Animation on FOX Talkback 2020-2021 (Spoilers)

Which show are you looking forward to?


  • Total voters
    13

Orange Mo

orangemo

Arif Zahir is the new voice for Cleveland on Family Guy, replacing Mike Henry. He's known for doing voice impressions, including Cleveland. His voice won't be heard until next season though.

Not even the season premiere unless they go back and re-record since there’s always holdover episodes.
 

wiley207

Well-Known Member
EPISODE SUMMARIES FOR 10/18

Don't miss the annual terror-themed trilogy, including a frightening look at the 2020 election, parodies of Pixar and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and a ninth birthday Lisa just can't get over in the all-new Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror XXXI" episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Oct. 18 (8:00-8:31 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (SI-3117) (TV-14 L, V)

The Harts visit Greenpoint's abandoned mall, which brings back fond memories from the 2000s, but their reminiscing is interrupted when a mall rat named Stacey (voiced by Kristen Schaal) takes them hostage in the all-new Halloween-themed "Dead Mall" episode of BLESS THE HARTS airing Sunday, Oct. 18 (8:31-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (BHR-202) (TV-14 L)

Louise's plan to get revenge on Halloween for a candy transgression hits a snag when the Belcher kids meet a mysterious elderly woman at a hotel. Meanwhile, Linda and a very squeamish Bob donate blood at a vampire-themed blood mobile in the all-new "Heartbreak Hotel-oween" special Halloween episode of BOB'S BURGERS airing Sunday, Oct. 18 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (BOB-1004) (TV-14 L)

Peter and Lois accidentally set up a cutaway gag together, which somehow transports them into the cutaway itself in the all-new "CutawayLand" episode of FAMILY GUY airing Sunday, Oct. 18 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (FG-1801) (TV-14 D, L, S, V)

Once again, they're all having Halloween episodes except for "Family Guy," which is just running another regular mundane episode. What is UP with them?
 

Daffyfan2002

$enior member

Arif Zahir is the new voice for Cleveland on Family Guy, replacing Mike Henry. He's known for doing voice impressions, including Cleveland. His voice won't be heard until next season though.

Okay. Kind of what I thought since I know episodes are produced and recorded months or so ahead of time. Hopefully he can pull of that "No, no, no, no, no!" that Mike Henry gave Cleveland for so many years!
 

Daffyfan2002

$enior member
Peter and Lois accidentally set up a cutaway gag together, which somehow transports them into the cutaway itself in the all-new "CutawayLand" episode of FAMILY GUY airing Sunday, Oct. 18 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (FG-1801) (TV-14 D, L, S, V)

CutawayLand sounds like every recent FG ep in a nutshell. :(
 

Orange Mo

orangemo
And as I said, it's not even Halloween-related, while on that night "The Simpsons," "Bless the Harts" and "Bob's Burgers" will be airing Halloween episodes!

I saw your post on nohomers, but yeah it's the same as last year. BTH, Bob's, and Simpsons will air Halloween and Family Guy won't.

For Thanksgiving, only Bless the Harts and Bob's Burgers have it.

For Christmas, only Simpsons and Bob's Burgers have it.
 

wiley207

Well-Known Member
I saw your post on nohomers, but yeah it's the same as last year. BTH, Bob's, and Simpsons will air Halloween and Family Guy won't.

For Thanksgiving, only Bless the Harts and Bob's Burgers have it.

For Christmas, only Simpsons and Bob's Burgers have it.

Not too surprising. "Family Guy" is also odd about Christmas episodes; a season may or may not have one.
 

SC 01

New Member
Peter and Lois accidentally set up a cutaway gag together, which somehow transports them into the cutaway itself in the all-new "CutawayLand" episode of FAMILY GUY airing Sunday, Oct. 18 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (FG-1801) (TV-14 D, L, S, V)

I'm not gonna lie... this episode is really intriguing and interesting at the same time. It kinda reminds me of the "Road to..." episodes except Peter and Lois are in the main roles instead of Brian and Stewie.
 

Orange Mo

orangemo
REVIEWS FOR 9/27 OF ANIMATION ON FOX
Undercover Burns


This was not good. It wasn't as bad as Family Guy's premiere, but it was pretty boring and laughless. The concept as a whole was sort of interesting, but it just falls flat with the jokes. The first few minutes feel like entire filler and the episode just ends way too safe. It's revealed that Fred has a mind of its own, but it does absolutely nothing with the idea. The last 30 seconds was pretty funny but it could have been used as a credits scene and that would at least give the episode 30 seconds to do something with Fred once discovered he was capable of being a being.

On the bright side the couch gag was funny. There were also some other good laughs.

2/5, Probably the most boring episode to air since "Marge the Lumberjill". "Better off Ned" and "Go Big or Go Homer" were also weak, imo, with the latter still being worse, but at least they weren't as boring as this.

