Family Guy: Why Everybody Either Loves or Hates the Television Show
Family Guy Shocks Audiences
Family Guy isn't your average cartoon. Though the animations of this American television show might seem childish, the show's content is primarily aimed at the generation that grew up during the 1970s and 1980s.
Many of the gags and jokes are centered around newsworthy figures from the past four decades. Some of the bits are musical, some are obscure references from a hundred or more years ago, and some episodes have their settings in more modern, and even futuristic settings.
The one characteristic that most episodes share is outlandishness. The show uses sight gags and shocking dialogue to tell it's stories, which are normally ludicrous. Before the Simpsons and Family Guy, there were just some things that weren't done in cartoons. Cartoon violence was clean, references to sex were a sure way to get the television censors after networks, and cartoons were almost always made for children.
To take a cartoon and turn it into one of the raciest and most controversial shows on television was a bold venture, to say the least.
Family Guy Content Speaks Volumes About Free Speech
Fans of Family Guy love the show because it's funny. It would take more than the controversial skits and alarming scenarios to offend them. The people that watch the show regularly do so because it entertains them. They don't condone or agree with what the cartoon characters are saying or doing - they're cartoons.
The absurd, bizarre, and shocking are not new concepts for those in the entertainment business. The only problem the networks had was that there were people that didn't think the material in the show so funny.
That brings us to the non-fans of the show. The story lines on Family Guy have included tales about the extreme sexual escapades of Glenn Quagmire. An episode making light of a girl's affliction with Down's Syndrome was sharply criticized by more than just a few. Portraying Jesus as a fun-loving night owl, who makes it big in Hollywood, angered a lot of Christians.
The show isn't purposely trying to hurt other people's feelings. The show has, and is, stretching the limits as to what's allowable for network television. The show's creators and writers saw an opportunity to say what other people perhaps thought impolite to say publicly, and focus on it.
The result is a baby, who is way too mature for his age, and his parents are preposterously ignorant of his propensity to do evil. The dog that needs to address it's drug and alcohol habits is the family pet. And the father, Peter Griffin, who routinely smacks and belittles his teenage daughter is a favorite among the show's fans.
Why Do People Watch Shows Like Family Guy?
Family Guy is funny to people that aren't shocked easily. Most of the American television audience, especially the 20-40 age group, likes controversial. They've grown up in an age where celebrities get front page status when they make fools of themselves. The more outrageous behavior from someone well-known, the more people in this age group want to see it.
The more mature the viewer, the less likely they'll enjoy Family Guy. It is childish behavior gone very wrong, with adult plot lines given to characters that seemingly find even the most disturbing acts sensible.
Are people learning anything from this sort of television show? Nope. The fans of the show are watching it because they don't want to learn, or work, or exert themselves in any way. They're home from working hard all day, and want to sit in front of the television and watch some meaningless hilarity.
This is comedy about what they grew up with, what they're kids grew up with, and what the next generation will grow up with. Because Family Guy doesn't miss what it targets for gross ridicule and cruel debasement.
All for the viewer's pleasure.