I don’t need to tell you how funny and ruthlessly scathing Family Guy is when it comes to social commentary. They make crude and simplistic jokes about various aspects of our world, but also weave a brilliant and biting satire to make their point. To the uninitiated the show seems juvenile and their humor pedestrian, but once we get into it, it reveals itself as one of the most hilarious and meaningful shows ever made on TV. Seth McFarlane’s penchant for historical events, classical music, show-tunes among other things, and his writing team also seem to be very well-versed with what is considered classical art. However, the fact they love it doesn’t mean they respect it.
After making fun of every religion, every God, most of the US presidents, and of course, Hollywood stars, they have now turned their attention to what we thought were untouchable literary masterpieces. In episode 7 of season 20, titled “High School English”, our guy Peter Griffin finds himself in a situation where he is surrounded by lots of books. So he grudgingly wants to catch up on his reading, and picks up such American treasures as “the Great Gatsby”, “Huckleberry Finn” etc. Like Brian Griffin, I, myself, haven’t read any of these books being ridiculed ( although I did read many classics, just not these).
I would have thought the books mentioned above are genuinely good works of fiction given the prestige they enjoy in pop culture. They were part of regular reading in most high schools around the world, they have all been translated into several languages, and made into movies and TV shows. On top of that, no intellectual, pseudo or real, would be complete without either reading these or lying about reading these books. I think Seth kind of called out on these so-called literary lovers by making fun of the most precious of the so-called classics. One by they pick apart the plots, characters and asinine social norms of the time. Of course, Brian and Stewie are true to their character, and play the pretentious snob and sexually confused bachelor in those stories.
I was really surprised they mocked these books so much. Mind you, this was from the point of view of Peter, who we all know isn’t exactly the reading kind. He may have found the nuances and alliterations a bit too much. I wouldn’t blame him. In any case, this was a very funny episode from family guy and I strongly recommend you watching. Now if you excuse me, I am off to reading Iliad.