Friday, June 15, 2018

FAMILY GUY ON TRIAL: Road to Germany

Road to Germany: the forgotten Hope-Crosby movie!

Surprise! I'm still alive, somehow, but have been markedly busy. More on that later.

Nazis, Nazis, Nazis. The big boogeyman to Hollywood celebrities, morbidly obese college girls with technicolor hair, and historically-illiterate schmoes.

Fascism, like Marxism, is a backward and obsolete philosophy, but one more well-known and reviled by idiots who only know about the former versus the educated people who are aware of both ideologies and hate both. So many crybabies toss those words around as insults when they're just vapid words that discredit them. George Orwell put it this way:

It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else. 

Yet underneath all this mess there does lie a kind of buried meaning... By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’... 
But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.

In short, what Orwell says is that words like "Fascism" and "Nazi" have been tossed around so much and reserved to describe something someone doesn't like, that it's lost its meaning. You can see this at any AntiFA mass-temper tantrum and it's something Seth MacFarlane loves to do as well.

Seth, I would LOVE to see you play the "You're a Nazi" card
at the airport or if the police stop you.

It may sound like a Leftist bitchfest from the 2016 Election era and beyond, but this was actually made in 2010.

But what does he know about the Nazi Nazis? You know. The ones from history?

I'll admit that Hitler isn't my forte and I had made a mistake at calling the Nazi Party a minor group at the time World War I ended in an old ICBINAVGN video, but I'd bet I know better than most of the idiots on Twitter who Godwin until the cows come home.

Let's find out with Road to Germany. God help us.


The episode starts with the Griffins and their friends watching the start of the Academy Awards. I don't care what Gandalf says about "the little naked gold man" in the gag dub of the Ralph Bakshi version, they're obviously a political show. Peter makes a remark about co-host Steve Buscemi's large teeth working for themselves... leading to our first cutaway!

One minute. A new record for the manatees!

Forget the Oscars, here's the real story tonight. WALKING, TALKING TEETH caught on live TV!

Then the plot kicks in where Mort the Stereotype asks if he can use the bathroom. However, it's being used by Meg with Quagmire recording her using it. Y'know, I'm not the shipping type, but from what I've seen offhand, I'd say that one of the manatees is QuagMeg.

It's also an incredible feat for her considering that Meg was already downstairs at the time.

Looking for another bathroom, Mort goes into Stewie's room and finds his infamous time machine. He goes inside thinking it's a port-a-potty.

Then Peter plugs Ensure. Really. Immediately afterwards.

Brian goes to find Mort, seemingly going straight to Stewie's bedroom first. An act the baby takes offense at. We're told an hour had passed since he was seen last (though there never was any indication this amount of time had gone by) and it's revealed that someone used the time machine. Brian didn't know about it, Stewie reveals that he had built it after getting bored with an European See 'N Say. The Ensure plug occurred at the 1:53 time stamp, the See 'N Say vignette at 2:30. Not that much story material?

So what? Is the joke supposed to be how foreigners have
a tendency to hear noises differently? I don't get it.
When Brian asks if it's possible that Mort might have gone into the time machine by accident, Stewie brings in Rick Moranis and a few back up singers from Little Shop of Horrors for some reason.


Anyway, from the musical number they learn that Mort did use the time machine by accident. Unfortunately, they're clueless as to where the machine took them since Stewie didn't install any kind of display and won't take any sort of constructive criticism. Bringing him back is out of the question because you need the return pad. Brian stresses the need to recover him, since leaving him in the past is like silent movie porn. Well, if something exists, there's... oh, it's just the latest manatee cutaway.

Geddit? Rubbers? Rubber boots. Hur hur hur.
Stewie jokes around about the Butterfly Effect, saying you can do whatever without side-effects. Ah yes, the Aladdin and the Adventure of All Time philosophy of chronological preservation!

They slip out of the time stream with DeLorean-style burning tracks behind them. Right now, they need to find out where they are and when. After a call back to the See N' Say gag, they follow a trail of wadded up tissues, leading into a city, revealed to be Warsaw. They enter a synagogue and the viewer is treated to a rabbi saying:

...and so we had him crucified, but that doesn't leave this room.
Anti-Semitism AND Christophobia! Two birds with one stone! It's a good thing that the Nazis didn't try to use stuff like that to foment pogromatic actions against the Jewish minority in the territories they conquered. Oh wait.

Stewie announces they're looking for "Mr. Goldman", causing the entire congregation to raise its hands. When Brian narrows it down to "Mort Goldman", about half of the people there drop their arms. Stewie adds "small business owner", "whiny" and "hypochondriac" to the description. More hands go up. Ha.

Brian finds a card saying that they're having a wedding and it's dated to September 1, 1939 -- a date that seems familiar to Brian. *Cough*Start of WWII*Cough*

Just as the glass is about to be smashed, Mort starts running his mouth about the glass cutting him at his wedding. This gives him away to Brian and Stewie, who try to tell him that he time travelled. Mort doesn't believe them, saying he's in Heaven because all his tightwad relatives are there. Are we sure a Skinhead wasn't secretly on the writing staff?

So after some prodding, Stewie convinces Brian to let them stay for the wedding. At the same time, Berlin is making its move. What? No Moscow either?

Let me explain. At that point, Nazi Germany and the USSR had signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a non-aggression treaty between Hitler and Stalin to jointly invade Poland and divide it between them. Of course the treaty was voided with the commencement of Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, Brian finally recognizes the date as the invasion of Poland by Germany. Stewie calls it the exact day and year Rene Russo was born. When he said that I went "Huh?" and looked her up. IMDB lists her birthday as February 17, 1954. Why Stewie said that, I don't know. Possibly another person on MacFarlane's "People I Hate Most" list alongside Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker.

