Seth MacFarlane: A Comedic Genius Who Hits and Misses
The Man Behind the Shows, and the Money
Seth MacFarlane's success is unbelievable. In a little over a decade he has heavily influenced popular culture, created many television programs, become a household name, and made unimaginably massive sums of money. In 2008 alone he signed a 100 million dollar deal with FOX to write American Dad and Family Guy through 2012. Below I will discuss three of his most popular and highly advertised programs American Dad, Family Guy, and The Cleveland Show.
To say that Family Guy is extremely popular is an understatement. MacFarlane's debut show first aired in 1999, has been cancelled twice, and has created a billion dollar franchise. After watching the show for many years I had to stop. Lately the show has become dry, dull, and seems to be filled with situations and jokes that are simply not very funny. It has seen better years and this is an example of a show that MacFarlane started out great, but has since got progressively worse. The musical numbers that used to be occasionally funny have now become forced and much to frequent. The recent episode "Stewie and Me" is an example of how bad Family Guy has really become.
American Dad was MacFarlane's second show which has ran since 2005. The show provides some great social and political commentary, and is hilarious. The characters are fantastic, specifically Roger, and the writing is top notch. What is best about American Dad is that in the past year the writing in American Dad has not gotten substantially worse as Family Guy has. This may not be MacFarlane's most financially successful show, that is obviously Family Guy, but in my mind it has the best writing and is the most consistent show.
The Cleveland Show
What was Seth MacFarlane thinking? Creating a show around Cleveland Brown was simply a bad idea. The character himself is not very funny, besides when he is falling out of a tub, and it seems ridiculous that a spin off would be created for him. After watching the first and second season I was unimpressed. The show seemed forced, predictable, and seemed to reinforce some African-American stereotypes. At the end of the day, to me, the show was a failure and unsuccessful. In my opinion creating the show in the first place was a horrible decision on Seth MacFarlane's part.