Violet's Secret

I knew this was gonna be good. The animatic was hilarious and the episode was pretty funny throughout. I laughed quite a bit, but I didn't like how they cut the short clip where teen Jenny's date says "Crap, that's my wife," because I laughed out loud hearing that in the animatic. I also liked that Betty had a freaking diaper and it was really funny when she said that. The entire episode has strong first, second, and third acts, and quite a bit of funny stuff. Wayne revealing he wanted to use The Farmer's Almanac, the switchblade flashback, and Wayne telling Jenny and Betty how much money they wasted only for him to tell them to slightly extend their legs as they slipped off the roof were also some funny moments.

I think the episode excels the most after the second commercial break mainly because it's not a typical stock sitcom ending (modern Family Guy especially has problems with this). The episode ends with a cliffhanger, as Violet hasn't forgiven Jenny and Betty for stalking them and is obviously still upset that they found out. She has a point. They know everything and use her room as laundry and storage, as shown in "Hug N' Bugs". And her having a part-time job during the summer was pretty cool, and I like how they ended it with questions as when Jenny tries to make up, Violet does hug Jenny, but she's still upset because no words were exchanged.

Wayne watching videos wasn't very funny and maybe the first thirty seconds of the court scene but it was necessary to set up the subplot. Also, the last 20 seconds of the second act were pretty poor and could have been re-written in my opinion.

Since the next two episodes are holdovers from the first production cycle, Violet will be shown as normal, but I'm sure in the Halloween special, she may still be upset at her family. Also, in the upcoming "My Best Frenda", a clip was shown that Violet wanted to go with Wayne, so she still may be upset and not want to spend time with Betty and Jenny. There's some speculation right here.

4.5/5, rounded down to 4 for the poll unfortunately. The second best episode of the series, after "Mega-Lo-Memories", which is still leagues better, but it's a 200 produced episode, so they must have learned something. Plus this episode was co-written by Christy Stratton, who also did the solid season 1 episode "Pig Trouble in Little Greenpoint" and wrote for King of the Hill and Modern Family before. I hope they bring this up eventually, because it would be nice to see continuity in this show. Ending it on a cliffhanger was a huge plus, though the official BTH account did tweet a GIF showing that Jenny and Violet made up.

Edit: Turns out Violet did come watch with Jenny at the end which was sweet. However, I still think she hasn’t forgiven them yet.

Dream a Little Bob of Bob

This was solid enough on its own. The subplot needed to explain how everyone knows how to do that handslap so it would make sense and feel more real. This show is pretty grounded in realism for the most part so that makes sense. The main plot was a little boring in the beginning, but gets good once the tape enters the story. I liked the monster symbolizing Bob’s negativity because he’s always so negative about himself so it’s nice to hear him say good things which made him bigger and the monster weaker. The cough drop part however I feel was a bit gross. I like the adventure overall and Mr. Fischoeder makes a fun cameo appearance. Even Edith has a funny cameo line.

Bob’s satisfaction at the end with learning he lost the key forever was enough to put a smile on my face and the same with Tina finally learning “can do with her hands”.

3.5/5, rounded up to 4 for the poll.

Stewie's First Word

I knew this was gonna suck, but it was still better than I expected. Still it was bad.

The episode relied on way too much meta and random moments and comedy like the changing of scenes like an actual sitcom on set, Peter listening to the magic 8-ball (which honestly they had so little actual content that they just used to fill time as it doesn't connect to the actual part with Stewie cursing), the animals talking as Peter tries to cut the lawn, or the random dude who is cool with Lois but not with Peter and the rest of the family. The cutaways were also awful. The pilgrims one was horrible and the Chris and Peter killing Dolphin cutaway was just a way to show pointless gore and unfunny shock humor. Also the Cailou moment sure was worth sharing on Twitter, but it wasn't even funny at all. Don't even get me started on revealing that Principal Shepherd was the FREKING narrator, just used to fill time and it's not funny to begin with. I hate it when they do this. I remember in one episode, I think it was "Trump Guy", where it was revealed that Brian wrote the jokes, which entirely killed it for me. In the end, I think the actual plot was like 10 mins and the other 10 was a bunch of cutaways, filler, or random jokes, almost none of which were funny.

The only moments I thought that were funny were Quagmire's "dibs" on the moving legs before Joe, who obviously needed them, and the reference to the stairs in season 10 where Lois butters the stairs to see if Peter will curse (for those of you who don't remember, in the uncensored version of that episode, Peter falls and repeatedly says "f**k", "s**t", and "c**k" while falling). I already forgot the other moment I slightly chuckled or laughed at.

So basically, knew it was gonna be bad, and it was. They all went back to not understanding Stewie, which felt like a waste of time to even watch. This is definitely not as awful as the worst episodes, or even as terrible as "Better off Meg", but as the 350th aired episode, this didn't deserve any of the hype or advertising it got.

