Ever watch "Family Guy," the adult animated sitcom? It's on every night around dinner time. I didn't search for it -- it was just there.
Before my eyes was a Broadway Show opener in a comic book style, loaded with stars and a chorus singing and dancing brilliant choreography.
Thinking, "Wow, who created this?" I was led you into an episode -- snappy, laugh-getting dialogue between cartoon characters -- repulsively overweight Dad, weird looking, over-educated nasty boy, smart, sensitive, intuitive talking dog, groovy Mom-Wife who cheerfully involves herself in a crisis that was expositioned in a few seconds.
I was glued to the screen. Next day I watched another episode. (Then another, and another, without being aware that it was something I was doing every night.) I figured the show was put together by a gang of young people collaborating, feeding each other ideas.
The credits whizzed by; I Googled and discovered that Seth MacFarlane designed, and directed it as well as provided some of the voices. Guys, remember the name -- he's just 41; a NOW man, utterly uninhibitedly in tune with the times. He's designed and launched other successful animated adult sitcoms -- his "American Dad," and "The Cleveland Show" have won him all sorts of major awards. Seth is making big bucks because he knows how to fix, tighten, and develop these shows with characters that stay with us because we've bumped into them in our daily lives.
I laugh. I am entertained.
Guys, I change the channel. I avoid watching "Family Guy."
I'm jealous. At his age, with big failures and big successes under his belt, he has a powerful sense of what's significant, what tickles our fantasies, worries us, what we fear, pray for, or abhor. Yes, I have a powerful sense of all that too, but I'm another generation and not in tune with the times.
Dissonance -- that's me. I am a dissonant dissenter.
He reminds me of me what I was in dance at his age, building my career-- oh boy, the jobs I was offered that I shrugged off -- oh boy, that big name producer who asked me to dance to "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" -- I told him "I'd rather die than dance to that."
MacFarlane himself -- aside from his marvelous writing and producing talents, loves to perform as a singer with big bands, ala Sinatra. He's got more than a toe in the door -- he's handsome, very polished and professional, but ... well, he's not special as a singer or pop song writer. If you're curious, click -- here he is singing
That was my fatal flaw -- I insisted on being the star dancer of my up-and- coming Dance Drama Company.
Thank goodness Seth Macfarlane is now talking about a new sitcom he's working on called "Dads." Hey Seth, stick with what you've proved -- you are already, probably, the number one genius creator of animated sitcoms.
I can't get a copy of actual brilliant opener to "Family Guy," but here's an abbreviated preview of it.