They try to get back to the present, but the return pad screws up. Ah, the faulty deus ex! Don't come up with a plausible explanation as to why you can't immediately resolve your problems... just have it conveniently not work!

Brian's Plan B is to escape to England, but no sooner does he formulate this does Mort start bitching, causing German troops find them in the alley. Fortunately, they have Stormtrooper Syndrome and can't shoot straight. They try to get out of Poland with Mort dressed as a priest. Catholic or Positive Christian? Because the former in general tended to be opposed to Hitler, despite Jack Chick's ravings. Before they can leave, the officer at the checkpoint requests Mort to give the last rites to a fallen soldier.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Wehrmacht collected their fallen, wrapped them in flags, sang "I Once Had A Comrade", and buried them. Not really the foremost expert on the Nazis, but it's doubtful they'd get a priest to read the last rites. But what the hell! We got to have Mort the Stereotype saying whiny Judeo-jargon filtered through a grade school Klansman ("...Your Son who died in a freak accident that you can't really blame on anyone" "...take this man up to your retail paying-place").  

Anyway, the officer is skeptical about if Mort really is a priest. Stewie vouches for him, saying that (sigh) he molested him repeatedly. Then a real priest comes up and incriminates himself to the same deed. Yawn. Those jokes were stale by the time this episode came out, but I wouldn't be surprised he'd keep running with it. Now Mohammed, there's someone who's a wealth of jokes few people have tapped into! Seriously, he married a six-year-old girl and had his followers drink camel piss, because he thought it was medicine, but comedians are too scared to say anything about that!

Their cover gets blown, causing the dead guy to scream "You are a filthy Jew!", to which Stewie tells him to be grateful his HR guy isn't around. What, is this a Mel Gibson reference? Because your staff tends to do worse, Captain Flashback.

Ten minutes to go... 

Chase ensues. Brian and company flee on a motorcycle, with German personnel on their tail. Stewie falls out of the passenger car, takes the bottom of an apple cart to use as a skateboard in a Back to the Future reference (complete with a manure truck), theme and all, because...

Leaving Poland, they get to a nearby Kriegsmarine station and try to commandeer a U-boat. Naturally, they succeed, but not before Mort is identified as Art Garfunkel... despite the man not being born for another two years.

Another chase ensues, this time by another U-Boat and... Terence Trent D'Arby. 

This episode has just hit the Seltzerberg.

The U-Boat chasing them is foiled by blasting a newspaper in their faces. One of the images shows Hitler shaking hands with what appears to be a Mickey Mouse knock-off. I'm not sure if it's an homage to Hitler being a Disney fan... or the accusations by people like MacFarlane about Walt Disney allegedly being a Nazi sympathizer -- an urban legend created by former animator Art Babbitt after their professional relationship soured. These accusations were carried on after the political monopolization of entertainment following the HUAC era, because Disney didn't exactly toe the same line people like MacFarlane and Green do.

Anyway, continuing...

The U-Boat crashes, police cars pile up... underwater. Oh, a Blues Brothers reference. I don't think that's going to salvage this episode. But we don't see Terence D'Arby? Considering he wasn't born until 1962, it makes me wonder how he was chasing them.

They get to England and apparently wait two years for some reason to leave the U-Boat, because by the time we see them on dry land again, the London Blitz is underway. Quick unfunny bit with Churchill and Stewie figures out what's wrong with the return pad: it's powered by uranium and they don't have any. The Germans have it, Brian reveals, Stewie asks why America isn't getting involved, Brian's response: "I don't know, maybe because they don't have any oil." He says this as he steadily turns his gaze at the camera.

Ah, topical humor. It's the Achilles' Heel of adult animation. If you run out of sex and drugs, stuff your show with contemporary sociopolitical subjects. Doesn't matter that in about thirty or forty years it's going to be a WTF moment with people who watch it, because nothing can date fiction faster than politics!

So Team Fuzzy Door goes to an RAF Base and they just let Stewie join because he's ambiguously gay, has a British accent, doesn't brush his teeth, and claims to have an ugly wife. Clearly rules and  regulations aren't a factor in the MacFarlaneverse unless one's a main character. Brian proved this in the SSM episode.

A squadron of RAF bombers take off for Germany (led by Team Fuzzy Door, natch), the Luftwaffe attack, fighters come to assist... and Stewie flurts with an RAF pilot. Yeah. Herbert territory.

With another wave of Messerschmitts inbound, the bombers are rescued by--and I am not making this up--the Hawkmen from Flash Gordon. What, is this Anno Dracula all of a sudden?

Pretty sure that's a caricature of Brian Blessed, which would mean...

Almost done, almost done...

Their bomber takes a hit and they're forced to bail out in a rubber raft. The Blues Brothers reference didn't save the show and I doubt an Indiana Jones one will fare much better.

Is this another Disney-Hitler Collusion thing? If it is, I can only laugh because
the Walt Disney Company owns 20th Century Fox now, meaning that Family Guy
is now...

Surviving the crash, they reach Berlin. Mort thinks it's not so bad, but Brian is disgusted by the way the Nazi propagandists portray Jews.

Hmm. Not too far off from Streicher's stuff in reality.

Team Fuzzy Door tricks a trio of German officers into an alley, claiming to be caricature artists, and knock them out to steal their uniforms (which magically conform to their bodies) and one has McCain-Palin button from the 2008 Presidential Election. Yeah, remember the Orwell quote in the preamble? In the mind of MacFarlane, anyone to the right of Leon Trotsky is a Nazi. Never mind the fact that McCain was a self-serving Progressive mole anyway.

