I spent more time shaking my head and rolling my eyes than I did laughing during Family Guy Season 14 Episode 2.
And the only times I did laugh was when Stewie was on the screen.
While I get what the social message was, Joe and Peter's story just fell short. I felt that the writers were trying too hard to toe the line between seriousness and humor. It would have been better had they just let loose and gone all--out offensive, because they certainly had no problem doing that with Stewie's story.
But maybe that's because they were making fun of Tom Cruise again, and who can't laugh at Tom Cruise?
The main storyline centered around Joe's estranged relationship with his father. Once the gang learns the reason for the estrangement and everything that follows, Peter comes up with an idiotic idea involving a horse to fool Joe's dad, Bud. For some reason, it reminded me of the stupid coupon chicken gag and all I could do was roll my eyes. It wasn't funny. And that's pretty much how the rest of this storyline went.
After Bud arrives in Quahog, I was expecting more. For a guy who is supposed to have such serious issues with handicapped people to cause Joe to not have contact with him for so long, the guy seemed pretty tame. If the writers can make comments about Jesus Christ and black people like they did in the beginning of the episode, then why hold back when it comes to handicapped people? I found it tiresome that the writers decided to go down the middle of the road on this one. Go all the way or don't go down the road at all.
The story continues to soft--pedal around the handicap theme for the rest of the episode, trying to be funny, but failing, finally ending with Joe no longer hiding his handicap and his father finally accepting people with handicaps. It all seemed like a rather long road to get to the point and the main message.
Well, dad, I can tell you from experience, it's only wen you worst fears come true that you get to find out how strong you really are.Joe
Stewie's story on the other hand got to the point rather quickly. Stewie finds out he's going to be short as an adult and is having a hard time dealing with it, until he meets Tom Cruise, who in his crazy ways makes Stewie feel better.
Stewie: Doesn't it boether you being an adult man who's that short, 'cause the doctor said that's where I'm headed.
Tom Cruise: No way, man. In the middle of the word short is "or". Or gives you a choice, and I choose not to be short.
Stewie: Wow. You need a road map for that one.
The underlying theme, of course, being that short people are handicapped too. This storyline worked better because it wasn't trying to be serious. Sure, the writers were making fun of Tom Cruise, but it was funny. There were some serious digs at the guy, but they were still funny. And it got better as the story progressed, especially after Stewie finds out he's not going to be short after all and tries to blow off Cruise, who then becomes Tiny Tom Cruise, the stalker. It was humorous because I felt that everything was being done with a wink.
I didn't get that feeling with Peter and Joe's storyline.
Overall, the episode didn't quite meet my expectations. I watch Family Guy to laugh and the laughs were few and far between.
What did you think about the episode? Was it funny? Sound off below and be sure to watch Family Guy online right here at TV Fanatic!
Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.