Family Guy fans feel betrayed after the recent “killing off” of one of the main characters, Brian Griffin. For anyone who has been living under a rock for the last 15 years, Fox’s award-winning animated series Family Guy is at it again; stirring the pot with another controversial move. In the past, the series’ creator Seth MacFarlane has tackled sex changes, legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage, and abortion; just to name a few.
In addition to tackling broad topics of controversy, MacFarlane and his dubious band of writers like to tackle current social-eco political topics as well. For example, when the McCain-Palin campaign was underway; there was an episode in which the recently deceased and ever so popular character Brian Griffin and his maniacally villainous infant counterpart Stewie traveled backwards in time to the WWII era of Germany. Stewie, while wearing a Nazi uniform, looks down and notices a McCain-Palin campaign pin and remarks, “Huh, that’s weird.”
Clearly this is Emmy award nominated show not subtly suggesting that the McCain and Palin are fascists. Scenarios like this really define what the show is about. It uses free speech to creatively release tensions that people have over current issues which frustrate them or they feel powerless to change.
The thing many find so fascinating is that the somewhat mundane death; compared to other more graphic deaths, of the animated television show’s family dog Brian Griffin, has sparked more of an uproar than any of these other shocking topics. Distraught fans have been blowing up Twitter along with other social media sites saying things such as “Out of all the characters they’re killing of Brian; why couldn’t they kill of Meg?” and “So Brian gets hit by a car and dies, the Griffins get a new dog, and if Stewie doesn’t rebuild the time machine; I’m boycotting.” Yet another person writes “Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experience; he added a witty and sophisticated element to the show.”
Obviously this move by the producers and MacFarlane has made fans of Family Guy feel betrayed. Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show, one twitter post read. This devoted viewer has created a petition to resurrect Brian; which has already collected over two thousand signatures and counting.
The question many fans have is, “What were the producer’s intentions?” Many of them are asking “How do we get Brian back?” They want to know if this is this a stunt for publicity and attention, or some greater scheme? Some rumors have suggested that the beloved animated sitcom may be put on the back-burner to make time for another of MacFarlane’s projects.
Maybe the world of Family Guy lovers would feel more comforted if they had some clue as to the true motive of this beloved dog’s fatal car accident. The replacing of Brian is to be expected in this scenario. However, to most of the fans, the insertion of the new canine Vinny, voiced by Tony Sirico from The Sopranos seems cheap and not very well thought out. It is for this reason that some fans doubt the permanence of this critical change in the framework of the show.
Hopefully this new addition to the televised Griffin family will turn into some very entertaining scenarios. As it stands many Family Guy fans feel betrayed and are desperately pleading to get the family dog back.
By: Lara Stielow