The best mature cartoon on television: 'Family Guy'
Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013 22:10
Let’s be honest for a minute. “Family Guy” is a complete rip-off of “The Simpsons.” That being said, it is a better show. “Family Guy” is basically a mature version of “The Simpsons.” “The Simpsons” have covered some suggestive and controversial subject matter, but it always manages to do so tastefully, in a family friendly maner. The same cannot be said about “Family Guy”. “Family Guy” is the cruder and more adult oriented cartoon sitcom that “The Simpsons” could never be.
While it is true that the same demographic of teenage boys is the main viewer of both shows, “Family Guy” aims for more mature content and jokes. This works well for the show in two ways. First, we generally get better jokes. They are dirtier and even reference current events, celebrities and other things that only adults will get. Second, the show can cover more mature subject matter and themes.
While “The Simpsons” have covered some of the same things, they don’t go as deep into the material sometimes. However, this is not always a bad thing. Sometimes “Family Guy” aspires to go very deep into mature or controversial topics and wants us to laugh at things that only a sociopath should find funny. At times it seems as if the goal is not always satire or humor but rather just to push the limits of mature cartoons and gain shock value. They may not go as far as “South Park” does at times, but without the satirical meaning present in “South Park” it is much more disturbing. “The Simpsons” typically aspire for more satirical value and cover topics in a more tasteful light. “Family Guy” is funnier when covering controversial subjects, but it is all becomes lost when they push it too far.
The real problem with “The Simpsons” is the show’s inability to age. Both shows have seen a decline in material in recent years, but “The Simpsons” seem to be following the same formulas they did in 1995. Family Guy’s writing has grown in many ways since its beginning. Not all of these are positive changes, but it has in ways gotten better and not just worse. “The Simpsons” is just not very funny at all anymore. They attempt to relate and incorporate current pop culture, but the same approach that worked in the 90s just doesn’t seem to work nowadays. The audience has not only seen it countless times, but since we have now seen shows like “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” “The Simpsons” are no longer the only existing cartoon aimed for adults, but they don’t seem at all eager to acknowledge this. The jokes are all recycled and repeated. Even when we get new material it all feels like a lukewarm retreat of old material. The only real reason I find left to watch “The Simpsons” is nostalgia for the memories and moments of greatness the show saw in the past. “Family Guy” may not be as good as it was in its prime, but it has managed to avoid this.