|Date(s):||January 31, 1999 - present|
|Country of Origin:||United States|
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Family Guy is an adult animated series on FOX.
The show centers around the working-class Griffin family of Quahog; dimwitted patriarch Peter, well-meaning but tart-tongued housewife Lois, homely eldest daughter Meg, childish middle son Chris, homicidal infant son Stewie, well-read dog Brian and the family's many friends and neighbors.
History of cancellation and uncancellation
The show was cancelled after two seasons and brought back, canceled a second time and brought back again due to its extreme popularity.
Controversies and fan criticism
The show was as first a fairly standard Simpsons knockoff that relied on bad jokes and constant cut-away gags, but somewhere around the 7th season it became more ingrained in socio-political commentary, not unlike South Park. Brian Griffin especially became notorious for this among the fans, especially when Seth McFarlane outright admitted Brian was his author avatar. However, the political bent was gradually replaced by the writers' sociopathy, trying to push the envelope as far as they could on edgy, offensive humor. This involved copious sexism, racism, rape jokes, homophobia, transphobia, and child abuse.
The characterization and tone have gained a lot of detractors as well. Meg and Brian became the two most-abused characters on the show, but while enough fans were annoyed with Brian to the point where they didn't care, the constant mistreatment of Meg pissed off a lot of people. This led to her gaining a huge fan following among people who felt she deserved a better series and a better family.
A lot of fans prefer the older seasons, in which the characters were less bombastic but more tolerable and the plots relied on dumb jokes rather than shock value humor. However, this didn't mean the series avoided any controversy; the episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" was banned from TV for a period of time due to a line in a musical number; the line was subsequently changed from "even though they killed my lord" to "I don't think they killed my lord."
The fandom is known for a regular occurrence of fix-it fic and grovelfic, much of it focused on Meg getting revenge on her tormentors and either escaping Quahog for greener pastures or sticking around once the rest of the cast atoned for their behavior and started treating her with respect. Other fics simply tried to paint a broader picture of her life beyond the abuse, focusing on the positives in her life (especially romantic relationships).
Among viewers, the Road Trip episodes with Brian and Stewie are very well-liked. The show also has a reputation for excellent musical numbers, fans' feelings about the actual content non-withstanding.
Brian/Stewie is hands-down the most popular pairing in the fandom, despite the two being a dog and an infant. Brian is sometimes turned into a human and Stewie aged up for such stories, and the majority of them involve sex. Pairings with Meg are also very popular on ff.net, ranging from onetime love interest Kevin Swanson to Glenn Quagmire to original characters.
Brian Griffin Death Hoax
The show pulled a highly controversial move in season 12 by killing off Brian in a dramatic tearjerker of an episode, replacing him with an Italian dog named Vinny. This was completely undone two episodes later through a series of contrivances; Vinny was written out of the show and Stewie was able to save Brian's life. Later, tweets from creator Seth MacFarlane revealed that Brian's death had been intended as a fake-out all along , much to the outrage of fans who had circulated petitions and made countless social media posts mourning the character and demanding he be brought back.