It's also kind of funny because the Obama years were the closest to totalitarianism America ever got, considering stuff like Holder's wiretapping of American citizens and the IRS's discrimination against conservative groups looking for tax-exempt status.

How would either of them be alive back then? Oh, right. It's an adult cartoon on FOX.

They enter the lab, Stewie uses a marker to make himself look like Hitler. We get a reference to "99 Luftballoons", because Nukes, Germany, and... 

(checks release date)

...of course.

Also, Mean Joe Greene gives him the needed uranium... and he was born in 1946. Also, didn't the manatees use this joke before?

Also, he's black. Wouldn't that make him fodder for one of the Nazis' labor camps?

It looks like Team Fuzzy Door is home free, but they run into the real Hitler... leading to a Groucho-and-the-Mirror routine between him and football head. They almost get executed, but Hitler request a musical number... one thankfully cut short by Mort (and the runtime).

They get back to 2008, thirty seconds before Mort runs upstair to use the bathroom. To avoid anything going wrong, Stewie shoves their extra Mort into the time machine and destroys it with a laser--which raises questions about how he could replace it so easily given a certain latter episode. The original Mort barges in... but does "Road to Germany" before he can do anything.

The End. Go directly to jail. Do not pass "Go". Do not collect $200. 


Well, this was a mash-up of the worst of "You May Now Kiss..." and "Meet the Quagmires". It's nothing short of amusing seeing the easily-dated topics of the disastrous Iraq War and the tragic 2008 Election in hindsight considering the celebrity class' status as a Democrat puppet. We've seen accusations of fascism from MacFarlane long before the inauguration of Trump made the act popular, something that makes them look increasingly pathetic.

I likewise find MacFarlane's accusations of Disney's alleged anti-Semitism ironic, considering the fact that he's using his religion and ethnicity as a source for jokes rather than his nerdy nature like it was in the earlier seasons. Same with the softball attacks on Christianity: going for safe targets, rather than going the daring route. Where as there was nothing confirmed about Walt's prejudices, 80's Man's are right out there in the open.

It's also coy that of all the places in history he could have gone, he went with the outbreak of WWII. The Nazis are a tired subject in Western history. We already know they were bad news, but to hold their atrocities as THE absolute worst is naive. We have the Final Solution to the Jewish Question drilled into our minds, and rightfully so, but how many in the West are as readily familiar with the Volga Famine of 1921-22, the Holodomor, the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution in China, and the Killing Fields? Here's a clue, it wasn't Hitler who perpetrated them.

If he wanted to do Mort time travelling by accident, he could have been creative and gone to the declining era of Romanov Russia--Alexander III and Nicholas II were both notorious anti-Semites... but apparently the main stuff in MacFarlane's repertoire are Hitler and ANYTHING that can make the international Chruch look bad.

I know it sounds like I'm rambling, but I just don't get what the point of this was. Was it meant to be a straight-up historical adventure? Was MacFarlane trying to boast about how much he knew about Nazism? Maybe he was feeling a bit cruel toward Jewish people? I don't know and it gave me a headache!

I'm DLAbaoaqu, and I'm back!


You may have been wondering what had become of me. That silly old guy who made a bunch of text commentaries on random AVGN wannabes. Clearly I'm still alive. Furthermore, I am taking the initiative to do something that doesn't involve making fun of kids and posers who don't know what they're doing. My latter college days quelled my desire for riffing and only a handful were released before ICBINAVGN stopped altogether. Their pose of this post is to inform the five readers of this inactive blog about a children's book I have recently self-published. A story that can best be described as Rugrats meets The Powerpuff Girls meets Godzilla. It was a project begun roughly at the same time I had graduated college: a story of a baby girl mistakenly given superpowers through an experimental drug meant to cure her of an inborn disease. The Marvelous Kimmy is a merry little romp influenced by the early days of manga and anime as we know it: the days of Astro Boy '63 and Speed Racer, among others. You can buy the ebook here or order the PDF here: 

The Marvelous Kimmy
The Marvelous ...
By Clay McKenzie, Lan...
Photo book

Saturday, March 4, 2017

CARTOON REVIEW: Family Guy, "You May Now Kiss the, uh, Guy Who Receives"

Been a loooooong time since I was here last. New laptop. Working two jobs. Personal life's been nuts lately. Meanwhile, I was dabbling in making my own game... but I'll get to that at a later date.

What really got me to come back was a comment on my last review: the "Meet the Quagmires" episode of Family Guy, which if you recall was nothing but Seth MacFarlane's unhealthy obsession with the 1980's for twenty-odd minutes. One user complained about all the hate the show gets, comparing it to the hatedom the Sonic series seems to get.

The difference between Sonic and Family Guy is that the former at least tries to do better. It's come a long way since 2006 when S-Genesis, S-Rivals, and Secret Rings were released (there were reports of a fourth game, but it seems to be a ghost story). Some of the newer ones are better than others, though those S-Boom games are pretty much a quick-buck rush job to cash in on a cartoon.

Family Guy has also come a long way since 2006. A long way down. Thoroughly unlikable characters, three minutes of Conway Twitty to pad out an episode, and ratings traps out the wazoo. Back when it was revived, admitting that you didn't like the cartoon led to you being torn apart by the cartoon's brainless fan-zombies.

Things are different now. People are older and wiser.

Since the last FG evisceration was such a hit (for me), I think I should do another one. If not for kicks, then for the guy who ran to support it.

Riddle me this, Batman: "What happens when MacFarlane tries to bring representation to LGBT people?" Find out with "You May Now Kiss the, uh, Guy Who Receives".


