Family Guy has done Christmas episodes before – maybe nothing quite to the degree of American Dad’s insane holiday outing, but they’ve certainly been standouts.
Here, the show combined its Christmas tradition with another one: the telling of stories with the characters portraying other people. This time, we were treated to a satirical take on the birth of Jesus on "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!"
Really, it felt a little predictable. Plenty of crude references were made to the fact that Joseph may have been dating the attractive Mary. Though she was still a virgin, it was implied they did other things. Joking references to the culture of Biblical times were made. There were “Cher is old” references, for some reason. Various members of the cast appeared in a wide variety of Biblical roles. There were laughs, but it was pretty light satire.
The biggest chuckles came from a pair of unrelated extended jokes: coming back from the first act break with “A Christmas Carol” on TV; and the Ghost of Christmas Past waiting for Ebenezer Scrooge to return from using the bathroom, as he pulled out his phone and sent an email, then played a game, before eventually the Ghost of Christmas Present prematurely appeared.
Then, the family called an aunt, who talked at the same time as Peter did. They worked precisely because they were funny at first, and then they just kept going. A few clever meta-references were spread throughout, including one where Peter rearranges Cherry Chevapravatdumrong's name in the beginning credits as "Chemotherapy vanguard vCr" but with a leftover "r" letter.
I was wondering if there was anything in particular that would cause this episode to be delayed a week after the Sandy Hook tragedy, and perhaps it was the fact that King Herod’s forces were trying to kill a baby that did it, though little else seemed particularly offensive. However, there were a lot of pauses and general delay tactics that might have served as ways to edit out other potentially-insensitive content. But otherwise, it just seems like it was just pushed back because Fox didn’t want to air something crass right after such a tragedy. Probably a good idea.
This was a light episode, not brilliant, but a solid watch that was not excessively great or bad. A Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our readers, and we’ll see you in the new year with more reviews ad more Family Guy quotes.