Family Guy Review: The Road Less Taken

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Tonight's Family Guy episode, "Leggo My Meg-O" was literally just the movie Taken. I'm not kidding, that's pretty much the exact distillation of the episode.

After getting ganged up on in gym class, Meh decides to go with her friend Ruth (wait, Meg has friends?) to go study abroad to Paris. They meet a strange French man who takes them to their apartment, and then she gets kidnapped. So it's up to Brian and Stewie to rescue her because they have a particular set of skills that would let them rescue her.

Meg Is Kidnapped

The story seriously follows the same arc as the movie, just in 20 minutes. They find the Eastern Europeans who sold her to slavers, go on a car chase to rescue her and enter into a shootout on a boat to rescue her. Of course, there are jokes thrown in, and some humorous deconstructions of action movies and of the movie it parodies. For example, the "car chase GPS" scene.

But the whole episode just felt kind of lazy.

It followed the major arc of Taken exactly. And, yes Family Guy, French people stink, Eastern Europeans like Drakkar Noir cologne, random Arabs die in movies; these are new humorous observations! Way to avoid stereotypes and not just go for the low-hanging fruit. Even the subversion of the original story at the end felt telegraphed because the rest of the episode was tipping its pitches the whole time.

By this point, the episode's written itself into a hole: if they follow the movie plot exactly, it's probably not going to be all that funny. I mean, watching a guy who's not that bad get shot at the end because Stewie thinks he's the one that bought Meg as a sex slave emits a chuckle, but the best humor comes from the unexpected.

The American Dad episode that aired right afterward showed how it could be done: by concluding on a dark note that the viewer knows the show is going to throw away, but is still funny because it defies the expected trope of "everything is going to work out in the end." Family Guy had a chance to do the same, and I think it whiffed.

Sure, the episode had some occasional funny Family Guy quotes, and Brian and Stewie are still the show's best duo with the way that they play off of each other. Still, this was definitely not Family Guy at the top of its game, and it's far from the best movie parody they've done. But hey, at least it wasn't a Meg episode like the episode seemed to be from the beginning, huh?


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (75 Votes)

you suck at reviews! of course it follows the damn story line! its a parody! and that think you said how it turns out all fine in the end? thats because seth makes family guy a linear show! when brian died and came back to life, he said it was to show that everything doesnt just go back to normal in the next episode!!! this is why i always go opposite the reviews! usually when critics say a movie will suck, it turns out great, and the other way too! so shut your trap, it was a great episode!


This episode was freaking hysterical. Lighten up you joyless shits!


It's a parody of "Taken" you dumbass.

Carter dotson

We may agree on this episode's quality, Erin, but Taken is a cinema classic. Don't go dissing it!


It was awful. Taken isn't relevant at all any more and it was just so boring and really lacking creatively. Couldn't they have done something more recent or at least something... good? This was atrocious and the fact they just pretty much copied a movie that wasn't all that great to begin with, come on. I didn't see the humor in this episode at all.


I gotta say...last night's new episode of Family Guy was...OK. To me, "Leggo My Meg-O" reminded me of all of those grisly and gory "Hostel" movies. But, the episode itself wasn't as depressing as the "Screams Of Silence: The Story Of Brenda Q." episode. Seth M....ya' did OK with this new episode. Until next time...PEACE!!!!!

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Family Guy Season 10 Episode 20 Quotes

Ruth: Hey, you wanna dance around like morons to loud music?
Meg: I'll be right back! I've been holding in a dump since America.

Please do not be suspicious that I am at the airport with no baggage whatsoever.

French Kidnapper