Welcome To Springfield: The Family Guy Special | One of Us

Welcome To Springfield: The Family Guy Special

3 Submitted by on Wed, 01 October 2014, 09:01

Looks like I’m pulling a double this week. While The Simpsons Guy may be a Family Guy episode, The Simpsons is my beat and I need to review this. In this episode, Peter becomes a newspaper cartoonist and quickly offends local women. Fearing for their lives, the Griffin family makes its escape out of Quahog to wait until the heat dies down. After their car gets stolen at a gas station, they wind up in Springfield. Homer discovers the family at the Kwik-E-Mart and invites them back to his place, where they meet the rest of the Simpsons.

 

Various members of the families break off and have minor adventures together while looking for the car.After running into it (well, it runs into Peter), the two patriarchs celebrate at Moe’s.  Peter offers Homer a six-pack of Pawtucket Patriot, which is revealed to be Duff under a different label. This brings on a huge court case. After Duff wins, Peter and Homer fight. They make up afterwards and all is forgiven.

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This episode is similar to what might happen when a grandparent spends time with a grandchild and finds out just how different the generations are. The best way to make sense of this is the controversial rape joke. When Bart makes the prank call, he’s being clever and trying to give people a chuckle with his wordplay. When Stewie does his version, he’s trying to get a laugh by being offensive.

The court scene is an eye roller. We get it, The Simpsons did it first and most of the comparisons are really just in title. I mean, what long-running sitcom doesn’t have a reporter or a mayor or a principal character? You could have done this with South Park or Bob’s Burgers and had the same results.

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Getting back to the rape joke it feels like a 13-year-old wrote it and Peter Griffin’s response to how controversial his comic is. It feels like the kind of response we’d get from someone who cries about misandry online.

I also need to complain about the length. This episode didn’t need to run as long as it did. Realistically, the storylines for Lisa and Meg and Chris, Brian and Santa’s Little Helper could have been cut. The only characters people truly wanted to see hang out were Bart and Stewie and Homer and Peter. These two could have been extended or there could have been a story about Marge and Lois. Either option would have been a better use of time than the two we got, which seemed to go nowhere.

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On the other hand…

While I disagree with the viewpoint that every Family Guy character is a knock-off of a Simpsons character, the delivery by the blue haired lawyer was great. I also appreciate the value of having Fred Flinstone serve as the judge. The Flinstones was a pioneer for prime time cartoons and it’s nice to see the show get some respect. Additionally, eagle-eyed viewers might have noticed both Matt Groening and Seth Macfarlane in the courtroom, another nice nod to both shows.

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While I could argue the story was pretty flimsy, this was the crossover that everyone was waiting for. No one cares how the families met, they really just wanted it to happen. Furthermore, this wasn’t solely a crossover with Family Guy and The Simpsons. The episode featured some clever cameos from Bob from Bob’s Burgers, Roger from American Dad, and presented a good joke about the failure to make The Cleveland Show a real show.

The fight scene is what we’ve all wanted and waited for. While there are dozens of fan-made videos, none of them could ever be as great as the real deal. It literally becomes a superhero battle and out-does any of the previous chicken fights. Interestingly enough, the episode doesn’t make as much use of cutaway gags as you’d expect from a Family Guy episode.

This episode is a mixed bag. It’s Family Guy and The Simpsons with a little bit of humor from both. I was worried about how that would work, but neither one seemed to overpower the episode too much. At first I thought this episode was going to be the Fox executives forcing them to play nice, but this turned out a lot better than I thought.

Final Score: 3.5/5.0

Phew that’s two in one week, not a bad effort at all. I’m Andrew Semkow and Welcome to Springfield.

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