Family Guy is one of, if not the most, controversial shows on television. Its constant wise cracks about women, religion, politics, sex, and other issues bring it ridicule and scolding on an almost daily basis. But no matter how edgy or controversial the show gets it still is a great way to analyze gender in popular culture because of those very same “hot” topics. I started watching Family Guy about 2 years ago and never thought too much of any of the jokes. They weren’t shaping the person I was nor were they making me hate women or changing my religious beliefs. To me it’s a television show. It’s a show that makes me crack up every time I watch it because of its ridiculous characters and outrageous jokes. But unfortunately not everyone agrees with me and looks to pick on Family Guy and its jokes.
Here is a list of the shows characters so when I talk about them in my other posts you know who I am talking about if you are not a view of the show.
Peter Griffin – Main character
Lois – Peter’s wife
Chris – Peter’s son
Meg – Peter’s daughter
Stewie – Peter’s son
Brian – Family Dog (who can talk)
Family Guy is constantly under fire from all sorts of different people because of its content. One reason for this is the fact that the writers are constantly promoting existing stereotypes and making fun of controversial issues. Because of their constant reaffirmation of common stereotypes and poking fun of other issues, they contribute to many of the social understandings that pop culture provides us with. One such example is in a recent episode entitled “You may now kiss the… uh… guy who receives.” The episode centers around a gay (talking) dog and the towns recent ban on gay marriage. Throughout the episode, any of the gay characters are not displayed as normal people in society but as blatantly homosexual with the typical “gay voice.”
The main theme of the episode is whether or not gay marriage should be allowed or not. The influence of the heterosexual on homosexuals is extremely relevant throughout the show. Chris burns a petition that was made by Brian to try and convince the mayor to change his mind on a gay marriage ban, Peter asks ridiculous questions about gays (if being in a locker room is “like supermarket sweep” for gay men), and Lois leaves the house to live with her parents in protest of Brian’s gay cousin Jasper wanting to get married in the Griffin house.
While Family Guy does poke fun at all sorts of controversial issues including gay marriage, it is for this reason that the show has not only gained popularity but power as well. The reason the Family Guy writers are able to continue to push the envelope with their content is because they have done it so frequently and so much.