Monday, March 7, 2011

I Actually Prefer The Cleveland Show to Family Guy Now. Seriously

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When I first saw Family Guy back in the late 90s--and yes, it really does go back that far--it was like nothing I had ever seen before. The cut-away gags, the references to the Kool-Ade man, the talking baby and dog, it was probably the funniest first episode I had ever seen in my entire life. And then...the show was cancelled. Sure, it took FOX three seasons to git-r-done because of poor ratings, but eventually, they did, and people were upset. That is, of course, until it was brought back from the grave because of sterling DVD sales, making it the first show in history to ever be broke back once it was cancelled (Futurama later followed suit).

Now, if you ask me, and a lot of FG fans, the show has never been as good as those first three seasons. Maybe it was the originality of it or maybe it was just funnier, I don't know. Whatever the reason though, FG is nowhere NEAR as great as it was in those early years. Nowhere near. But it's weird. Unlike The Simpsons, where the difference in quality is staggering, the differences in FG from the beginning to now are slight, which leads me to believe that it just doesn't seem as original anymore. Maybe it's run out of gas. Or maybe I've just grown out of it.

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And then, you have The Cleveland Show, which had a debut that was almost as bad as American Dad's. Almost, I said. Like American Dad, which also came from the mind of Seth MacFarlane, the first thing that I hated about The Cleveland Show was the characters. Every single one of them sucked. It seemed like after FG, there had to be a talking animal of some sort, possibly a talking baby, and a similar family dynamic of crazy dad, and grounded mom. It was FG all over again, but lighter, and less funny. TCS seemed like it would follow the same path as AD--though, I hear that AD has since gotten pretty good since its awful debut--but then, it didn't. Sure, the first season of TCS was awful. So was the first season of Seinfeld, but TCS has really hit its stride now, and I laugh even harder with it than I do with FG. With less cut-aways, the pacing is better, and with more story going on, the characters get more screen time and are thus, we get to know them better. If anything, I'd say that TCS is a mixture of both AD and FG, making it a nice little blend. I really think I like it.

I even like the theme song better than FG's. Listen.

It's catchier.

So, whether TCS stays funny for the remainder of the season is yet to be seen, but I can definitely say that it's improved quite a bit. I'm hoping for the best. Animation Domination would really blow without it. Bob's Burgers, notwithstanding.

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