Sunday, May 25, 2014


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.


Unknown said...

"Going where no man has gone before" I STILL remember that phrase that refers to the mission of the original starship Enterprise. But too, it holds true, as you have described, the likes of Seth MacFarlane (and I will throw in Neil Patrick Harris). These "kids" have been blessed with built-in "dare me" senses of humor that take us where "no man has gone before". Seth MacFarlane as host or emcee of ANYTHING always guarantees belly laughs and wonderment of HOW he "got that one" by "Standards and Practices". AND, I must add, the visual of you, Em, changing the channel - out of jealousy- makes me smile. It's good for us "common folk" to know that even the VERY talented whose star STILL shine brightly share prevalent universal reactions to, in the moment ,"one-up-manships".

Poet_Carl_Watts said...

Hello Em, Considerations can change at will. You can be anything, have any view or not :-) #EverythinWill_B_OK!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I like Family Guy but it gets to be a little much after awhile. I consider these wunderkind the DaVincis and Michelangelos of their time. I would as soon be as envious of Einstein. We all have our own unique gifts. Thank of all the artists and scientists in the past who were scorned, tortured, and ignored in their time. Our times are gentler perhaps. I won't be impressed if my work is lauded after my death, But I wouldn't be surprised either! JK : ) In any event, the paths we took have all led us to the place we are now. If dancing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, somehow led to your death, you will never know, because you didn't take that path. The bright lights and applause can also hold dark traps.
Louise Sorensen

Paul Mendenhall said...

I have such mixed feelings about him. He's brilliant, but his humor also veers into the gross, vulgar and needlessly cruel. After I saw his movie "Ted," I said: "I feel ashamed to be human." I don't get why someone so smart has to wallow in the depths. That said, any man who uses Onna White's "Shipoopi" choreography for an end-zone dance is always going to have a big piece of my heart!