I've been watching Family Guy since I can remember. The show, written by multi-faceted Seth McFarlane, came out in 1999. Although cancelled twice, the show has seen many successes and remains to be one of my absolute favorite television cartoons. The Griffin family, whom the show is based around, is quirky, loud, rude, politically incorrect, vulgar, and the like. The show gets its edge from its no-bars jabs at celebrities, political figures and the latest media-focused news stories. Yet while the show may be seen to many as simply a collection of satirical humor and fart jokes, the genius and perception of McFarlane and his co-creators and writers is extremely apparent.
This may seem difficult to wrap your head around at first, but to exemplify the team's perceptiveness, in 2009 in the 7th season of the show, an episode was aired in which the family dog, Brian Griffin, becomes enamored with Lauren Conrad, famously known for her portrayal on the TV series, The Hills. In the episode, Brian and family baby, Stewie Griffin, are invited on the set of The Hills where Stewie points a finger to Brody Jenner, Bruce Jenner's son. He then proceeds to jest that he is in awe that Brody Jenner was produced by father Bruce Jenner, "a woman, an elegant, beautiful, Dutch woman." Suffice it to say, McFarlane and the team were on top of Bruce Jenner's, (now Caitlin) sex change even before the star herself.
Not only do the writers of Family Guy use their creative skills to predict the futures of many public figures, but they use relatability in order to connect with their audience. This is where the show becomes more realistic than its cartoon form, as it takes common, everyday frustrations or realizations that many audience-members have encountered, and plays on them in funny, sometimes lengthy ways.
For example, one of the cutaways amidst the chaos of the show portrays a group of friends at dinner. The waiter proceeds to come over to the table and ask if anyone would care for dessert to which each member comments about their inability to consume more food. The heaviest member at the table quickly says "I'll have the souffle," to which the waiter responds "Sir, that takes 45 minutes," with a quick rebuttal by the man who says "that's ok." The frustration is apparent streaming from the other members of the party as well as the waiter, and I must admit, this is a frustration I have experienced before. This relatableness made this simply cutaway that much more hysterical for me as a viewer. It in ways such as this that McFarlane is able to make a realistic life out of simple drawings. He is an amazing talent, and I the Griffin Family will continue to entertain me for years to come.