We start at the airport where the Griffins go to pick up the episode's figurehead Brian's gay cousin Jasper and his boyfriend... but we'll burn that bridge in a moment, we're almost at the 00:45 mark and the manatees are getting antsy because they haven't made a cutaway yet.

Moby Dick complaining about not getting the cereal he wants. Yawn.
Stewie sneaks away from his relatives, talks a flight operator into taking a smoke break, and proceeds to direct Matthew McConaughey's private jet into the ocean. Pretty much in the same vein as classic Stewie, but starting to slip into what he devolved into now.

Also, is it just me or does MacFarlane have a real hate-on for McConaughey? I don't get it.

Then Jasper's plane lands, complete with a pink triangle decal, and simulates anal penetration with the docking equipment. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the First Grade!

This is where the fun begins...

Our heroes for the episode, ladies and gentlemen... if you can call them that.

Enter Jasper, or as I affectionately call him, "the Tumor". He'd previously appeared before when Brain went to Hollywood and became a porn director. Now he's been brought back because he's convenient for the plot. There's only one problem: the character himself.

Remember what I said that in spite of MacFarlane's supposed pro-LGBT stances, he can only portray them as negative stereotypes? Surprise! That's the Tumor's whole schtick.

Look at the dude! It's like Jack Chick, Che Guevara, David Duke, and Fred Phelps somehow transcended time, came together, and collaborated on his character. Not helping things is that annoying lisp that people gave them back in the day and the stock mannerisms to boot. He's like the gay equivalent of blackface!

Hell, I'm not even gay and I feel insulted by his presence!

I'm not the most politically correct person by any stretch of the imagination, but geez! Who thought this character was a good idea?



Anyway, Jasper talks about his flight over and talks about how much he wanted to bang a couple of sailors or something, I don't know! I can't get past his lisp and vocabulary. Stewie thinks he'll work out as well has Peter did when he joined the Proclaimers.

Ooh! We went 2.5 minutes without a non-sequitur!

The joke here is that Testes Chin wants to be the lead singer, but he can't sing.

Later, Quahog's mayor, Adam West (I wonder if Burt Ward has a part in the town government) is about to unveil a statue. At the same time, Chris is struggling to work up the gumption to talk to some girl called Melissa. Dude, save that hetero crap for some other time! This episode's obviously not about dudes who like boobs!

West dedicates this statue to the recently-fallen in the Iraq War:

Sculpted by Chris Bores.
Needless to say that the town isn't pleased by a statue to a cereal mascot (though given Kellogg's financial woes in recent months, they would have been grateful). Melissa is disgusted by how much tax money was spent on the statue and all Chris can think about is the time he and his friends ate mushrooms and got deep voices from doing so... guess the writers had ten seconds left to fill.

For dinner, the Griffins go eat Greek and Tumor runs his mouth about how much he likes Lois' earrings. Then Stewie pretty much voices how I feel about the whole depiction of their characters, which results in the Tumor and Ricardo dancing to a beat Stewie was trying to mock them with. How far back has this episode set the gay community back? To 1982?

Peter asks a question about shower-porking at the YMCA, which makes Lois prompt a cutaway about Popeye going to the doctor.

You say human beings aren't supposed to look like that, doc?
I don't think men were meant to have waddles like a rooster.
Wasn't that just funny? Just listen to Popeye's gibberish. I think I need new boxers after all that laughing.

But seriously, I don't get it. Was Jack Mercer too hard to understand or something?

Aw, who am I kidding? This whole cutaway was just to fill up a gap.

Back to the plot... the big reveal the Tumor wants to give is that he wants to marry Ricardo. The fact that one is a human and the other is a dog is one thing, but it would seem that that aspect was lost on the writers.

Then Stewie gives a bit of routine Meg-bashing, based on the situation of the discovery of same-sex marriage:

You hear that Meg? Guys can marry other guys now. So, ummm... this is awkward, but... I mean, if they can do that.. that's pretty much it for you, isn't it? Might as well pack it in, game over.

If I may borrow the phrase: "Shut up, Stewie."

The next day, Chris finds Melissa, who invites him to a Young Republicans meeting.

W-W-W-Wait. Republicans? In a Seth MacFarlane cartoon?
Why do I get the feeling this is going to be a one-way street?
Let's hear Melissa explain their meetings:

We help those who already have the means to help themselves. Also, we perpetuate the idea that Jesus chose America to destroy nonbelievers and brown people.
Knew it, knew it, KNEW IT!

Not understanding her, Chris goes to a meeting of the Society of Arch-Republican Students (SARS). The club chancellor (Ah, trying to go for a Hitler thing. How... trite) tells Chris that in order to join, he has to insult Bill Clinton. He does so when Bubba is out being, well, Bubba...

Oh, if only the Popular Vote had actual merit, then
America would have this bozo back in the White House.
But seriously, Hillary can kiss a duck's ass.

Meanwhile, people are protesting the Dig 'Em statue, resident Jewish stereotype Mort Goldman takes offense to his name including a contraction. Yyyyyeah, just wait until Road to the Multiverse (if I choose to do another one).

West tries to find a distraction from a handy-dandy list which includes scapegoating blacks, the French, Jews (twice, hur hur), before trying to jingle his keys before the mob. Doesn't work well, but it's smirk-worthy.

Cut to Seth MacFarlane's Sound of Music, which involves a nun decapitating Franz. Geez, I hope MacFarlane doesn't attempt to remake that movie...

When the Tumor reveals that they're going to hold the wedding at the Griffin residence, Lois gets nervous at the news. Of course, Mr. Bullhorn is on board with the whole thing (Seriously, they didn't even ask his owners?).