1/5
 
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Daffyfan2002

$enior member
REVIEWS FOR 9/27 OF ANIMATION ON FOX

Not going to review Bob's Burgers yet, as I have not decided and need to watch it a second time before I make a final consensus.

Undercover Burns

This was not good. It wasn't as bad as Family Guy's premiere, but it was pretty boring and laughless. The concept as a whole was sort of interesting, but it just falls flat with the jokes. The first few minutes feel like entire filler and the episode just ends way too safe. It's revealed that Fred has a mind of its own, but it does absolutely nothing with the idea. The last 30 seconds was pretty funny but it could have been used as a credits scene and that would at least give the episode 30 seconds to do something with Fred once discovered he was capable of being a being.

On the bright side, the couch gag was funny.

1.5/5, rounded down to 1 for the poll. Probably the worst episode to air since "Marge the Lumberjill". "Better off Ned" and "Go Big or Go Homer" were also weak, imo, but at least they weren't as boring as this.

Violet's Secret

I knew this was gonna be good. The animatic was hilarious and the episode was pretty funny throughout. I laughed quite a bit, but I didn't like how they cut the short clip where teen Jenny's date says "Crap, that's my wife," because I laughed out loud hearing that in the animatic. I also liked that Betty had a freaking diaper and it was really funny when she said that. The entire episode has strong first, second, and third acts, and quite a bit of funny stuff. Wayne revealing he wanted to use The Farmer's Almanac, the switchblade flashback, and Wayne telling Jenny and Betty how much money they wasted only for him to tell them to slightly extend their legs as they slipped off the roof were also some funny moments.

I think the episode excels the most after the second commercial break mainly because it's not a typical stock sitcom ending (modern Family Guy especially has problems with this). The episode ends with a cliffhanger, as Violet hasn't forgiven Jenny and Betty for stalking them and is obviously still upset that they found out. She has a point. They know everything and use her room as laundry and storage, as shown in "Hug N' Bugs". And her having a part-time job during the summer was pretty cool, and I like how they ended it with questions as when Jenny tries to make up, she ignores her, ending the episode.

Wayne watching videos wasn't very funny and maybe the first thirty seconds of the court scene but it was necessary to set up the subplot. Also, the last 20 seconds of the second act were pretty poor and could have been re-written in my opinion.

Since the next two episodes are holdovers from the first production cycle, Violet will be shown as normal, but I'm sure in the Halloween special, she may still be upset at her family. Also, in the upcoming My Best Frenda, a clip was shown that Violet wanted to go with Wayne, so she still may be upset and not want to spend time with Betty and Jenny. There's some speculation right here.

4.5/5, rounded down to 4 for the poll unfortunately. The second best episode of the series, after "Mega-Lo-Memories", which is still leagues better, but it's a 200 produced episode, so they must have learned something. Plus this episode was co-written by Christy Stratton, who also did the solid season 1 episode "Pig Trouble in Little Greenpoint" and wrote for King of the Hill and Modern Family before. I hope they bring this up eventually, because it would be nice to see continuity in this show. Ending it on a cliffhanger was a huge plus, though the official BTH account did tweet a GIF showing that Jenny and Violet made up.

Stewie's First Word

I knew this was gonna suck, but it was still better than I expected. Still it was bad.

The episode relied on way too much meta and random moments and comedy like the changing of scenes like an actual sitcom on set, Peter listening to the magic 8-ball (which honestly they had so little actual content that they just used to fill time as it doesn't connect to the actual part with Stewie cursing), the animals talking as Peter tries to cut the lawn, or the random dude who is cool with Lois but not with Peter and the rest of the family. The cutaways were also awful. The pilgrims one was horrible and the Chris and Peter killing Dolphin cutaway was just a way to show pointless gore and unfunny shock humor. Also the Cailou moment sure was worth sharing on Twitter, but it wasn't even funny at all. Don't even get me started on revealing that Principal Shepherd was the FREKING narrator, just used to fill time and it's not funny to begin with. I hate it when they do this. I remember in one episode, I think it was "Trump Guy", where it was revealed that Brian wrote the jokes, which entirely killed it for me. In the end, I think the actual plot was like 10 mins and the other 10 was a bunch of cutaways, filler, or random jokes, almost none of which were funny.

The only moments I thought that were funny were Quagmire's "dibs" on the moving legs before Joe, who obviously needed them, and the reference to the stairs in season 10 where Lois butters the stairs to see if Peter will curse (for those of you who don't remember, in the uncensored version of that episode, Peter falls and repeatedly says "f**k", "s**t", and "c**k" while falling). I already forgot the other moment I slightly chuckled or laughed at.

