Episode 1 | The Boys in the Band

I wasn’t exactly optimistic about the 15th season of Family Guy after watching the first few minutes of “The Boys in the Band.” That first cutaway joke about Willy Wonka approaching young Charlie Bucket inappropriately is an example of the type of cheap, shock-driven humor this program far too frequently resorts to. Fortunately, that joke didn’t represent the episode’s caliber as a whole. With the exception of the often terrible cutaway humor, “The Boys in the Band” ended up being a really entertaining beginning to the new season.

This episode, like many others before it, was mainly dependent on the Stewie/Brian dynamic. Because the characterization was a little less harsh in this instance than it has been in prior seasons, the coupling worked. There was less “Stewie making incessant homosexual advances at Brian” and “Brian being a pretentious know-it-all,” and more of the two of them just hanging out and coming up with fresh plans. The fact that this latest plan involves starting a band akin to the Wiggles named “Red Shirt, Blue Shirt” and touring undoubtedly helped. Family Guy frequently shines the brightest during the musical segments. The lack of musical numbers in the “Road to India” episode, the season finale for Season 14, was one of the things that made it so disappointing. Whether on purpose or not, “The Boys in the Band” had the impression of being an apology for the situation.

This week’s high point undoubtedly came from the tunes. Even though none of them came close to matching the size or scope of the big song and dance routines the show occasionally performs, they were all catchy, funny, and packed with morally upright, kid-friendly messages like why Mommy and Daddy are making those noises in the bedroom and how to open that annoying gun safe. The program excels at making inappropriate humor like that. Not slack Willy Wonka jokes about pedophiles, but humor that takes a little more work and flare.

The Stewie/Brian plot had a fairly conventional “rise and fall” pattern, with the two experiencing success before being ripped apart by rivalry and eventually patching things up. But the creators did add some flavor by reintroducing Stewie’s ex-girlfriend Olivia (voiced by Rachael MacFarlane). Her earlier appearance in the 2006 episode “Chick Cancer,” which ended with Stewie setting fire to their cardboard home and leaving Olivia to die beside her new boy toy, was well built upon in this episode. Olivia was naturally in the mood for some retaliation, which prompted her to steal Red Shirt, Blue Shirt from under its two founders. Even while I would have preferred for this narrative to conclude on a more dramatic note (one to match Stewie’s attempted murder of Olivia), it did provide Vinny actor Tony Sirico from The Sopranos a chance to make a quick cameo.

The Chris side story was as engaging. What better position for a young, aspirational high school kid to hold than that of Quagmire’s personal assistant? Due of their partnership, the episode was able to simultaneously highlight Quagmire’s sex-obsessed way of life and give Chris something to do that wasn’t just another opportunity to point out how stupid and naive he is. It turns out that Chris is particularly adept at organizing Quagmire’s busy schedule and assuring the success of his numerous sexual relationships. It was a particularly clever prank when Quagmire and Chris treated one such encounter just like a trip to the doctor’s office. The amusing “sex toys in the dishes” scenario was another. Undoubtedly one of my favorite Family Guy moments in recent memory is Lois’ irate phone call to Quagmire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 - WordPress Theme by WPEnjoy

Stay Up to Date on the Newest Episodes!