Family Guy: Season 8 Review

"Nothing gold can stay", as poet Robert Frost wrote. That pretty much sums up how I feel about what Family Guy was, and what it has become recently. There was a time when it was one of the funniest shows on TV; it was comedy gold. But somewhere along the line, the show's shine faded, its image was tarnished, and the magic disappeared.

That's not to say that FG hasn't been good at all lately. Season 8 certainly had a few good episodes including the season opener, "Road to the Multiverse", which had a clever premise that was executed well. But after the first episode, the quality of the stories started to decline. "Brian's Got a Brand New Bag" and "Jerome is the New Black" were two episodes that felt remarkably unfunny, with lazy and unoriginal writing. Every other episode in the first half was a failure. It felt like the team running the show were just phoning it in and hoping that the show's previous successes would create some kind of reality distortion effect that would make people think their crappy jokes were actual comedy. And for a while, I'll admit I kind of succumbed to this effect. When the series stopped entertaining me and actually started boring me, I initially thought that maybe I just didn't "get it". Maybe I'd gotten too old and jaded to see the value of what the show was doing. I tried to give the series the benefit of the doubt, like a frustrated lover desperately trying to find out what was going wrong with his relationship with his once-wonderful girlfriend, only to finally realize that over the years she had become a fat, abusive, shrew. When the second half of the season produced a string of consistently bad episodes, it all became clear...

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