I found the seceding of the south at Bush’s behest hilarious and fitting. Their jokes about the 2004 election and the post-apocalyptic result in the future were awesome. Terminator Joe and Frogmire? So plausible 

Let’s hope that if Family Guy runs for five more years, it won’t be the strange 3-D future that Stewie and Brian saw. Say what you will about the Griffin family, but they really look better animated. 

What did you think about Family Guy tonight? Did you find the 9/11 jokes to be completely unpalatable or well done? Be sure to check out some of the best Family Guy quotes from the episode now!


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (83 Votes)

And to the guy below... yeah, of course the characters don't age! Like immortalfrieza said, it's a "floating timeline" where the characters and situations move along with the current times and pop-culture, but they don't age themselves.


I LOVED this episode.. It really showed how much FG has changed over the years since it was first aired- and the creators aren't afraid to admit that it's changed! Yes the new Stewie is more gay than evil, but that's how his character is now and personally I think he's WAY funnier that way...
Also, the ending was a nice touch- usually they screw up the ending but I loved Peter bringing back his old drinking buddies and unplugging the TV, haha :)


@immortalfrieza. I understand that, but in this episode they saw themselves ten years earlier, and neither one of them has changed. The Simpsons, too, long ago reached the point where all of the episodes could not have taken place in the one year Bart is 10 and Lisa is 7.


This was a great episode. I loved seeing the older episodes mixed with the current (and perhaps future LOL) stuff. I didn't find anything disconcerting either but others may. I enjoyed the alternate timelines, the south succeeding. Classy. I teased my husband about it mercilessly. This show keeps getting better. @Joe, who cares? It's a cartoon. When did cartoons have to follow real world rules? I mean I loved Scooby-Doo as a kid (who didn't) and he's still hanging with Shaggy who should be well into his what 60's by now (give or take a few years depending on his age in 1969). Mickey Mouse first appeared in 1928. By your rules he'd be most likely dead, as I'm not sure mice can live into their 90's (again give or take a few years depending on Mickey's age in 1928). Point is, relax & enjoy. It's supposed to be fun.


@Joe This is a pretty common part of cartoons. If time passes at all it's very, very slowly, usually the next episode might as well have occurred on the same day as the last episode, it's called a "floating timeline"


This was confusing on so many levels. The question I kept asking myself is, "Just how old are Stewie and Brian supposed to be?" They go from the present to the pre-9/11 past, and they were exactly the same then as they are now. Does time pass on this show or doesn't it? If it does, Stewie would be 11 or 12 now, and Brian would be in his late teens. If it doesn't, then not much "real" time has elapsed between the early seasons and the later ones. Just how far into the future have we come? Remember that Joe's wife was pregnant for a couple of seasons? That was the right call - it showed that time was not passing on the show as quickly as it does in real life. A child is only one for one year.


I thought that last night's new episode of Family Guy (Back To The Pilot) was wonderfully acted and very well written. My favorite part about the episode was somewhere towards the end when all of those Brian and Stewie clones kept popping up everywhere. To me, it was like CLONES GONE WILD!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Anyway, Seth MacFarlane came up with and created a really AWESOME episode last night!!!!! Great Job, Seth!!!!! Until next time, this is Jaybird369 saying...Peace-Out.


I really liked this episode, found it original, funny and engaging. Also, I must say that "diabolical Stewie" got really old; I prefer the current one much more.

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