"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Family Guy: I Dream of Jesus

Family Guy returns to a format a little more reminiscent of past seasons in this episode “I Dream Of Jesus”. Essentially there are two story lines that technically have nothing to do with one another but which are drawn together by a random event in the middle.

The episode begins with my favorite family- the Griffins- at a 50’s style diner. During their visit a song starts playing on the jukebox which, evidently, Peter loves! He does an admittedly hilarious dance routine to the tune “Surfin’ Bird”—if you are unfamiliar, it’s the song that goes “na-na-na-na-na-na the bird is the word everyone’s heard the bird is the word” (or something along those lines… ). Peter takes the record home with him and plays it- repeatedly- and literally drives his family crazy. At one point at the breakfast table Stewie slowly puts a revolver in his mouth (it was actually really funny, but no, he doesn’t pull the trigger).

Eventually, Brian and Stewie lead a covert op to steal the record. Peter tries to replace it, so Stewie and Brian continue their plan by purchasing every available copy from local record stores. Stewie and Brian also bring us the episode’s best moment where they destroy the record in a cut-scene that is reminiscent of the scene from Office Space where Peter, Michael Bolton and Samir destroy the printer.

Here is where storyline two enters! Long story short, Peter meets Jesus at a record store and befriends him. Peter takes him to his house, introduces him to the locals (with a funny scene where Jesus walks atop water in a fountain but, Peter being Peter, tries to get some of the attention), gets Jesus on Jay Leno, and helps him win an award at the MTV Music Awards!

Eventually, however, the fame goes to Jesus’ head and he lands himself in jail. Jesus calls Peter to bail him out (which he first refuses, until Jesus uses his power to smash a lamp in Peter’s face) and decides it’s time he left Earth altogether. Much to the dismay of his family, Jesus creates Peter a new record of “Surfin’ Bird” before he departs.

I have to be honest; I had high hopes for this episode. Sadly, this episode left me disappointed. With so many opportunities to poke fun at religion I think this episode fell rather short. I felt the one clever scene in this episode was where Peter introduces Jesus to President Bush, and Jesus explains that he’s really not sure how President Bush was actually elected, as he certainly had nothing to do with it. And while this cut-scene was amusing, it’s another example where the show could have really crossed the line with their usual hilarious and insensitive antics and left me drooling on the floor laughing hysterically.

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