So basically, knew it was gonna be bad, and it was. They all went back to not understanding Stewie, which felt like a waste of time to even watch. This is definitely not as awful as the worst episodes, or even as terrible as "Better off Meg", but as the 350th aired episode, this didn't deserve any of the hype or advertising it got.

1/5

I agree. I was looking forward to watching at first, because I thought there would be more depth as to what's going on. I thought the focus would be more on the fact that the family could understand Stewie now. I was thinking the episode would be more focused on Stewie's conversation with Brian about when he was understood and when he wasn't. This was the one time that he seemed upset that the family didn't understand him. I would have liked to see more focus on that and less with the Caillou narrator or Principal Shepherd narrating. That was just wasted time in the episode.

I was glad though that for a time they did focus on the aspect of 'cursing is wrong' though considering nearly every character on the show is pretty much foul-mouthed, but sadly the Griffin's were back to normal at the end. Also there was no mention of the fact that Stewie said an f-bomb or whatever was censored out in church. I definitely don't like it when people curse at my local churches or my local Agape center so that was crossing the line a bit. That would have been better if it had maybe happened at the park or at his daycare or wherever. Anyway, just thought I'd put my two cents in here.

(for those of you who don't remember, in the uncensored version of that episode, Peter falls and repeatedly says "f**k", "s**t", and "c**k" while falling)

Yeah. I got the reference there. That one was a nice callback.
 

Orange Mo

orangemo
I agree. I was looking forward to watching at first, because I thought there would be more depth as to what's going on. I thought the focus would be more on the fact that the family could understand Stewie now. I was thinking the episode would be more focused on Stewie's conversation with Brian about when he was understood and when he wasn't. This was the one time that he seemed upset that the family didn't understand him. I would have liked to see more focus on that and less with the Caillou narrator or Principal Shepherd narrating. That was just wasted time in the episode.

I was glad though that for a time they did focus on the aspect of 'cursing is wrong' though considering nearly every character on the show is pretty much foul-mouthed, but sadly the Griffin's were back to normal at the end. Also there was no mention of the fact that Stewie said an f-bomb or whatever was censored out in church. I definitely don't like it when people curse at my local churches or my local Agape center so that was crossing the line a bit. That would have been better if it had maybe happened at the park or at his daycare or wherever. Anyway, just thought I'd put my two cents in here.



Yeah. I got the reference there. That one was a nice callback.

Yeah see part of the problem I have with this episode is most of it is pointless filler so I can’t take the plot seriously because there really isn’t one. A lot of story hiccups and loose ends that don’t meet. And the fact that they go back to not understanding him by the end just made it worse.

I get that Family Guy is a “sketch comedy” but earlier seasons had a balance between sketch and plot. Nowadays, it’s all gags that aren’t even funny and plots that aren’t even coherent.
 

Daffyfan2002

$enior member
Yeah see part of the problem I have with this episode is most of it is pointless filler so I can’t take the plot seriously because there really isn’t one. A lot of story hiccups and loose ends that don’t meet. And the fact that they go back to not understanding him by the end just made it worse.

I get that Family Guy is a “sketch comedy” but earlier seasons had a balance between sketch and plot. Nowadays, it’s all gags that aren’t even funny and plots that aren’t even coherent.

Yeah. That goes back to what I was saying before, that "Cutaway Land" episode doesn't seem to make much sense because that's what every FG episode is these days. *sigh*
 

TnAdct1

Ravioli, Ravioli
I get that Family Guy is a “sketch comedy” but earlier seasons had a balance between sketch and plot. Nowadays, it’s all gags that aren’t even funny and plots that aren’t even coherent.
What do you expect from a show where, according to South Park, most of the jokes are "written" by manatees?
 

Orange Mo

orangemo
What do you expect from a show where, according to South Park, most of the jokes are "written" by manatees?

Okay, to be fair, I'm not a huge south park fan, but even when Cartoon Wars aired, this wasn't a problem. It's only become much more of a problem in the HD years, and even more recently too. As awful as season 12 was, at least their plots were more coherent, just ruined by bad jokes and bad characters. Now they just use meta humor to fill up time. There's almost zero substance nowadays. Family Guy has proven itself to work best as a hybrid of sketch and good writing. There's lots of great episodes that prove when they take the American Dad route and focus more on characters (like "Passenger Fatty-Seven"), they succeed. "Follow the Money" was also really good for this same reason.
 

wiley207

Well-Known Member
With Undercover Burns, usually I don't look forward very much to freelance writer episodes, unless the main plot interests me, and this was one of them, which was also very surprising for a non-Matt Selman freelance writer episode. Since I'm really into cosplay and acting and special effects stuff (after all, I AM a mascot performer, fursuit cosplayer, AND I helped out in the costume committee for my college's production of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" earlier this decade), I sure enjoyed this episode. For once I got some genuine loud laughs out of a newer episode! Too bad there wasn't a Scooby-Doo reference in this episode though, since disguises were involved. But when it comes to using "Mission: Impossible"-style rubber mask disguises on "The Simpsons," it sure can't beat the Simpsons actors Mr. Burns hired in "Burns' Heir," or my "Mission: Impo-diddly-ossible" fanfic with Homer disguising as Ned Flanders!

