Family Guy's Christmas miracle (SPOILER)
Earlier this year, critic Richard Rushfeld proposed the coining of a new trope: "strangle the dog," a play on the trope of "pet the dog," in which screenwriters would have a character pet a dog as a shortcut to getting viewers to like that character.
To "strangle the dog," however, in Rushfeld's words, would "signal to viewers that a series will be highbrow, serious, and edgy."
Not a single one of those words could possibly, for any reasonable person, apply to Family Guy.
However, the traumatic death of beloved talking dog Brian last month at least seemed like an attempt by the show's writers to lend some genuine emotion to a series which, even in its earliest days, failed to balance humour and sentiment nearly as well as its predecessor, The Simpsons.
Now it seems like Family Guy's writers don't even have the guts to stand behind their attempt at gravitas. Entertainment Weekly reports that an episode slated for December 15 will star Brian attempting to win the heart of a character voiced by former SNL star Maya Rudolph.
Rudolph will play an avid jogger, who Brian attempts to seduce by becoming a jogger himself only to become addicted to the "runner's high" and turn into a "distance running douche."
Cutting edge stuff here, folks. Joggers, am I right?
On the plus side, in a few billion years the universe will freeze and contract and all of this will be crunched out of existence, so what Seth MacFarlane does is really of pretty little consequence, isn't it?