Family Guy – The Top 20 Characters: Familiar Ties

May 7, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

FAMILY GUY – THE TOP 20 CHARACTERS: Saturday 8th May, BBC3, 9pm ALERT ME

Despite Family Guy regularly appearing across a spectrum of channels and rarely being off our screens, BBC3 have decided to compile their Top 20 Characters from the last 10 years. Interestingly those selected have not been chosen because of any particularly funny moments or their popularity with the audience. Instead their inclusions have been based on the amount of screen time they’ve acquired. Thank God elections aren’t dealt with in this way.

Narrated by the wonderfully acerbic Chris Addison, what will inevitably be mainly a clips-driven show will also be augmented by interviews with high-profile fans, insights from the creators and voice artists as well as a special treat for fans anticipating the arrival of Season 9 with some new unseen clips to ogle over. Those wanting to be completely surprised by the new series may wish to give the programme a wide berth in case there are any spoilers.

Family Guy premiered on January 31st 1999 and has enjoyed enormous success as well as attracting wide spread criticism, particularly from loyal fans of The Simpsons and South Park who feel the creators stole many of their comic creations and situations. A common structural complaint is that the show often relies on cut-away jokes that, in narrative arc terms, have no connection to the rest of the plot usually inviting the audience to laugh at stereotypes and situations purely driven by achieving a cheap gag at the end. A notorious example of this is the episode where Peter suddenly appears as George Harrison’s security guard who, through characteristic ineptitude, fails to spot the intruder who in real life stabbed the former Beatle having broken into his home. Peter’s punchline upon hearing the commotion? “Whacky Beatle?. Ha. Ha.

Whatever your thoughts on Family Guy it certainly has a popular following that cannot be dismissed and in its nine seasons has amassed quite a significant cast of popular characters. As in South Park and The Simpsons, the fictional Family Guy community continues to grow at a steady pace justifying a top 20 run-down. Expect ‘classic’ scenes involving the Giant Chicken, Glen Quagmire and Herbert the Pervert but don’t hold your breath when it comes to the top 10 who, seeing as they have been selected by the hours they have amassed on screen, will inevitably be Peter and his clan.

The show doesn’t appear to be aimed at die-hard fans and nor does it seem to be meant as a platform for attracting newcomers who will be too unfamiliar with the format to probably give a s*t as the inevitable backslapping amongst cast and crew begins to irk – a problem that afflicts many clip based shows.

You might not be able to choose your family but you can certainly opt whether or not to watch Family Guy. It might just be worth waiting until Season 9.