Episode: Family Guy 8.01 – “Road To The Multiverse”
Original Air Date: September 21, 2009
Season eight of Seth MacFarlane’s animated comedy Family Guy aired on Fox last night and, much to my surprise, it was a lot better than I expected. As much as I love the show, it is virtually impossible to deny the fact that its last several seasons were increasingly formulaic and predictable. Every episode featured the ridiculous antics of the Griffin family and was sure to feature at least two or three of Peter’s “clever” flashbacks or a borderline offensive anecdote. As a result, very little was expected of season eight.
The season eight opener is a breath of fresh air for Family Guy, however. In episode 8.1, “Road To The Multiverse,” Stewie shares his latest invention with the family dog, Brian: a remote control that allows the user to jump between universes. As Stewie explains, the “multiverse theory” is actually fact and hundreds of thousands of parallel universes exist in which every eventuality and variation of reality occurs. After taking Brian to a universe in which Stewie procured a genetically engineered pig, Stewie and Brian decide to explore some other parallel universes and hilarity ensues.
The various universes are pretty hit-or-miss; the universe that parodies the old Flintstones cartoon show is relatively blah, but the universe based on Robot Chicken, the stop-motion cartoon series created by Seth Green that airs on [adult swim] is not only well executed, but laugh-out-loud funny as well. Another gem is the universe in which everything is animated in the Disney style and the Family Guy cast spontaneously breaks into song about the wonders of freshly baked pie.
I also found it interesting how far “Road To The Multiverse” pushed the envelope with the whole “Stewie is gay” joke. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that MacFarlane isn’t beating around the bush with that one anymore. In my opinion, the season eight premiere displayed a lot of the creativity and imagination that Family Guy has lacked in the past several seasons, which I take as a good sign for the rest of the season. It’s been quite some time since I had some literal laugh-out-loud Family Guy moments, but I was pleased to find myself laughing — and laughing hard — at some of last night’s jokes. Hopefully, the season won’t revert back to its previous formula after the premiere, but that’s something that we’re just going to have to wait to find out.
You can watch new episodes of Family Guy Sunday nights on Fox at 9/8c. For more information on Family Guy or to watch previous episodes, visit the show’s official web site and stay tuned to Fandomania for more Family Guy season eight episode reviews!