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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Animation Domination certainly decks something

     Sunday marked the end of 2009 episodes of Animation Domination (or, Seth McFarlane & The Simpsons Night) on Fox.  Let's look at the results.

     The Simpsons, the only holdout against giving the entire night to McFarlane's series of practically the same shows, absconded the Christmas theme for an episode about Bart wanting a baby brother.  Homer (Dan Castellaneta), of course, would have none of it, and all of Bart's (Nancy Cartwright) attempts to trick his parents into it failed horribly.  So he went and adopted an orphan.  The episode had some of the best gags in a long time, from the boys dressed as the South Park kids, to the montage of famous brothers (many voiced by the actual celebrities portrayed).  For those who argue that the show has passed its prime and it so longer as good as it once was, I think this episode joins the ranks of recent ones proving them wrong.  Besides, without Simpsons, could we really take another McFarlane clone?

     All kidding aside, McFarlane's latest creation, The Cleveland Show, is actually fairly funny, just like his other shows, although some of the novelty of the original has long worn off.  This episode went all out for the holidays, even adding a new theme song, with a few fun throwbacks to the show it spun off from.  Cleveland does get to deal with reality of a broken family, though, and for the Christmas drama, Cleveland (Mike Henry) had to find his new stepkids' father and get him to come home to restore the yuletide spirit.  This show tries to be edgy, with Cleveland's boss proclaiming "Hide the silverware!" when his dark skinned employee arrived, but ends up being a bit too silly to be offensive.  My only real complaint about this episode was letting neighbor, Arianna (Arianna Huffington), an uber-religious bear, drop character to enjoy letting the reindeer watch her have sex with her husband, Tim (McFarlane).  Continuity, people!

     Family Guy really kind of skipped the holiday, too, but was ok for it.  Peter's (McFarlane) father-in-law, Mr. Pewterschmidt (also McFarlane),  lapses into a coma, Peter gets to take over his multi-billion dollar company.  Like most episode, the main plot isn't what makes the show.  This one was full of great gags.  For instance, while the town's bar is called the Thirst Clam, apparently it's strip club is the Fuzzy Clam.  When Mr. Pewterschmidt collapsed, he said he was having a "heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack, you oughta know by now", reference to legendary Mr. Billy Joel.  The doctor at the hospital, as well as a surprise pop up at the end, was none other than Hugh Laurie playing his popular fox character House, from the television show of the same name.  Jim Parsons also made a guest appearance as his character, Sheldon, from The Big Bang Theory.  Plus, there were some great Scooby-Doo moments.  And let's be honest, moments are what Family Guy is all about.

     The best of the night was probably American Dad.  It felt like a bizarre series finale for Stan (guess who?  McFarlane), though the rest of the cast didn't get the same payoff, and the series isn't ending.  This episode apparently takes place outside of the show continuity.  Stan and Francine (Wendy Schaal) had sex in a church on Christmas, and so are left behind as the rest of the congregation, including their children, are raptured into heaven.  Stan blames Francine for seducing him, and she leaves him and ends up as Jesus Christ's girlfriend.  Seven years later, as the end times come to an end, Jesus asks Stan to help him rescue Francine from the anti-Christ, and we see what is really in Stan's heart.  It was incredibly trippy, weird, and wonderful.  One of the best episodes of the series thus far, which is saying something, as Dad is probably consistently the best of the Sunday night lineup at present.

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