Monday, 6 October 2014

Review: The Simpsons Guy

Hiya,

For this post I’ll be reviewing “The Simpsons Guy”, which is the recently aired hour long crossover episode between popular TV shows, Family Guy and The Simpsons. Being a fan of both shows I, like many other fans of the shows, was excited to hear that the opening episode of Family Guy’s 13th season was a joint episode with The Simpsons. This also came as a surprise to me as fans of the shows will know that in the past there has been tension and rivalry between the shows as Family Guy has been accused of being a rip off of The Simpsons. Both shows often make small references to each other within their shows, however the neither of the shows does it in a way that comes across cheeky.



The show begins in the traditional Family Guy way, with the opening credits and as with other episodes the opening scene makes reference to the shows plot for the episode ahead. Before The Simpsons’ are added to the episode, the show begins with some usual Family Guy plot line, (Peter causing havoc in Quahog, what else?). As a result The Griffins take a vacation from Quahog and on their travels they lose their car and end up in the nearest town to where the car was stolen… any guesses where they are? Springfield (bet you didn’t see that one coming…). They come across a sign that reads: “Welcome to Springfield”, and after this the usual opening credits for The Simpsons’ plays. I thought that this was a nice touch as it showed that the episode was not going to be based solely on Family Guy and was a nice way to introduce the The Simpsons to the episode

After this The Griffins go into Springfield and to one of The Simpson’s most famous locations, the Kwik-E-Mart where Stewie makes a few sly comments about the unrealistic nature of things, such as asking why the shop has so many shadowy parts and asking if his family had really never seen donuts before when they act as if it’s their first time seeing them. Family Guy characters will do this through episodes of their show so it was nice to see the writers of this episode keep this detail in, and it is attention to details like this from both shows that runs throughout this episode.

The Kwik-E-Mart is where The Griffin’s first meet Homer Simpsons, and he takes Peter to report his stolen car and then to stay at his home. One of the little details that I noticed in this scene was when Bart says his signature catchphrase and Stewie asks if it is similar to his catchphrase, Brian subtly mentions that Bart’s catchphrase is more popular, which was a hint at the fact that The Simpsons is more popular and mainstream than Family Guy which I found smart and rather funny on the part of the episode’s writers. In episodes of Family Guy the writers use little clips when Peter makes comments for added humour, however The Simpson don’t so I thought it was funny how they used this as another way to bring elements of Family Guy into the episode by having Peter let Homer set up the clip, but Homer doesn’t understand What Peter is doing when he does.

The episode is about The Griffin’s and The Simpsons getting along at first however this is not the focus of the episode as after the episode is on for a while the storyline changes. The storyline changes to be that the beer in Family Guy (Pawtucket Patriot) is simply a rip off of the beer in The Simpsons (Duff). This is the writers of the episode’s way of slyly making the storyline a reference to the ongoing idea that Family Guy is a rip off of The Simpsons, and I think this way of doing it was clever, and funny for the fans of both shows as it was done in a light hearted way so the fans knew it was done for comedic effect and not to be nasty or bitchy to the other show. Peter goes on to make comments about how the beer was inspired by Duff but is different and I think this scene was particularly funny due to all of the little details and sly comments that were added.

The scene after this is The Simpsons taking The Griffins to court to sue them, and on the way into the court Peter makes a comment to Lois and apologised claiming he is tired because his episodes usually only last half an hour which made me laugh because the writers subtly referenced the fact it was about the show as they do throughout the episode and made reference to the fact that this episode was longer than most as it was an hour long instead of half an hour. This scene is one of my favourites in the episode as when inside the courtroom is show, the representative of the Duff Brewery claims that other aspects of Duff have been plagiarised, and while he is talking we are show a character from Family Guy next to the similar charter to them from The Simpsons. I found this to be very sly and funny of the writers, as they were making it very clear that this was about the shows.

The next scene is when The Griffins are packing to go back to Quahog and we see Lois and Marge being polite to each other but also make sly comments about each other. Then there is another of my favourite scenes of the episode, which is when Peter and Homer get into a fight and this is because in Family Guy a theme is that Peter gets into a fight a chicken. However the writers have taken this small detail from Family Guy and used it in this episode and have Peter fight with Homer instead. I found this to be a well used plot by the writer’s as it added a little detail from the Family Guy episodes that would be recognised by fans and they made it humorous in the process through their use of other details from the shows such as when the bus they are fighting on crashes into the nuclear power plant where Homer works, they go to Homer’s work station to fight and Homer opens a compartment in the wall that is full of Emmy awards and starts throwing them at Peter. Peter them complains that it is unfair because he hasn’t got any of those. I thought that this jokes was well written by the writers and worked well to provide humour. The scene continues and an appearance is made by Kang and Kodos who are the aliens from The Simpsons and Rodger, the Alien from American Dad (another of Seth MacFarlane’s shows), to show that similar characters have been used in his other shows. When Peter and Homer crash the spaceship and it rolls over the edge of Springfield Gorge Peter says that they are going to land on the other side of the gorge and Homer tells him to trust him that the won’t and I found this a nice touch by the writers as it is a reference to the theme in The Simpsons that Homer hasn’t manager to cross Springfield gorge from one side to the other. The fight ends with Peter quoting words from the Family Guy theme songs, and Homer simply quoting the name of his show which I thought was a nice detail to add but was also a little humour to add to the scene.

Then a character from The Simpsons called Comic Book Guy appears and says his signature catchphrase but changes it to fit the situation which I thought was a funny little detail to include in the episode. As they walk away Peter and Homer say that they respect each other and agree to stay a half hour away from each other which was a sly way of the writer’s theme of the referencing the TV shows throughout this crossover episode.

After this the Griffins are back at their house in Quahog, and Peter remembers the commotion he caused at the start of the episode which I thought was a nice little comment to add, and the writers got another little comment in about the episode when Lois says that even though they lost the court case for the beer, the brewery couldn’t be closed as The Simpsons won’t come to Quahog to do it. 

The episode comes to and end with Brian talking to Stewie about Bart and Stewie says that Bart sounded like a girl, which I found funny because as fans of the show know, Bart is voiced by a woman. Then Stewie in his bedroom writing on a chalkboard in the same way Bart does in the opening credits of The Simpsons episodes, which I thought was a nice way to bring The Simpsons into it at the end of the episode.


Overall I found the Family Guy and The Simpsons crossover episode great to watch. It was well written, smart and very funny. As a fan of both shows I liked the way in which the writers added little details from the shows into the episode, and I thought it was a nice touch that some of the little details are things that fans of the shows would pick up on but would still be funny to people who aren’t fans and this episode gets a well deserved 10/10 from me.
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