Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Family Guy has run out of steam given that it’s in it’s seventeenth season, as mentioned in the Bob’s Burgers review by season nine The Simpsons was starting to get a little bit patchy, and by the 17th it had become all but unwatchable, bar three or four episodes a year. Family Guy is similar to it in that it’s capable of a fairly okay episode every so often, and a good one once or twice a year, but it’s worse than The Simpsons as when it’s bad it’s pretty offensive stuff. It often misjudges it’s targets as well, a recent episode had repeated jabs at Kids In The Hall and that show is far better than Family Guy was even at it’s peak.
This latest episode is called “Con Heiress” and sees Brian pretending to be an Admiral and dating older women for the gifts he receives, and soon a jealous Stewie gets in on the act pretending to be a Cunt. Um, sorry, Count, but that’s the kind of poor joke you get in the episode, at least if it were 18 rated. It feels like the show’s take on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels except that it does nothing new with the idea and Stewie and Brian quickly get on, removing any opportunity for them to do anything that you won’t see coming a mile off. The secondary plot is about Chris and Peter doing gardening for Herbert the paedophile after he mistakes Peter for a young kid, and is about as funny as that sounds. Jokes about paedophilia are tiresome at best but they’ve run this well dry and then shat down it many times, so who would want to drink the water any more?
The cutaways often save a weak episode but here they are average at best, with a skit featuring Peter working at the zoo failing on all counts and a bit with a passive aggressive alarm clock goes on for too long despite being only about ten seconds in length. There’s also a weak joke about a laughing hyena who’s actually miserable, and two cats calling a chicken a cuck almost sees the series hit an all time low, but that part actually comes later on. The rest of the humour in the episode is irritating as well, there’s a tedious wanking joke from Chris, one of their “Let’s drag the joke out for so long that it supposedly becomes funny, but oh wait, no it’s not” bits with Brian naming a woman he hopes to con that they have the audacity to repeat a second time, it’s as if they want viewers to lobby for the show’s cancellation. But even worse is when Herbert gets a song which is physically painful to listen to as he finds himself “Torn Between Too Lovers”, and how he’s “Feeling like a fool”. I’ve no issue with juvenile humour but we’ve seen this shit too many times before in the past and it’s genuinely depressing to watch them handle it so badly, and made me begin to start actively hating the show. To add insult to injury the episode presumably ran short and so it ends with twenty three seconds of Herbert as a Groot like plant dancing. Yeesh.
A couple of bits are okay, there’s a gag about a youtuber who was supposedly kidnapped by ISIS, and a joke about a The Mindy Project Amusement Park and, um, actually that’s about it. I had no idea whether or not this review was going to be positive or negative starting out, and as with all comedy I had hoped that it would be one of the former. Unfortunately it’s an example of the show at it’s very worst, it’s lazy, it’s tiresome, it makes no effort to create anything original and repeats the kind of jokes that were unfunny fifteen years ago. Everyone involved should be deeply ashamed for being involved with this horrendous episode, and make a public apology while being pelted with rotten watermelons, it’s the very least that they deserve.