I didn't watch the other premieres, but I did think the Caillou spoof in the "Family Guy" premiere was amusing when I watched the clip online. But that's probably because of my YouTube Poop history, what with Caillou being a great source material for the YTPs I make.
 

Neo Ultra Mike

Creeping Shadow of "15000"+ Posts
Since I saw both the Simpsons and Family Guy (need to catch up more on Bob's Burgers and even Bless the Harts since I saw bits of the episodes this week but not the full thing) I want to talk about them.

Simpsons "Undercover Burns" - You know I know this show is called the Simpsons but was there really a need for any of the family table scenes to be in this episode other then trying to squeeze more of the family especially Marge actually into one? I guess joke wise there were amusing bits with Milhouse being left behind for over two days after a sleep over with Bart and Homer eager to go to work not realizing it's Saturday and the family enjoying his breakfast turkey but... still feels really pointless to have them in this episode. Like seriously this show is over 30 years old and it can live without the title family being really in an episode if they don't have to be. Of course there could of been justification for them actually being more in this one if they didn't just abandon what should of at the very least been a subplot throughout this episode. The whole beginning with Burns turning "take your kids to work day" into "force your kids to work day" though amsuing and in his wicked character feels like one of those bits he shouldn't so easily walk away from. Like Lisa escapes and threatens him but he just hides in the bathroom and... that's just it. Like I know a lot of set pieces in the first act just end to get to the main plot but usually it's either a longer set piece or it's over just something far more fluff and pointless that you couldn't mine anymore jokes and bits out of. Which is not the case for this whole story as honestly what they should of done is have the subplot of Lisa trying to file this report to the general nuclear safety commission about Burns trying to force minors to work at his plant and Burns desperate to hide and not be scolded or fined for his misdeeds adopts the Fred persona and has to keep it on and you can still have him actually warm up to the idea of being friends with the others and wanting to stay in that guise as it consumes him. Heck have the two plots tie in at the end with Burns finding a way to scape goat the whole "force your kid to work" plot on Fred which takes the heat off of him but like Smithers had to cut a deal with Lisa and the plant had to give millions to charity which ticks off Burns a lot or something for a comedic take that to him. Just again feels like that would of been taking care of two birds with one stone; giving a reason to have that starter and have it continue while having more reason for the family to be in this one as Marge would be helping Lisa with the case or something like that. I get this was written by a freelancer but honestly that's still something especially since this series has settled back into developing it's plots more then in the late 2000s to early 2010's to make them more cohesive again that this shoddy rushed patch work story shouldn't of flown through so easily. Also though I appreciate them unlike Family Guy actually starting now on the whole "we promise to recast roles played by white actors of minority characters" with Carl's new VA (Hibbert makes a cameo though guess we'll have to wait to see who his new VA is going to be) it is a pretty jarring take. I mean he does get enough lines to sort of settle in the more the show goes on and Carl is actually probably a harder voice to get a grasp of then some of the other Simpsons voices but it does feel off.

Still this one isn't bad though as I do still really like the idea of Burns wanting to befriend the other workers while in his Fred persona and having back and forth conversations with himself and honestly a fair amount of Lenny lines especially him revealing at the end they can summon the hounds and spring trap doors was pretty funny. Plus i appreciate this show finding new things to do with Burns that feel in the spirit of the character but aren't just repeating the same stories we've seen before. Nothing great and again could of easily been better but a decent episode.

Family Guy "Stewie's First Word" - The best things in this episode were all the disses at Cailou from him being bored and the show being boring and the annoying narration and the reason why Stewie's "first word" got out to everyone. I mean yeah it's not something that holds up with any actual validity if you pay the smallest bit of attention to the continuity of this series but... I appreciate them at least trying to think of a reason why the expletive would of attracted attention compared to whatever else Stewie said and trying to tie into his emotional state. Still this was a really lame episode. Probably not as bad as the last season premiere since at least they actually bothered giving an ending to Stewie and Lois's whole plot and actually had Peter say for the zinger "yeah we can't end these anymore" but honestly it's debatable if they can even write these anymore since they're getting especially desperate. Between Principal Shepard having to randomly appear in book form to explain more jokes to how they try setting up like a stage show scene transistions it seems clear that the team really close to running out of ideas which makes me question how this show was just renewed for two more seasons when it seems like they don't have things that would stretch it past two more episodes. Not to mention how a lot of all the other jokes are pretty played out; Peter living his live according to an 8 ball yielded no yuks; they already did the whole "Lois feels ashamed no longer belonging with the town" better in "The D In Apartment 23" and for it to end with Lois trying to relax more while the family lives without her just feels so recycled from so many other episodes and series itself without really offering anything new whatsoever. Seriously stuff like this shows how little fumes Family Guy is on and unlike The Simpsons at it's worst you really can't get behind the characters or even most of the jokes or set ups at this point even when they have potential to really get anything out of it. Just a pretty lame outing. Maybe the season will get better since season 18 last year wasn't all as bad as "Yacht Rocky" but a fair amount got close and again this isn't that much better then how last year started honestly.
 