Lois isn't comfortable about the wedding and tries to talk to Peter about it. He's indifferent about the situation, saying it's no big deal... and they get interrupted by the news that West has put prohibition on SSM in Quahog in order to make people forget about the Dig 'Em statue.

So wait. This is an episode focusing on SSM?
Oh, the ban will get lifted by the end!

Then Matthew McConaughey shows up, having survived the crash, and Stewie kills him with an arrow. Seriously, what's the story?

Buck up, Tumor! It's not like a bunch of jihadists are going to
use you to see if gravity still works!

The Tumor's upset that he can't get his wedding and Brian encourages him to keep fighting. Peter, meanwhile, stuffs his face with brownies from a gay bakery that the Tumor got to comfort his depression. So, if he's a dog, why would he eat chocolate if it would kill him? Is he that suicidal? I don't want to sound like a monster, but given the dude's bad rep among people, they'd probably welcome him scarfing it down.

By the way, innuendo about the brownie having nuts and fudge. I'm pretty sure that joke came from someone who hasn't learned how to count past ten yet.

The Tumor leaves the dining room and won't be seen again until he gets married.

Brian resolves to fix things so the wedding can happen. The Tumor, after all, did so much for Brian. Like the time he let Brian room with him in West Hollywood when he was a porn director, or...


I can't remember anything. If there were a cutaway here (an appropriate time), it would help. But those are just used for incoherent jokes by this time.

Chris, now dolled up in his Sunday best because he's fallen in with Brian/Seth's idea of "the wrong crowd" says that the Bible says SSM is an abomination. Brian takes offense and this and shoots back "Oh, don't give me that Young Republican crap, Chris! The Bible also says a senior citizen built an ark and rounded up two of every animal."

Yyyyyeah... gonna show your Christophobia, eh, MacFarlane?
First, off there were seven pairs of each kosher and one pair of each unclean animal type.
Secondly, despite what Ken Ham or Kirk Cameron* will tell you, the early chapters of Genesis were intended to be quasi-parodies of the Creation and Flood myths of the Jews' pagan neighbors in order to show reality as having purpose.

What? I can't continue my tangent? I have to go back to the review?

Aaand the manatees give us Noah, an elephant, a penguin, and a biological impossibility.
(Is it a mammal or did the Penguiphant hatch from an egg?)

So Brian goes door to door trying to get people to sign a petition to overturn the SSM ban. Quagmire laughs it off because homosexuals don't procreate, Herbert the Tired Gag That Only Needed To Be Used One Time hypocritically calls Brian a pervert, and then we get a one-off character, Bottomtooth, who won't sign due to religious reasons. Let me guess, he goes into his house when Brian leaves and slurs "Amazing Grace" while playing the piano?

Oh. Of course. Shoulda known.

Meanwhile, the Wrong Crowd learns about Brian's petition and try to get Chris to destroy it (in exchange for touching Melissa's breasts). Oh, adult animation: sex and drugs, drugs and sex. Why anything different? Of course, Chris is clueless is outright told to do so.

Lois goes...

What did we DO to you?
Did a minister pop your balloon when you were four years old and you held a grudge ever since?
Were you forced to watch that ludicrous Rock: It's Your Decision! movie until you dumped your Michael Jackson albums?
It hasn't even been two minutes!

She goes to a minister, who shows her a film allegedly made by God, though it's clearly credited to Pat Robertson. It's all about making LGBT people out to be fans of Madonna and alien bugs with acid for blood. Geez, thirteen minutes in and I already want to do something to mock the piss out of you!

Maybe I should. =)

Also, the minister wants to watch My Giant next, causing Lois to violently object. Methinks that if this episode were made after A Million Ways To Die in the West and the minister wanted to show that next, Lois would be jumping wildly begging him to start the film up.

Brian eventually gets 9,999 signatures from the town's gay district and tries to get a conflicted Lois to be number 10,000. When she opens up about being on a fence in regard to the whole situation, Brian takes offense that she's not supportive and starts an argument with her. Lois decides to move to her parents' for until the whole thing blows over, and wants to take Stewie. Screw you, Lois! You should be ashamed for not taking Brian's side without a thought, because, dammit, "Love Wins".

Stewie doesn't want to miss the wedding due to an extremely elaborate situation that he only saw on TV. The cutaway just shows him on a couch, wishing to be present at what he was watching. I'd say something, but given the lack of movement typical of a MacFarlane cartoon, I won't.

After Chris torches the petition, Brian spends twenty-four hours trying to get a new one from the gay district. Even going as far as to watch Sex and the City with a gay couple. Because stereotypes (also a possible jab at Sarah Jessica Parker, whom MacFarlane dislikes for some reason).

Buckle up. It's time for a nosedive.

After West dumps the petition out the window, Brian steals a security guard's gun and holds him hostage. It attracts barricades and police, naturally. But, it's okay! As long as the Tumor gets everything he wants, and he will, he can be a terrorist.

If it's for the advancement of gay rights, acts of terrorism are A-OK!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Nazis you like to portray anyone right-of-center as do this kind of stuff to get their way?

Meanwhile, Lois and Stewie go to the Pewterschmidt estate, where the latter complains about the random crap in a candy dish. The news, identifying Brian as a "homosexual gunman", shows the hostage situation (also, Stewie finds a key to Volkswagon Scirocco, which he somehow knows about). Then it hits her: Lois' parents conditioned her to believe that marriage was only between heterosexuals and love had no part in it. This prompts an Elizabeth Smart cutaway.

Haha! It's funny because an underage girl got sexually abused. -_-

With the situation at the city hall going south, Peter takes it upon himself to calm Brian down. He brags to his friend Joe about being the Tauntaun that Han Solo stuffed Luke inside to save him from freezing during The Empire Strikes Back. Didn't the Tauntaun die in that scene?

