The quite controversial but hilarious American comedy, Family Guy, a production of Seth MacFarlane, is said to have initially been inspired by The Simpsons. And though some similarities occur, especially between the main characters, Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson, the team behind Family Guy has definitely created its own universe of witty banter.
The Griffin family can be considered middle class, composed of father-of-three Peter Griffin, his wife Lois, their children, Chris, Meg and baby Stewie, and the family dog, Brian.
Though he appears to be well-intentioned, Peter is the perfect incorporation of all defects of contemporary western society males, being extremely selfish, lacking any general knowledge and most times common sense; he is beyond lazy, self-indulgent, superficial and to put it mildly, not too bright. He is also puerile, quite arrogant, prejudiced due to his lack of culture, unsympathetic and usually disrespects his wife and takes her for granted, unless he is faced with losing her. His involvement in his children’s lives is scarce, mostly unintended and rarely beneficial. His main hobby is drinking with his friends, as they spend a significant part of their life in a pub called “The Drunken Clam”, sharing their utopias and never accomplishing anything palpable.
His wife, Lois, with an upper class background, is a confident, hard working but frustrated woman, who has come to realize she has wasted her potential. She teaches piano and often fancies a career that would bring her fame, such as singing or modeling, but keeps sticking by the man who’s holding her back. She is usually not appreciated enough and the tediousness of her existence pushes her over the edge, as over the episodes she recurs to affairs, kleptomania and overeating to fill the emptiness in her life. She often resolves the situations Peter creates.
Their son Chris is just on the border between naivety and idiocy, as he is a bit unintelligent for his age. He is an aspiring young artist, which usually goes unnoticed by the rest of the family and has an “evil monkey” in his closet. He is also the object of someone’s passion, and that someone is an old pedophile named Herbert, who enjoys stalking him. Meg, for a change, is not obtuse, but extremely discouraged by the attitude of her family. She is the typical teenager, unhappy with her figure, ignored and made fun of in society as well as at home. She desperately seeks acceptance from her shallow high school peers, but never gets it.
Stewie is the unaccredited evil genius of the family, as he concocts plans of world domination, time travel and matricide. He has a vast culture and also homosexual inclinations that nobody seems to notice. His equal in intellect and conversation partner is Brian, the alcoholic talking dog, who has aspirations to be a writer. Brian is usually the most mature family member and the voice of reason in situations of intense conflict.
The Griffins live on Spooner street, and almost every episode features Peter’s friends and neighbours, local Don Juan Glen Quagmire, policeman Joe Swanson and deli owner Cleveland Brown. Occasionally, members of Peter, Lois’s or Brian’s family appear as well. All in all, Family Guy indiscriminately mocks modern society with all its aspects and is probably one of the most non-PC cartoons ever created.