Family Guy: It’s A Trap!
Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis
Creator: Seth MacFarlane
New York University '00
"I don't think you're dumb... I just think at times you're under-exposed to information." -Murphy Brown
Family Guy: It’s A Trap!
Review By: Dan Deevy
Self deprecating and self referential comedy is what Family Guy has always done best and their third and final installment in their Star Wars series of episodes is no exception to that rule. They begin with a plea for the audience to lower their expectations for this one because they were exhausted and FOX forced them to make what they have christened Family Guy: It’s a Trap.
For anyone not familiar with this series east coast born creator, writer and star Seth MacFarlane brought the Rhode Island dwelling Griffin family to life originally in 1999 and it ran for 1 season before FOX pulled the plug on the show citing low ratings in 2000. The show came back on the air and then was cancelled again in 2002 and again brought back after a massive outcry from die hard fans. When the network decided to bring the show back in 2005 it finally stuck and has since become one of their highest rated shows. MacFarlane has become a giant in adult animation with Family Guy and its spin offs American Dad and The Cleveland Show.
This initially under funded ‘little show that could,’ now has more money at its disposal than they could have ever imagined and they have used all of that money very wisely. The animation, particularly in these Star Wars shows is fantastic. There are times when you really have to stare hard at an image to be certain it’s animated and not a shot from the actual movie. The way they incorporate their characters into the Star Wars ones is almost always seamless. Peter is the perfect Han Solo stand in, Lois as Princess Lea is befitting, Stewie basically is just a gayer version of Darth Vadar, I can buy Chris as a tubby version of Luke, Quagmire a less British C3PO and Brian as a shorter version of Chewie… the only one that makes absolutely no sense is Cleveland as R2D2… that one is a big WTF.
The episode runs about 40 minutes and definitely has its share of laughs. In fact, I think this was funnier than its immediate predecessor Something, Something, Something Dark Side which mirrored The Empire Strikes Back, which while a better movie, ironically didn’t end up being a better parody.
One thing that all of these shows have going for them is that they are using the exact soundtrack from the original films and as anyone who has seen these movies knows the soundtrack is a huge part of it. Every time I watch one of these parodies I’m always tempted to go and re-watch the actual movie again and the credit for that definitely goes to the music.
I don’t want to give away any of the jokes because then, what’s the point in watching the thing? But I will say that I could have done
The special features on the disc include a digital copy of the episode so you can download it to mobile devices which normally I think is pretty lame because if something is good enough to warrant buying it on DVD wouldn’t you want to watch it on an actual screen not a tiny mobile device? But in this case, I can see Family Guy being a nice go-to on your ipod or ipad or whatever for long boring plane rides or time spent with your actual family; Could be a nice distraction.
There is also a feature that follows a game of Trivial Pursuit Star Wars edition played by 4 of the shows writers / producers. I kid you not that is ALL that this feature is. I almost stopped watching it but somehow I got sucked into the game and found myself competing (and of course beating) all of them. That ultimate nerd trophy should have been mine!
Drawing with Peter Shin is another feature that I was going to fly through and ignore but it turns out it’s really interesting to see how rough the sketches are initially before they become these now almost iconicly recognizable characters that Family Guy has created.
The Sock Puppet Outakes are ridiculous let’s leave it at that and Animatics and Making the Scene are again showing the process of going from the rough drawings to adding on the all important finishing touches.
All of the behind-the-scenes stuff is really interesting but when you see how these guys and one gal interact it makes you shudder to think what their office parties must be like because man, can we say socially awkward much? Extremely talented and now all super rich but not the group I’d really want to party with.
Is this a must have in your DVD collection? Not really given how often the show is on Adult Swim and in syndication but since I get them for free it was definitely a pleasant surprise in the mail!
It’s funnier than Something, Something and definitely worth seeing without the damn bleeping but in these uncertain economic times I’d probably say save your money and wait to see it on TV or Hulu for free. But if money is no object go for it! Lot’s of laughs to be had here.