Peter goes into West's office and talks to Brian with catchphrases, a laughtrack, and Italian accents. The point is...?

Lois, shows up and tells Brian that he's hurting his cause with this stunt. Too late, no sympathy from me.

The whole scene was so tender, that West is convinced to destroy the bill.

Wait a second, Jasper gets to marry Ricardo after all?
I've been very careful as not to spoil that over the course of this recap.

Shall I recommend going to Hallab Bakery for the cake? I'm sure they wouldn't mind!

Oh, the Tumor doesn't get a wedding dress? I am so disappoint! (Not really)
Well, he does look more like an actual tumor now. But then again, he wore a
wedding dress in the alternate ending... more on that in a minute.

By the way, West agrees to play the chaplain because Stewie gave him those keys to that Volkswagen.

Hahaha, BLOW ME.

But if I were to make a recommendation for your honeymoon, might I recommend Mecca? I'm positive the LGBT community would celebrate the outcome of the trip**.


Was this supposed to help the gay rights movement? Because I can't tell whether this or I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry did more to hurt it. I have often joked that MacFarlane is desperately trying to out-Sandler Adam Sandler, so there's that.

So who do I root for?

I can't sympathize with Brian. The writers designate him to be a hero, but not only is this marred by his reputation as a walking MacFarlane tract, the fact that he has to resort to terrorism to get his way diminishes anyone siding with him in this case.

He also gets off scot-free after doing this because West was so moved by his commitment to his cousin. Yeah. I bet the US Government was so impressed by the Japanese Empire's attack on Pearl Harbor that they ceded Hawaii to them.

I'm also pretty sure America was sympathetic to the Orlando nightclub shooter, too.

You don't point a gun at a public official and expect to get a pinky-slap on the wrist. This cartoon shows what may happen if fictional situations occurred in real life, like Scrooge McDuck's swimming pool of gold. All things considered, Brian should have gone to prison for his stunt. But NOPE! He's where the creator stands on the subject, so he's immune to karma!

Also, when Lois reveals that she's stuck on a fence, Brian gets upset that she's not siding with him right out of the gate... for planning a wedding at his owners' home without asking first.

I can't sympathize with the Tumor. I don't call Jasper "the Tumor" because of all the pink he wears. His whole act is a great simulation.

I'm not even alone in this mindset. Tons of people hate this dog's guts because of how annoying he is and consider him the gay equivalent of Scrappy-Doo.

By the way, did you know that MacFarlane wanted the Tumor to appeal to LGBT audiences? It's like trying to create a black character for a show and having him wear his pants down to his ankles all the time, gold chains and teeth, and an unhealthy obsession with watermelon!

You can't go with one's preferences and make that be the character. It's no different than, say, making a show about established superheroes, neglect the teams personalities, and just let their powers be the focus. This is why people who've only seen Superfriends think Aquaman's a lame character.

Some people can make gay characters that won't turn off straight audiences (Naoko Takeuchi being a prime example), but MacFarlane can only portray them in two modes: 1) offensive stereotype or 2) George Takei.

Hey, Sulu! Care to tell us about the Comfort Women one day?

Ignoring the fact that it's a human-animal relationship (something lost on Bob Sassone) whole act gets worse when you look at the alternate ending, where MacFarlane DOES go for the LCD and gives the Tumor a wedding dress:

Yep. Ricardo (who can't speak English) was oblivious to the fact the Tumor wanted to marry him and, thus, is an unwilling participant. This could only end in divorce.

So, because of this, I do at least have one character to sympathize with... for the reasons the writers didn't intend.

I can't sympathize with Peter. He's barely there. Same with Meg and Stewie, the latter of whom does little more than lob insults at the Tumor that backfire.

I can't sympathize with Chris. The only reason he joined the Wrong Crowd was because he wanted to grope the bad guy. He was oblivious to the mustache-twirling objectives the writers laid out for them. He was just a dumb kid, no hate or sympathy for him either way.

Lois comes close. She's conflicted about the whole situation, but can't get any definitive help. Brian's bitchiness towards her initial reluctance does draw some sympathy for her. But ultimately, she doesn't even call the dog out on his terrorism aside from telling him to let West go because he's hurting his own efforts.

If there's anyone I sympathize with especially after sitting through this episode (and most other works of MacFarlane and his ilk), it's the people we're told are the villains.

The Right-of-Center and Christians in general are treated as monsters or idiots. Melissa was portrayed a manipulative bitch preying on Chris' stupidity to meet her goal. Just a mustache-twirler. When West lifted the ban, I half-expected her to shrilly shriek, change into a bat, and fly away.

Both parties tend to get the short end of a very long stick, which I often encourage them to start their own media and not wait for the day Hollywood gives it to them (which will never come). Not news commentary, entertainment.

In the wake of June 2015, there was much hullabaloo at the legalization of SSM in the US (at least from celebrities, most other gave a resounding "Meh!"). Meanwhile, in the Middle East, ISIS was driving my people from what had been their homes for centuries and were throwing people accused of being gay off of buildings.

Nobody said a word about that fact, they merely continued to celebrate while death was poured out upon the region. Save for me.

Nowadays, the LGBT community has become so popular to depict, that they've arguably become overrepresented. I tend to let them be (provided they don't pull an Ernst Rohm like the activists did with Sweet Cakes and Memories Pizza), so I would leave others to depict them. After all, there's other groups that don't really get positive coverage.

Maybe I should get on that! =)

So was there any silver lining? Well, Adam West was amusing to watch at least.

I'm DLAbaoaqu. I wonder if anyone will read this?

