Friday, August 05, 2005

A random attack

This post may appear to come out of left field, but I just feel the need to get it out there. Family Guy is an overrated show and it angers me so much that people even consider comparing it to The Simpsons in its prime. I admit that the show has had some great gags (I have seen every episode from the first 3 seasons, and a few from the new season to give you my frame of reference), but too often the jokes are forced and over-the-top. Creator Seth MacFarlane is clearly a talented guy, drawing the characters, and voicing the funniest ones (Brian, Stewie, and Peter), but he tries too hard to be funny. His concept of comedy appears to be that if he can tell 40 short jokes in 22 minutes, as long as 10 are funny, he's been successful. Most episodes have some sort of over-arching storyline that is constantly interrupted by brief parodies or flashbacks so that the show becomes inconsistent and difficult to follow. On the other hand, in its prime, The Simpsons was exquisitely written so that the jokes were not forced and were part of the storyline, not simply random non sequiturs that one writer thought were funny. In addition to the superior construction of the episodes, The Simpsons was just flat-out funnier (currently, the show is a shell of its former self, so it's not really worth discussing) and anyone who thinks otherwise should have his head examined.

This rant is part of my overall problem with cult activities, tv shows, movies, etc... that become too popular. More on this at a later date. But I will put it on the record right now that despite the fact that I should like the "poker craze" because it means there are more bad players out there, I hate it. Playing poker used to give me some cachet and I liked the idea that it was a little underground. It's just too universal these days. And the one thing I hate the most is when someone at a casino or poker room thinks that I just started playing because of the "poker craze" and in reality I have been playing Texas Hold 'em for over 5 years.

6 comments:

  1. crazes don't show up over night. In reality, you were part of the craze if you only got into hold em 5 years ago. Not a late-comer. But certainly a craze jumper.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the nostalgia-clouded rant. Fact is, FG is one of the best shows on TV. Is it perfect? No. But it's consistently funny, offbeat, and entertaining. And its popularity is a blessing. It's the only reason Fox brought it back.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Rich and was considering writing almost this exact post myself

    ReplyDelete
  4. B.J. Armstrong's Ex-Wife, Lauren8/6/05, 12:09 PM

    speaking of overrated--read bill simmons' new Anchorman article. That's right, Rich: Anchorman. He structures an entire nba offseason article based on quotes from a year-old, slightly above average will ferrell vehicle. It's an article as weak as any of his cartoons.

    ReplyDelete
  5. yeah, to see that simmons loved anchorman so much was rather depressing...

    as for the poker, here is one story that may or may not interest you. freshman year (fall 2001), the trumbull poker game brought daniel negreanu and allen cunningham to dinner at naples and then played some poker in the buttery. a couple of my friends showed up and laughed at the idea of playing poker professionally. three years later, these two friends played poker all the time and negreanu was one of the most famous players in the world (with cunningham not too shabby himself). so i think that playing poker 4 or 5 years ago was very different from playing poker now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. yeah, dan, maybe it's because you share 99.999% of his DNA.

    ReplyDelete