A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Family Guy is very funny; the quirky scenarios can induce giggles or even guffaws in grown-ups. But Seth MacFarlane's show isn't meant to be watched by kids or young teens. Unpredictable is the name of the game in the town of Quahog, Rhode Island, where the Griffin family spends most of its time watching television and getting into trouble. The dog, Brian, and the infant, Stewie, are the most intelligent members of the family -- which might set off a few alarm bells in terms of inappropriate role modeling. Expect frequent sexual innuendo and salty language (of the "bitch" and "damn" variety), as well as some drinking and violence played for humor.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A blend of slapstick and fantasy, Seth MacFarlane's FAMILY GUY -- resurrected for network broadcast after being cancelled and then becoming a huge hit on DVD -- is a TV show within a TV show. Characters include patriarch Peter Griffin (voiced by MacFarlane), who has visions that look like animated channel surfing; Stewie the infant (MacFarlane again), who spews vitriolic one-liners as he throws his bottle across the room; and Brian the dog (yup, MacFarlane does his voice, too), a sensitive, well-read fellow who enjoys his wine.
Is it any good?
This wacky brand of fast-paced humor isn't for everyone. As a plot device, Peter's visions can serve as a distraction, which ultimately disrupts what might be a storyline. On the other hand, the constant cross-references to musicals, literature, plays, and other TV shows might amuse some viewers. Don't expect consistent content from this show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about when politically correct attitudes are helpful and when they can be harmful. Do you find this show's humor funny or offensive? Why do different people have different reactions to over-the-top humor?
What do you make of Peter's excessive love of television? Is this the way anyone should look at the world?
If tweens insist on watching this show, be sure to take the time to watch it with them to get a sense of what's going on.