*MacFarlane probably assumes he's the pinnacle of Christian thought solely because you recognize him from Growing Pains.
**I'm not being sarcarstic. Gay people REALLY hate this character.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

CARTOON REVIEW: Family Guy, "Meet the Quagmires"

A cartoon so far over the hill that it's in lunar orbit... around Mimas!

I remember ages ago when I uploaded that anti-Family Guy video during an era where it still had Sacred Cow status. Oh the fanboys that came crying; all insulting me for every reason you can fathom: political reasons, religious reasons, reasons involving taste, etc. I've heard it all. Back in those days, anyone who criticized this zombie was seen as a heretic who needed a ticket to the guillotine; I remember all the videos that FG-lovers brought below four stars back in the day. They just loved their "Cool Whip/Hwip" jokes! It was basically the Twilight of Western animation in terms of the fanbase. Every single one of them was a borderline NuttyMadam3575 or Eric Douglace.

Fortunately, its grip on the minds of college kids finally started to weaken sometime between 2009 and 2011. Chris "RowdyC" Moore and TheMysteriousMrEnter have both laid smackdowns on this show in the past and have met little of the flak (at least to my knowledge) that those who came before them suffered. For old time's sake, I'm going to take a look at an FG episode of my choosing and dice it as I had done with that have-more-than-two-kids and you destroy the world episode of Captain Planet. If that one remnant of the FG shows up... well... EAT LEAD!

Anyone who's familiar with this show knows that creator/star Seth MacFarlane always throws in references to the 1980's. Granted, I reference Mobile Suit Gundam a lot -- but the rule is that it's always done in conjunction with a reference to Sonic the Hedgehog. I don't rely on it all the time, if you notice. On Family Guy, however, it's something you expect. I'd say it's like the "FREE" space on a Bingo card, but that role is reserved for cutaway gags! But here's the most notorious example of this habit: the Season 5 finale, Meet the Quagmires.

Consider this a valedictorian spanking.


So Peter Griffin and his buddies are at their favorite hang-out, the Drunken Clam. The butt-chinned guy in the gang, Glen Quagmire, is going on about his latest exploits as a womanizing sex-fiend. Peter is upset because he can't do that kind of stuff anymore because he has a family to support. After a pointless cutaway, the TV messes up. The bartender tries to fix it, but falls off a ladder and Death shows up. When the barkeep's discovered to have just been knocked out, another cutaway joke is made about Death not wanting to be away from Mike Wallace.

Get it? Because he's OLD! Hahahaha! Eh...

Peter begs Death take him to back to when he was eighteen. Ol' Grimmy refuses, but when ESPN is just about to show a womens' pro sports thing, he changes his mind. I don't get it.

Oh, and Brian is brought along as well. Why? I guess the writers were treating him as a Siamese twin.

The trio winds up in 1984 and here, the fun begins. Everyone sees the nasally blob as an eighteen-year-old towel boy who works at a country club. He makes plans with a much younger Cleveland Brown, who in a few decades would get a terrible spin-off of his own before it was killed by the FOX curse. Peter references Hellraiser, a movie that wouldn't come out for three more years; I guess it was done as a joke, but given the historical context I'm left scratching my head.

'84 Lois shows up and asks Peter if they're still on for Zapped!... a movie that was already two years old at that point. I'm beginning to think that these references were being tossed in for the sake of establishing that they're in the Eighties. Predictably, Peter turns her down. Brian's reaction to all this: "I would eat your poo." Now, in some other versions, America's least favorite dog tells '84 Lois "Can I Wham my Oingo Boingo into your Velvet Underground?" because, well, we didn't want you to think it was the Forties!

Of course Peter's so stupid to remember who the American President was during that period for the sole purpose of a Back to the Future reference. They go to a bar where Peter plays a PMS edition of Ms. Pac-Man and Brian hits on a lady by asking her if she saw Ghostbusters and her boyfriend with an upturned collar shows up (Which decade are they visiting again? I forgot.). Brian challenges the guy to a fight at the World Trade Center on 9/11, to which he accepts.

That little bit makes me want to bring up that MacFarlane had booked a flight on one of the planes Al Qaeda hijacked that morning and missed it because he got drunk the night before. He promised never to do a joke about that subject and proceeded to break it several times. Classy.

Peter makes out with Molly Ringwald. Brian just so happens to bring up that she's the biggest star in the world right now and asks what she's doing at the bar. If you don't why know by now, you're an idiot.

Death decides that they made enough 80's references for the time being and takes Peter and Brian back to 2006. We get a joke about fat women and Peter goes to bed. The next morning, we learn that he's married to Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson stays with them sometimes. It turns out that by not going out with Lois, Fatso altered the timeline and we get a joke about Tom Cruise running from "gay thoughts".

Am I the only one who finds it funny that a pro-gay activist
like MacFarlane likes to think in terms of stereotypes?

Only eight friggin' minutes in... need something to revive... will to live... AHA! HERE WE GO!

Whew... thank you, Vegeta. You have restored my mirth. Let's go on.

We go into a Back to the Future, Part II  (1989!) reference explaining that Peter changed the flow of history by going back in time. As a result he's married to Molly Ringwald, Quagmire ended up with Lois, Chevy Chase hosts The Tonight Show...

Butt Chins! (Woo-hoo!)

...and Peter's kids are belong to Quagmire (geez, I feel dirty saying that).

Because this is a cartoon on FOX, of course we need to have embittered left-wing propaganda about how Al Gore would have killed Osama bin Laden (hiding out in the audience of MADtv) with his bare hands had he been elected in 2000. Nah, from what I understand, he'd be running around trying to warn the world about that danger with universal scientific consensus: ManBearPig!

