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Life of Brian (Family Guy)

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Life of Brian (Family Guy)
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It looks like Alex Carter has taken a few pages from the various students he has of the "Sweeps Week School of Pulling Every Trick In The Book To Get Higher Ratings".
Series: Family Guy
Part of Season: 12
Episode Number: 6
Air Date: November 24, 2013
Writer: Alex Carter
Director: Joseph Lee
Previous episode: Boopa-dee Bappa-dee
Next episode: Into Harmony's Way


Life of Brian is the sixth episode of the twelfth season of Family Guy, and is the first episode of a three-part story arc revolving around the death of the main character Brian Griffin.

Summary

When Stewie and Brian risk accidentally drastically altering history one too many times during their time travel adventures, Stewie destroys his time machine for good. However, he soon regrets doing so when Brian is hit by a car and dies shortly after, which he no longer can reverse.

Why It Needs To Die Out

  1. This episode serves as nothing but a pointless rating trap. In fact, it is the literal definition of a rating trap.
  2. It uses emotional manipulation, as it tends to make viewers feel sorry for Brian and how they hated him. It also attempts to make him more likable by killing him off instead of fixing some qualities of his Flanderization to make him more likable.
    • This use of emotional manipulation would be used later in the Simpsons episode "Clown in the Dumps".
  3. It started as a major "wham episode", but became completely pointless after Brian came back just two episodes later.
    • Not helping that this episode, "Into Harmony's Way" and "Christmas Guy" are a three-part story arc revolving around Brian's death.
  4. Most of the jokes in this episode are dull and offensive.
    • It also uses lots of offensive stereotypes; an example of this is the use of Native American ones at the beginning of the episode.
  5. It doesn’t know whether it wants to be serious and emotional or humorous and comedic but manages to fail at both. It tries too hard to be an emotional drama but the emotional moments are ruined by tasteless jokes such as when a squirrel kicks Brian's corpse and spits on it, a racist one in which a black woman repeatedly hits Joe with her purse at Brian's funeral, and Quagmire disrespecting Brian in his funeral by watching baseball on his phone (we know Quagmire hates Brian, and Brian isn’t a likable character, but still).
  6. Animation Error: When Brian is laying on the street immediately after being run over, the scene is shown in two angles; Brian is drawn the same way at both angles.
  7. This episode was going to presumably be the end of the tiresome time-traveling episodes, however "Chap Stewie" (which isn't a bad episode) voided this.
  8. Vinny (while a decent replacement of Brian) is a one-dimensional Italian-American stereotype.
  9. The person who ran over Brian is not only never revealed but is also never punished for the act.
    • Since Quagmire is so unlikeable in this episode for what is mentioned in pointer #5, some fans may suspect that he could have been the driver who ran over Brian. But then again, he is not cheering on his death, and the car that ran over Brian is different than the one Quagmire usually drives.
  10. Not all of Brian's loved ones show up for the funeral. Even though Brian's cousin Jasper does attend, his son Dylan does not show up and it is never explained why.
  11. The series creator, Seth MacFarlane admitted on Twitter that he made this episode because he wanted to teach the audience a lesson that they should not take their loved ones for granted. However the moral, while a good one, is very poorly executed in the episode due to the fact that Brian’s death came out of nowhere and the episode did not indicate beforehand that Stewie was taking Brian for granted.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. There are a few funny moments.
    • The scene where a headless chicken tells Peter not to talk to him due to Peter having a bad reputation in the chicken community was pretty funny.
    • The cutaway involving 1920s women wanting to vote for Warren G. Harding because they think he is the cutest, proceeding with them having a pillow fight while "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper plays in the background is funny and is also historically accurate (Warren G. Harding won the election because he was considered to be a very handsome man).
  2. The scene where Vinny comforts Stewie and they become friends is a bit heartwarming.
  3. Vinny (despite he's a one-dimensional Italian-American stereotype) is a decent replacement for Brian, although he was written off of the series after Christmas Guy.
  4. Brian's death, despite being considered pointless nowadays, is still a genuine heartbreaker and could leave the viewer in tears.
  5. Amazingly, everyone (Except for Quagmire and the car driver) is likable and no one else did a thing wrong. Vinny got a decent introduction, Peter, Brian, and Lois aren’t flanderized like they usually are, and this is one of the few times seasons 8-14 Meg has her original personality.

Reception

"Life Of Brian" was universally panned by both critics, audiences, viewers, and longtime Family Guy fans for being needlessly depressing and a shameless publicity stunt,[1][2] and has a paltry 4.6/10 on IMDb.[3] It is considered to be the worst episode among many fans of Family Guy.[4] However, The A.V. Club's Eric Thurm was kinder to it. He gave it an A-, the highest grade of any Season 12 episode on that site.[5]

Videos

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