Family Guy + The Simpsons = Mixed Feelings

So I watched the <em>Family Guy/Simpsons</em> crossover and it was &hellip; okay.

It was an hour slot that was <em>FG-</em> focused, set in Springfield. Jokes were <em>FG-</em> based with <em>Simpsons</em> characters. It was weird, like when people mix sodas &mdash; it ain&rsquo;t right.

<em>F</em><em>amily Guy</em> has always been a dark humour sort of show, only it lost the humour about six seasons ago, and now it&rsquo;s just dark and uncomfortable with highly unlikeable characters. Now, the unlikeable characters are <em>Family Guy</em>&rsquo;s thing &mdash; the poor plots of the episodes revolve around how terrible the Griffins are and the consequences (or lack thereof) to their stupidity/pettiness/arrogance. I lost interest in <em>FG</em> a long time ago; I used to only watch it for the sake of white noise, but now it&rsquo;s hardly worth the effort.

<em>The Simpsons</em>, meanwhile, has always stayed with me. Yes I&rsquo;ll admit the humour has passed its half-life and is probably close to its quarter-life, but I still like it. The comedy is clean, which I really like because excessive swearing, gore, and pretentiousness gets very uncomfortable very fast. <em>The Simpsons</em> have stayed true to their roots as well: the primary focus is on the family with occasional spotlight on others. I&rsquo;m not going to try and explain why <em>The Simpsons</em> still works, it just does. <em>Family Guy</em> has greatly lost its touch.

So back to the crossover. It&rsquo;s the classic <em>Simpsons</em> formula (which <em>FG</em> stole from, but we&rsquo;ll get back to that) where the episode starts with a subplot that quickly ends and is only revisited to make jokes &mdash; jokes that are never funny. The Griffins leave Quahog and end up in Springfield &mdash; cue the antics where the families bond. Guess what, it only shows how much worse the <em>FG</em> characters are versus the Simpson family. The worst parts were Bart with Stewie and Lisa with Meg. Stewie goes too far with Bart&rsquo;s innocent jokes (an <em>incredibly</em> out of place rape joke that made me very uncomfortable), and Meg gets <em>way</em> too depressing despite Lisa trying to help her find a talent.

The main plot, which they only get to after 20 minutes of pandering and filler, is that Pawtucket Ale is a rip-off of Duff Beer; a social commentary so obvious about how <em>Family Guy</em> is a rip off of <em>The Simpsons</em>, they might as well have put it in the goddamn episode summary. And guess what? That plot point is 80 per cent of the jokes in the special &mdash; and as you can also guess, it gets real old real fast.

I laughed aloud twice in the 43-minute special; once when the first Simpsons character makes their appearance; once when Chief Wiggum makes a comment on the &ldquo;Policemen&rsquo;s Ball&rdquo; and Lou says he was trying to jump a parking meter. Those were good moments. The rest of the episode was &hellip; fine. There were some good parts that I guess were meant to make me laugh but &hellip; eh. There was a scene with James Woods that was clever, as well as one with <em>Bob&rsquo;s Burgers</em>, but I was hardly smiling, let alone laughing.

Overall, the <em>Family Guy</em> parts fell flat and the <em>Simpsons&rsquo; </em>parts were dragged down with them.

The crossover ends arguably very poorly with a silver lining. I won&rsquo;t give away the ending, but I&rsquo;ll just say that in regards to the <em>Simpsons</em> part, expect a classic <em>Simpsons</em> gimmick that sums up the episode well.


P.S. The new stand-alone season premiere&nbsp; of <em>The Simpsons</em> that aired prior to this crossover was hyped to have a character die. Despite it being a little disappointing to fans, and having one of the CRAZIEST couch gags ever, it was a satisfiying entry in the series. I look forward to the rest of the season.