Orange Mo

orangemo
Since I saw both the Simpsons and Family Guy (need to catch up more on Bob's Burgers and even Bless the Harts since I saw bits of the episodes this week but not the full thing) I want to talk about them.

Simpsons "Undercover Burns" - You know I know this show is called the Simpsons but was there really a need for any of the family table scenes to be in this episode other then trying to squeeze more of the family especially Marge actually into one? I guess joke wise there were amusing bits with Milhouse being left behind for over two days after a sleep over with Bart and Homer eager to go to work not realizing it's Saturday and the family enjoying his breakfast turkey but... still feels really pointless to have them in this episode. Like seriously this show is over 30 years old and it can live without the title family being really in an episode if they don't have to be. Of course there could of been justification for them actually being more in this one if they didn't just abandon what should of at the very least been a subplot throughout this episode. The whole beginning with Burns turning "take your kids to work day" into "force your kids to work day" though amsuing and in his wicked character feels like one of those bits he shouldn't so easily walk away from. Like Lisa escapes and threatens him but he just hides in the bathroom and... that's just it. Like I know a lot of set pieces in the first act just end to get to the main plot but usually it's either a longer set piece or it's over just something far more fluff and pointless that you couldn't mine anymore jokes and bits out of. Which is not the case for this whole story as honestly what they should of done is have the subplot of Lisa trying to file this report to the general nuclear safety commission about Burns trying to force minors to work at his plant and Burns desperate to hide and not be scolded or fined for his misdeeds adopts the Fred persona and has to keep it on and you can still have him actually warm up to the idea of being friends with the others and wanting to stay in that guise as it consumes him. Heck have the two plots tie in at the end with Burns finding a way to scape goat the whole "force your kid to work" plot on Fred which takes the heat off of him but like Smithers had to cut a deal with Lisa and the plant had to give millions to charity which ticks off Burns a lot or something for a comedic take that to him. Just again feels like that would of been taking care of two birds with one stone; giving a reason to have that starter and have it continue while having more reason for the family to be in this one as Marge would be helping Lisa with the case or something like that. I get this was written by a freelancer but honestly that's still something especially since this series has settled back into developing it's plots more then in the late 2000s to early 2010's to make them more cohesive again that this shoddy rushed patch work story shouldn't of flown through so easily. Also though I appreciate them unlike Family Guy actually starting now on the whole "we promise to recast roles played by white actors of minority characters" with Carl's new VA (Hibbert makes a cameo though guess we'll have to wait to see who his new VA is going to be) it is a pretty jarring take. I mean he does get enough lines to sort of settle in the more the show goes on and Carl is actually probably a harder voice to get a grasp of then some of the other Simpsons voices but it does feel off.

Still this one isn't bad though as I do still really like the idea of Burns wanting to befriend the other workers while in his Fred persona and having back and forth conversations with himself and honestly a fair amount of Lenny lines especially him revealing at the end they can summon the hounds and spring trap doors was pretty funny. Plus i appreciate this show finding new things to do with Burns that feel in the spirit of the character but aren't just repeating the same stories we've seen before. Nothing great and again could of easily been better but a decent episode.

Family Guy "Stewie's First Word" - The best things in this episode were all the disses at Cailou from him being bored and the show being boring and the annoying narration and the reason why Stewie's "first word" got out to everyone. I mean yeah it's not something that holds up with any actual validity if you pay the smallest bit of attention to the continuity of this series but... I appreciate them at least trying to think of a reason why the expletive would of attracted attention compared to whatever else Stewie said and trying to tie into his emotional state. Still this was a really lame episode. Probably not as bad as the last season premiere since at least they actually bothered giving an ending to Stewie and Lois's whole plot and actually had Peter say for the zinger "yeah we can't end these anymore" but honestly it's debatable if they can even write these anymore since they're getting especially desperate. Between Principal Shepard having to randomly appear in book form to explain more jokes to how they try setting up like a stage show scene transistions it seems clear that the team really close to running out of ideas which makes me question how this show was just renewed for two more seasons when it seems like they don't have things that would stretch it past two more episodes. Not to mention how a lot of all the other jokes are pretty played out; Peter living his live according to an 8 ball yielded no yuks; they already did the whole "Lois feels ashamed no longer belonging with the town" better in "The D In Apartment 23" and for it to end with Lois trying to relax more while the family lives without her just feels so recycled from so many other episodes and series itself without really offering anything new whatsoever. Seriously stuff like this shows how little fumes Family Guy is on and unlike The Simpsons at it's worst you really can't get behind the characters or even most of the jokes or set ups at this point even when they have potential to really get anything out of it. Just a pretty lame outing. Maybe the season will get better since season 18 last year wasn't all as bad as "Yacht Rocky" but a fair amount got close and again this isn't that much better then how last year started honestly.