He is cereal business!

Also, because George W. Bush was never elected we have flying cars that run on vegetable oil. Cue a Jetsons cutaway where George gets into a fight with Jane over her snatching his wallet. For some reason, they are not drawn in the Family Guy/American Dad/Cleveland Show "fart cloud" style.

The only was back to the past is through Death. However, after bashing people over the head with subtly advertizing universal healthcare and gun control, Brian says that averting the marriage with Lois is the best thing to ever happen to the world. Y'know, it's as if they're trying to tell us something.

Death! YES! Take them out! Get this show off the air! It died a year ago!

Death shows up when Jane Jetson randomly falls and plops right next to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Apparently, Death had his hands full that day because Dick Cheney killed Antonin Scalia, Tucker Carlson, and Karl Rove with one bullet. Upon hearing this, Brian (the moonbat that he is) begs Peter to stay in the new reality, however Peter's never heard of any of them and decides to try to set things right.

More Eighties crap! Yay.

When '84 Lois asks to go see Zapped!, Peter says no and suggests to see Krull... which was in 1983. Geez, I know it was the middle of the decade, but wasn't home video a thing yet?

He tries again and fails by cutting muffins.

He speaks to '84 Lois again and they make it a date. Then, '84 Cleveland shows up and talks Peter into having a night on the town with him. So they go out to night club and dance to "Axel F".

Are we sure this isn't his personal porn?

Gee, um, which decade is this? Er, the 1720's? No, too festive. The 1850's? That's not right.
This would be so much easier to pinpoint if they reminded us every three seconds instead of ten!

Of course, Death has declared that enough is enough and will not give Fatso another do-over and we get a cutaway gag involving Joe Piscapo and weights. I didn't get it.

'84 Lois doesn't want to date Peter anymore and has decided to go to the country club dance with '84 Quagmire. This gives Peter an idea... to go back to the night club in the previous picture. Same song, same patrons. The joke abruptly ends and they go to the dance.

They sneak in through the air ducts. "Now I know what a TV Dinner feels like," says Peter. Doesn't get the quote and is told that it comes from Die Hard, a movie that hasn't been made at that point. Peter jokes they could make it. Slightly amusing.

Peter's girth makes the duct give way and they land on the guitarist in the band hired for the party. Brian has to take over the guitar for "Earth Angel" and... 

Holy Gigawatts! I had an epiphany: this whole scene is a crappy homage to Back to the Future! It all makes sense! Taking over an out-of-commission guitarist's spot to play "Earth Angel", trying to get a couple back together, a photograph with vanishing relatives, a kiss that's prevented with a punch -- it's friggin' Back to the Future! I know most of its events took place in 1955, but the movie itself came out in... *groan* he did it again... 

What's next? Mr. Soapbox gets onstage and sings "Never Gonna Give You Up"?

Why am I not surprised?

Yes, this is another Back to the Future reference. They just replaced "Johnny B. Goode" with a song only remembered these days because of misleading links that go to its music video. What was by-and-large MacFarlane's fetish fic-turned-episode has become a borderline orgy with everything usable that the writers had left.

What's that? You kiddies don't remember what Y2K was?
Remember the 2012 Mayan Calendar hysteria? Pretty much in the same vein.

But back on track.

One more BttF reference with a guy called Marvin, now Rick Astley's cousin, calling about the new song they were looking for.

Almost finished... almost finished...

So Peter goes back to his non-aging relatives now that the timeline is restored... except that Roger the Alien from American Dad now lives with the Griffins:

Methinks this is because they didn't see Zapped!.

The only way they could make this episode cater more to MacFarlane's jollies is if they remixed the theme for the end cred -- they remixed it, didn't they?


Y'know, I brought up Back to the Future a couple of times because of this episode's homages to it. But here's the line of demarcation between that movie and Meet the Quagmires: while BttF was mostly in the 1950's, you weren't reminded every single moment which time period Marty went to. Sure, you heard "Earth Angel" and "Mr. Sandman" play, saw a theater showing a Ronald Reagan movie, and watched Marty's grandparents use their first TV to watch The Honeymooners, but it was spread out and didn't overtake the plot. You had Doc and Marty trying to figure out a way to get the DeLorean back to 1985, while trying to get Marty's parents back together. With Peter and Brian's odyssey into the past, on the other hand, you're assaulted with one reference after another and it never lets up!

Seriously, at one point '84 Cleveland plays an Eddie Murphy tape for no reason whatsoever!

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the Eighties. I wasn't around long enough to remember any of it, but good things came of that era: it had some excellent movies, animation got better near the tail end of the decade, video games evolved quite rapidly, most of the music I wouldn't mind listening to on the way to the beach, but the clothes were ludicrous. 

Brian was just there. Apart from his usual role as a far-left bullhorn, he was basically a Mr. Explainy Pants who would eventually be the Marty to Fatso's George in the climax. Knowing the road he's been on in recent years, I'm surprised he didn't call the Kremlin and say "Yeah, Gorby, that Strategic Defense Initiative thing? DON'T FALL FOR IT!"

Fortunately, there was none of that fan-hated (and hater-hated) Meg abuse this time around.

Nothing much to say about the music in these types of cartoons, considering how they're pretty much just cues. The rest is all third-party material.

That's all I have to say about this episode. I expect, perhaps, one kamikaze fanboy will come in to defend this zombie's honor, but I don't care. I've done my part. I will leave further devastation of FG to others.

I'm DLAbaoaqu and here's a message to Seth MacFarlane, courtesy of the Satellite of Love:

Imagine them saying "Seth" instead of "Mike".

Family Guy (1999 - present), Fuzzy Door Productions
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988 - 1999), Best Brains