Role reversals, estranged children, marriage, death, and Trump. Lots of Trump. There’s a lot on the plate for the upcoming season of Family Guy, but the reckless, fearless nature that this show operates with is a rarity in cartoons that have been around for decades. Family Guy has seen many other animated series come and go during its lifetimes, yet this series continues to endure. With over 300 episodes under its belt, Seth MacFarlane’s animated darling has tapped into something special and it doesn’t look like there’s an end in sight.
Never afraid to miss an opportunity to mock themselves, the people behind Family Guy seem to be well aware that their show’s reputation has fluctuated through the years. Rather than panic or attempt to drastically reinvent the series, Family Guy has found a comfort in recent years by falling back on character and the strong relationships that define the show.
“The rich get richer,” explains executive producer, Alec Sulkin, on the show’s evolution and the rapport of their staff. “No one is embarrassed around each other any more,” which is crucial to the show’s storytelling. “There’s a safety to it,” he adds. Rest assured, this is still a deeply immature, unapologetic animated series, but the show’s upcoming season promises to venture into unexplored territory with these characters. Brian, for instance, will have to struggle with both marriage and the death of a loved one in the season’s two-part premiere, but he’s not the only one that will be pushed to unfamiliar places.
Family Guy’s new season will saddle Quagmire up with responsibility when he learns that he has a teenage daughter (voiced by Mandy Moore), Meg will struggle with an eating disorder (as well as a stint with diabetes), and Stewie will continue down the journey of self-discovery that began in his therapy session last season. Never one to avoid controversy, Executive producer, Rich Appel, also mentioned that an upcoming episode entitled “Trump Guy” could easily become one of the series’ most talked about installments.
The centerpiece for the upcoming season was an extensive look into this politically minded two-parter where Peter begins to work for President Trump. The two hit it off, but after Trump hits on Meg, Peter turns on the guy. The preview of the episode featured plenty of Trump’s cabinet, such as Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Melania, but the highlight of the clip featured Peter locked in a vicious, five-minute fight with the President (“We traded the chicken for a cock,” jokes Sulkin, on the show’s lengthy brawls). Family Guy’s production team embraced this risky idea and claimed that they want Trump to tweet and complain about the episodes (which are likely to air in January).
The show’s new season also promises fantastical episodes that will play with structure in unusual ways. This is hardly unusual for the program (in fact, these deviations in form were even described as some of Family Guy’s most popular entries), but new episodes will bring more science-bending buddy missions between Brian and Stewie.
Finally, when talk of Family Guy’s infamous crossover with The Simpsons came about, the conversation shifted towards Rick and Morty. However, don’t get your hopes up just yet on the idea of Rick getting wasted with Peter. The team made it clear that a Rick and Morty crossover is probably unlikely in the future, but they did mention that the cast of Bob’s Burgers make a cameo this year.
Family Guy is confident in their latest collection of episodes. Even after such a satisfying preview of what’s to come, it looks like their new season is still going to be full of many inappropriate surprises. Life can be stressful and this show seems to understand that sometimes laughing at ridiculous chaos can be enough to heal wounds.
Daniel Kurland is a published writer, comedian, and critic whose work can be read on Den of Geek, Vulture, Bloody Disgusting, and ScreenRant. Daniel knows that the owls are not what they seem, that Psycho II is better than the original, and he’s always game to discuss Space Dandy. His perma-neurotic thought process can be followed at @DanielKurlansky.
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