Hmm I thought Yacht Rocky was better imo, because it's only that big f you ending that's the major problem, and maybe some "pointless gore FTW" scenes. And yeah we both agreed on undercover burns being meh and First Word being bad at least. Hope you can get to the other two soon. I enjoyed them!
 

Fone Bone

Hindsight 2020!
The Simpsons "Undercover Burns"

Couple of notes:

That fell apart at the end. And you know what? That's consistent. I don't know how many hardcore Simpsons fans will admit this, but the show is famous for having lousy endings. Even the Golden Years usually had most episodes simply run out of gas. Shari Bobbins getting sucked into the jet engine was so memorable because an ending that great was unusual. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say Season 8 was the best season because it was the only season with consistently good endings. So in reality I can't fault this episode TOO much. The show was hardly ever able to stick the landing, even when it was great.

Second note: I did NOT like Alex Desert as Carl. At all. Like recasting Russi Taylor, I agree that it needed to be done, but like hiring Grey Griffin, the show did the easy thing, rather than the right thing by hiring an affordable VO who sounded nothing like the character, rather than putting in the time and effort to do a casting search and match the voices. Do you know the messed up thing? If they had simply had Desert or another black actor do an entirely different voice, I would have gotten used to it after a couple of episodes. But Desert seems to be trying to do an impression of Hank Azaria, and he's doing it really badly. Family Guy hired an unknown for Cleveland because he did the voice perfectly. The Simpsons got into the trouble with black characters it did because it always did voice-over on the cheap, and didn't want to hire new actors of color for small roles. Well they are still doing voice acting on the cheap, if they aren't actually going to bother to put in time and effort to get it right.

I like the Iron Man bit in the end credits because I am human and not made of stone.

Lousy ending (which I will not penalize) and bad Carl recasting (which I will). ***.




Bob's Burgers "Dream A Little Bob Of Bob"

Parts of it were funny, particularly Tape's passive-aggression, but I actually find episodes that show Bob being useless annoying. The things he is bad at here are easy things for any not dumb person to do and I was losing more and more respect for him as the episode went on.

Speaking of being useless, being able to do the clapping song / rhyme is not actually a skill a person needs to function. And yet, I feel like Tina is useless anyways until she gets it at the end. I loved her asking Linda if she could do that again, and instead of repeating the song, she knocks more stuff off the counter in triumph. Linda didn't know what she was agreeing to there.

Linda and Teddy's color commentary about both her and Bob's failures was quite entertaining.

I don't know if I agree with Louise that Mr. Fischoeder's version of the clap was best. But I like Louise because she thinks it is.

It seems like every kid's generation and neighborhood had a different version of that, and you'll rarely find two that are the same. My version was "Miss Lucy had a Steamboat". Miss Lucy rhymes in general were super dumb. How does Miss Lucy sit on a piece of glass BEHIND the refrigerator anyways? Those are the real things that needed my reviews years ago.

Tape's shade was outright excellent. I love that Mr Squeezey is positive and Tape is negative. It's a very interesting psychological balance to Bob's dream / mentally unbalanced meltdown.

I'm deducting points because I don't like episodes that treat Bob as useless. I'm adding them back because I like episodes that treat TINA as useless. Because unlike Bob, she actually is. So-so. ***.




Family Guy "Stewie's First Word"

The episode showed flashes of brilliance, but the premise should NEVER have been attempted. The reality of when the family can actually understand Stewie is something that should NEVER be explored. Ever. Because you can't come up with a plausible explanation to fit every previous scene. It's like South Park's feeble attempt to explain how Kenny repeatedly dies and comes back. It's also done quite a few episodes disproving the rigmarole and hoops they went through in the Mysterion Arc. Nothing fits, so don't think about it.

Similarly, Star Trek: Enterprise really whiffed it by delving into the reality and origins of the Universal Translators. While much of Trek's technology such as replicators has no plausible real-world science attached to them and could be more accurately described as "magic" (the Holodeck falls under this idea too) the Translators are worse because they don't just fly against science, they don't make sense in the Narrative at all. If they worked the way Enterprise showed they did, nothing aliens on the show ever said would lip-sync to corresponding English. There is nonsense science in Star Trek. That's fine. The Translators are the one thing you don't want to draw attention to or have to rationalize to the audience. Because you can't.

