Monkeys, not Guys

Pisspoor and proud of it

Don’t normally moan on my blogposts (it’s unbecoming, common as muck and largely counterproductive). But one subject above all others is irritating me beyond belief at present: crap animation on the telly. In particular, I refer to the execrable Family Guy which is played in a continuous loop on BBC 3. Can’t fucking stand it.

My loathing has been fed by years of repeats. There are episodes I know by heart, like the scars and scabs on a scrofulous pet rat. There is one kind of joke in Family Guy, Thats it. Peter Griffin says “it’s like when…” and there is a cutaway to a literal depiction of what fathead Pete was talking about; a little vignette of a slightly humorous nature. Sorry. Two kinds of jokes. One of the characters has a catch-phrase. Giggety, giggety.

 Still, I acknowledge I might be in the minority here. That my chortle-deficient response to the antics of Stewie and Bryan might be to do with my own particular knobheadedness. Perhaps that is so. But I would certainly be less excised about the whole thing if it wasn’t repeated so bloody often. If, for example, it was on once a month, I could be more magnanimous “Ooh, there’s the cartoon show I find mildly irritating. Never mind, Changing Rooms is on after this.” ..and that would be that. But no. Family Guy is shown daily. Twice. Does much comedy bear endless repetition?


I know nothing about TV scheduling or the price of cartoons, but it does seem odd that this particular piece of American sub-humour has been chosen to repeated ad nauseam on the worlds best broadcaster. There are other US animations that could also serve – Beavis & Butthead, Clone High or Ren and Stimpy – these are slightly less formulaic and joyless. If its a question of price (cartoons are expensive and you need to justify the price by broadcasting them over and over again), why not try something from outside the US?


An excellent example of an animated series from outside the US is Bro’Town. Devised by the genius that is Ant Sang, it is the tale of a New Zealand gang of kids from Maori/Pacific Island backgrounds. It is sharp, funny, satirical and best of all, takes you somewhere different. You may even learn a few bits of Maori (ok, swear words in Maori). It should be worth a go. Given the success of Flight of The Conchords and Summer Heights High, it should be obvious by now that the antipodeans are funny buggers.

Another option that the BBC could take is to raid it’s own vaults for animation. What about reruns of Stressed Eric or Monkey Dust? In fact, why was Monkey dust ever taken off the air? It was the best animated satire series ever. I still find myself going to youtube and seeking it out fabulous stuff.

 The main reason why the Beeb should take Family Guy off the air is because they are being played for suckers. The same thing happened with South Park (now THAT was a show!). It was shown on Channel 4 until it became popular (i.e. Channel 4 built up an audience for it) and then Sky snapped it up. Now those fans had no option: if they wanted to see it, they had to pay for a Sky subscription. Similarly, the Simpsons has been ruthlessly exploited to build audience share for the Murdochpoly. US animation is in essence a marketing gimmick used to hoik people into paying subs for Sky and Nickolodeon. Cooperating with these scum-sucking parasites isn’t funny. Which brings me right back to Family Guy.

About floppybootstomp

Lecturer, teacher, writer and traveller all perfectly good nouns aren't they? Do they have anything to do with me? Ask the taxman.

Posted on August 31, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like ‘Family Guy’, I was beginning to think I was the only one, and you’ve singled out the very thing that also annoys me about it too! Basically FG is a huge rip off of the Simpsons but has none of the charm.

    When the Simpsons do the same gag “it’s like that time when…” they usually don’t cut to the thing happening (at least in the earlier seasons) because they know it’s often funnier not to have the joke explained. The Simpsons also have a rule about ‘real’ things happening (ok I know that’s pretty tenuous) but there’s no talking babies or dogs and all the really silly stuff is confined to the Halloween specials.

    Anyway, I got rid of TV a couple of years ago and haven’t missed it. All the really good shows (futurama/firefly) get cancelled, so I say f**k ’em. I think as a medium it’s dying and in 10 years or less will probably be dead!

    • Garak, I’m glad there’s two of us now. We should start a ‘no to FG’ support group. On your last paragraph, I still have a telly and think it will last a good deal longer than 10 years — mainly because quality/writing is getting better (thinking of Mad Men, The Wire, Outnumbered, Mitchell & Webb, the Inbetweeners etc) Actors are now saying that TV is a better medium to work in than movies, because the writing is usually better.

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