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Family Guy Review: Good Show, Old Chap

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Remember 2002's "Viewer Mail" episode?  It was the last Family Guy before the show went away for the second time. The good news here? The series is not going away, but it is returning to the format a decade later with the ingeniously-titled "Viewer Mail #2."

The first segment, "Chap of the Manor," was easily the best of the three, leading off the show. Posited as the British show that Family Guy was based off of, it served not only as a humorously askew version of the show, with everyone having stereotypically British noses, bad teeth, and accents, but also as a clever meta-commentary on the show. Stewie was a classless boor with a southern accent, Brian was a horse.

British Peter had a slap fight with a giant pheasant. "Shut up, British Meg." While a lot of the jokes were also poking at sterotypical British culture, it was overall a very humorous segment.

Family Guy Goes British

It went downhill from there, though. [insert title here] had Peter struck by lightning, and his wish granted to turn everyone he touched into Robin Williams. That's going to go well with no comic foibles whatsoever! Peter found himself annoyed by all the different Robin Williams (including Meg turning into "one of the sensitive bearded Robin Williams characters"), especially once everyone in town was turned into one. Peter waking up next to Lois-turned-Robin-Williams was funny, albeit obvious. The dark ending to the segment was a welcome twist.

Finally, there was "Point of Stew," which was admirable if only for its ambition: an entire episode from Stewie's first-person perspective. It had to be a challenge for animators as there was little that could have been reused from previous episodes, and not cheap given the amount of new animation to be produced. There were a few giggle-worthy gags, like when Stewie gets caught under Brian's car and sees Herbert under a school bus, but it all seemed to go exclusively for gross-out humor; how many butts can Stewie get trapped under, anyway?

I was really glad to see the Viewer Mail format returned to, and even the joke in the intro that cracked on about the show's similarities to The Simpsons was worth a bit of a laugh. There were similar small laughs throughout the episode, and it was one worth watching, even if it wasn't as good as the original.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
  • 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (56 Votes)
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patechtic brian gone him and stewie was the main act best part butcuz u want it to spread uve defo lost me as a viewer

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As a British viewer, I can say that the news headline about someone taking over Manchester with a gun and two bullets is accurate. Obviously there are some shootings there and elsewhere in the UK, but only a tiny amount compared to American cities. In fact, in Manchester a few years gun crime fell by 93% in one year as a result of a clampdown on one gang (the "Gooch gang"), so it would seem that one small group, with a few guns, did take over Manchester.

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The Brit version was hilarious!If you've watched the show for years you will notice all the little things that make it that much better.I actually thought there was quite a bit of funny things in the episode from Stewie's view.The ending was the best though! djx
May 21st, 2012 3:40 PM As a British viewer, any Family Guy bits about the UK are pretty cringeworthy...Most of the jokes fall flat over here too (the news headline about the guy taking over Manchester with a gun with two bullets, for instance, when parts of that city have gang problems- automatic weapons included- that rival anything in LA or Detroit.)
You have to be joking me!This isn't a competition,but California alone had more gun murders than ALL OF THE murders combined from the United Kingdom.Trust me none of that city rivals here.Just this weekend in Chicago there was 40 shootings where 10 people died.

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Jason Alexander stole the Cricket description from Chap of the Manor and used it as a joke on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson... what a hack!

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In my posting from a few minutes ago or so, I forgot to put the other " right after #2. MY BAD!!!!!

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I enjoyed this episode. Although the end of fatman vs Robin was dark it a welcome surprise, jolting me out of the stupor i had slowly fallen into during that segment. However most of all i enjoyed chap of the manner. The satire of English culture was very amusing, its always fun to see yourself parodied in the eyes of another culture. I part about a fellow taking over Manchester with 2 bullets was by far the best family on-liner in awhile. I do think they could have shown the gruesome murder of our sovereign though, it's not like we're prudish.

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I was not impressed by "Viewer Mail #2...at all. Here's why:
1. Chap Of The Manor=I did not find ANY HUMOR in it!!!!! Period.
2. Fatman Vs. Robin=WAY TOO MANY Robin Williams clones running around/amok.
3. Point Of Stew=Pointless to watch. All in all...LAME!!!!!

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As a British viewer, any Family Guy bits about the UK are pretty cringeworthy... we really don't get the teeth thing, I guess it comes from anyone on US TV being unnaturally white-and-even-toothed, and us allowing actual normal-looking humans on screen. Most of the jokes fall flat over here too (the news headline about the guy taking over Manchester with a gun with two bullets, for instance, when parts of that city have gang problems- automatic weapons included- that rival anything in LA or Detroit.)