Another similar idea is Hobbes' reality in Calvin and Hobbes. And I'll tell you why Bill Watterson is a stronger storyteller than the creators of Family Guy, South Park, and Star Trek. He already KNEW that the entire time and stubbornly refused to prove either answer one way or the other. There are certain fictional conceits in many franchises you do NOT want the audience pulling the threads of. When Stewie can speak is this show's taboo in that regard. The entire episode was ill-advised.

And because they couldn't rationalize or explain it they went with the Jack Kerouac sidekick nonsense to end it. What's especially annoying is the show is admitting they don't know how to end episodes and simply devolve into nonsense. Usually I find an ending like that funny. Where they are drawing attention to the one thing they shouldn't, it's actually really bad.

But there is brilliance in the episode. A lot of it. I was especially impressed with the Calliou parody. I know nothing about Calliou, and the spoof really struck a cord with me in a way the Teletubbies and Barney jokes on The Simpsons never do. The Simpsons producers are annoyed with the Teletubbies and Barney, barely paid attention to them, and spoofed both things in an obvious and cursory manner using low-hanging fruit. And the value of Family Guy is that it knows enough about the things it makes fun of that they point out that one of the kids on Barney has an hearing aid. I didn't know that. I don't watch the show. But Stewie does and it made that segment in a much earlier season funny because the writers clearly watched the show and knew what to make fun of.

The same thing with the Calliou slams and the permissiveness of Calliou's sexually ambiguous father. The Simpsons NEVER actually knows anything about the toddler shows they bash. They rarely know anything about the grown-up shows they bash either. But the satire against Calliou is biting because it is clearly written by people who have sat through (and hated) this show repeatedly with their kids and are giving it a ton of thought in deciding how to best tell the audience it sucks. And I like the idea that one of the show's complaints is that the parents on the show are so permissive that they are raising a sociopath. Frankly, I think MOST parents in toddler cartoons are far too permissive. They could have done this exact bit about Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy and it would be valid too. It strikes me that a lot of morals for current toddler shows are not things toddlers should be learning.

I am a Masshole, and Family Guy is accurately describing exactly how worthless me and everyone else in my state actually is. And Family Guy is the one show that takes the right slam at Boston. Because it actually knows what it's talking about. The Simpsons acting like Boston is a bad fit for the Simpsons because it's too liberal, elitist, and intellectual was written by people who went to college there, but never actually spent any time with the people here outside of it. Massholes are as loud, dumb, and racist as any Southern state is reputed to be. Yeah, we vote for Democrats. That's our only virtue. We totally suck, and are a state of total dopes otherwise. The show's slams on New England states ALWAYS land perfectly because the writers grew up there and actually know how they are.

The sitcom stage changing jokes were a bad idea. Why? Because I understood them, and why they did them, but they weren't remotely funny. It's especially egregious they did it twice. But Family Guy often tells experimental jokes to see if they are funny and work. And they often don't. Weirdly, as far as comedy and esoteric jokes go, The Simpsons has a better batting average. Family Guy as a rule does better sight gags. But when it comes in finding humor in a bit of comedy that isn't actually all that great, it knows getting hit in the face with a rake 9 times is the magic number to an unfunny joke being hilarious, while Family Guy thinks it can pull off a similar level of dumb funny merely twice. Not even. The Simpsons and the Sideshow Bob thing is especially impressive since it occurred nearly 30 years ago. I think at this point, the writers of Family Guy should have known ahead of time the joke wouldn't work. There's no excuse for The Simpsons nailing the rakes on the first attempt, and this show floundering with this nearly 30 years later. None at all.

One last thing: This is neither good nor bad but it made an immediate impression, and made me think that even if the episode was shaky, it was a turning point in the history of the show. Did they just have the actual Pakistani guys in the joke played by Pakistani actors? I ask because if this is the new normal, once Cleveland is permanently recast, the entire sensibility of the show will have changed. It's scary in a way, but it's good because it's a good challenge going forward. Because if they tell the ethnic jokes using actors of that ethnicity that means the show can no longer rely on stereotypes and offensive jokes to keep those jokes funny. They actually need to have the characters say funny things, and have actors of color talented enough to pull it off. No more white actors voicing characters of color practically cuts Seth MacFarlane's role to maybe a quarter or a third of what it was. If Conseula is similarly recast, Mike Henry's output on the show with be about a tenth of what it was too. It's kind of exciting and scary. I look forward to the show actually making pointed racial observations while not being allowed to be actually racist. That's an idea I love and I hope the show can make good on. It's a turning point and it's probably a good thing. I think the recastings on The Simpsons probably will not work. I suspect the recastings on Family Guy will. That's my early prediction.

All in all, the episode was very clever in places, but ill-advised in others. I'll say it won the night though. ***1/2.
 

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