Victory is mine! ‘Family Guy’ returns to Fox

Steve Schirra

“That 80s Show.” “Shasta McNasty.” “My Big Fat Greek Life.” “Dilbert.” “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.” “Family Guy.”

All of these shows were canceled. Only one has been resurrected by the networks.

In 2002, “Family Guy” was cancelled by Fox in its third season because its ratings were low. It wasn’t until Cartoon Network picked up the show as part of its Adult Swim lineup and DVD sales of the cult classic show skyrocketed that Fox realized its grave faux pas. The network then asked the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, if he would come back and bring the show into its fourth season.

The premiere episode of the new season debuted on Sunday and was a huge success, bringing in 11.9 million viewers and offering the same slapstick, satirical humor fans of the show have come to love.

The first episode of the season began with Peter and Lois Griffin coming to the conclusion that they had lost the spark in their marriage. “I’m having a phase right now where I’m only attracted to handsome men,” Lois confessed to Peter after she began yelling such names as George Clooney and Mel Gibson during their intense love-making sessions.

This leads them to make the decision to take their second honeymoon to Mel Gibson’s expensive hotel room in a hotel that’s so expensive and exclusive that no Asians are allowed (much to the dismay of Asian reporter Trisha Takanawa). This leaves their children at home, left in the care of their talking dog, Brian, who has no idea how to keep them in line.

This episode dealt with many major issues that any American household can identify with: drugs and alcohol, marriage problems, sequels to Mel Gibson’s Christian smash hit The Passion of the Christ, and trying to frame the upside-down faced son of a prominent anchorman.

The new episodes of the show mean that loyal fans will now have a wider variety of “Family Guy” quotes to pull from and recite at any and all occasions — and there are still many good quotes to be had. Though the show was in remission for more than two years, it picked up right where it left off, only this time it’s obvious MacFarlane has a lot more leeway than he did in the first few seasons since his show is now a proven success. (The same cannot be said for the spin-off show, “American Dad.”)

This newfound freedom the show has been granted may let the writers comment on many of current social issues, including the Terri Schiavo case. The writers already used their new episode to critcize the war in Iraq. In a humorous flashback, Peter reflects upon how he was able to convince Congress to go to war.

“What you’re forgetting, gentlemen,” he says, “is that anyone who doesn’t want to go to war is gay.”

Instantly the entire Congress rises and argues how much they want to go to war.

This season also seems to have a more advanced animation style, using a three-dimensional background in some of the car scenes.

So whether you’re watching it for the slap-stick humor, the great writing, the multi-demensional characters or The Passion of the Christ II, this new season of “Family Guy” has a lot to offer.

Contact Assistant Forum Editor Steve Schirra at [email protected].