The Cleveland Show (Season 1)
NOTE: Do NOT change the headings to Why It Sucks and Redeeming Qualities or remove it from the "Average Shows" category as this season of the show is considered average by many viewers.
The Cleveland Show is an American adult animated sitcom that is a spin-off to Family Guy. It ran on FOX from September 27, 2009 to May 19, 2013. Reruns of the show currently airs on Comedy Central, VH1, BET and ITV2.
The show follows Cleveland Brown back in his hometown of Stoolbend, Virginia with his new family.
- The idea is not a good one, as Cleveland isn't fit to star in his own show.
- Cleveland is flanderized from being a kind, well-meaning guy to an unfunny and annoying person who abuses his son now and then. He's essentially become the black version of Peter Griffin.
- It copies the same formula of Family Guy and American Dad!.
- A lot of stereotypes, particularly for the main characters, such as Donna being the sassy black woman and Lester's wife Kendra being an obese stereotype who speaks in an annoying voice and delivers some of the grossest moments.
- Many of the other characters are pretty unlikable too, such as Tim the Bear, who acts like a Brian Griffin ripoff. Because of this, Seth MacFarlane stopped voicing him after Season 2 and was later replaced by Jess Harnell.
- LeVar, Cleveland's father is extremely unlikable as he constantly abuses his son.
- The characters are pretty forgettable.
- The jokes fall dry a lot and the Cutaways are rather bland and tasteless. They almost feel like Family Guy cutaways, but even worse.
- The worst episode is possibly the Thanksgiving episode from Season 1.
- Along with the Thanksgiving episode, there was the pilot episode that too was garbage.
- Barely any character development.
- Auntie Momma (a Madea expy and somewhat a spoof of the character) is an extremely annoying and disgusting character because she keeps saying that she's outrageous, emitting flatulence, and even worse, portraying her as just semi-stereotypical black Transwoman as part of a semi-recurring joke for both Terry Crews' crossdressing and Donna Tubbs' personality foil.
- Over-reliance on gross-out humor. For example, the episode Gone with the Wind has Cleveland do nothing but fart the entire episode. There’s also literally an subplot from "Terry Unmarried" that centers around Rallo and Junior talking about eating their own boogers, as well as the thanksgiving special where everybody did nothing but vomit.
- Not only does Cleveland Jr. look almost nothing like he initially did in Family Guy, but his voice can get annoying at times.
- The final episode of the show was completely random and did not give the series a proper conclusion due to it not being designed as a finale.
- To make matters worse, after the series was canceled, Cleveland and his family returned to Family Guy, but the writers never did anything with Cleveland's family in that show besides reducing them to cameo appearances, thus making this show pointless.
- One of the characters, Rallo Tubbs, is a great and hilarious character, though he might have similarites to Stewie Griffin since he's a talking baby who sounds like a grown up.
- The theme song is pretty catchy.
- Cleveland can be funny at times.
- Decent voice acting, with Mike Henry reprising his role as Cleveland Brown.
- The animation is pretty good, and an improvement over the modern seasons of Family Guy.
- Plenty of good episodes, like “Die Semi-Hard”, "Hot Cocoa Bang Bang", "Fist and Furious", The Blue, the Gray and the Brown, Harder, Better, Faster, Browner, Frapp Attack, Nightmare on Grace Street, The Hurricane!, and the The Wide World of Cleveland Show.
- Some of the songs like "Be-Cleve in Yourself" are pretty good and well-executed.
- Great guest appearances with Kanye West, Bruno Mars and many more.
- Season 2 is really good and was a massive improvement for the series. The same can be said about seasons 3 and 4. The writing, jokes, and characters began to improve.
- Some funny cutaways like the Bob the Builder cutaway in "Like A Boss".
- There can be some heartwarming moments in the show.
- While Cleveland Jr.'s redesign and new personality were clearly meant to make him more like Chris Griffin (and to a lesser extent, Steve Smith), it ended up being a strangely fortunate decision, since Cleveland Jr. originally looked and acted like a very young Bill Cosby. Had they not redesigned Cleveland Jr. when they did, the producers would probably have been forced to drop him altogether when Cosby's crimes came to light.
- Originally based on a Concept Art for the show in 2007-08 and Season 1 DVD commentary, there was no Richter family; there was supposed to be a British family (unnamed, but revealed as the Pennyapples in the DVD commentary) as Cleveland's right-hand neighbors. But they were cut out during the making of the pilot; according to Seth and some of the staff, they didn't know about where they put the British-stereotype jokes. So they replaced them with the Holt Richter family in the finished pilot--Holt first, then his family was added in later episodes to expand his personality.
The Cleveland Show received mixed reviews by critics, audiences and fans of Family Guy alike.
Google gave it an 87% Google User Score. It has a 4.0 audience score.
The show has sharply divided critics.
Tom Shales of The Washington Post spoke very negatively about both the show and MacFarlane himself, describing him as "no better than the dirty old man hanging around playgrounds with naughty pictures or risque jokes as lures". However, Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was more positive about the program, writing that although The Cleveland Show was "just as rude-crude" as Family Guy, it also had "more warmth" due to Cleveland being a more likable character than Peter Griffin. Owen also praised the character of Tim the Bear, stating that "Tim is by far the most amusing creation."