Monday, March 17, 2008


I find some pop culture references quite funny. I enjoy Harvey Birdman and without the constant references to old Hanna Barbera characters that show would be nothing. But there's just too much of it. Robot Chicken, Family Guy and others are completely built on their pop culture references and many other shows that have more to offer still don't seem to be able to resist peppering their shows with 'humorous' nods.

I guess I wouldn't mind if they really played with them or parodied them well or whatever but, for the most part, it seems to be enough just to show a scene from something people know.

It's like the television equivalent of a band shouting 'anyone here from Bristol?!' to a Bristol crowd. People hear it and think, 'Hey, I know what that is!'. Like recognition is all people need to feel involved. Maybe it makes them feel special and part of something bigger.

Just seems a bit lazy to me though.

So why am I bringing it up? Well, as I'm sure many of you know, Family Guy is getting a Clevelend (Cleveland?) spin-off. I enjoy Family Guy. It certainly made me laugh, especially early on. But it's run its course and it's a shame to think that another show just like it will take up the space and resources that could have been given to something totally new. That isn't built on just pop culture references.

Oh, and happy St.Patricks Day to all you Irish/Americans/Irish-Americans.


Andy Latham said...

Do you think it could be that the show's writers feel they need to give their thumbs up or thumbs down to shows from the past? I mean it could be the same sort of thing as the blogging phenomenon - people filling cyberspace with their (usually) unneeded and misplaced opinions. People feel the need to express themselves to the world even when the world doesn't want to hear it. Maybe the likes of Family Guy are the scriptwriters' equivalent of a blog with no aim.

Bitter Animator said...

That's an interesting way of looking at it, Andy, and you could be right.

It does feel at times like they are just really excited about being able to recreate shows they loved. But then other times it feels like creative bankrupcy. It probably also varies from writer to writer in terms of intentions.