The world is full of idiots, and someone needs to point it out to them or they will never know.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Like Comedy? Then Don't Watch "The Cleveland Show".

I hate Family Guy. I used to love the show, in its first few seasons it was hilarious and savagely satirical. But, as the show dragged on, it moved further and further away from clever satire to more "gag" humour. Not to mention that Peter slowly transformed from stupid (but relatable) working-class man to irritating jerk. I don't find anything funny about Peter farting in his daughter's face, and that's probably one of his better displays of affection.

But I digress. In case you don't know, a new show is coming to FOX in the USA soon, The Cleveland Show. Yes, you read that right. Cleveland. Now, of all the characters from Family Guy to get their own show, why Cleveland? If I had to pick one character, it'd be Quagmire. Cleveland is just a boring, generic "black guy" who could only be more stereotyped if he ended every conversation with "DAMN, THIS SHIT IS WHACK!"

But, ah, the real reason why Cleveland's getting his own show is as obvious as it is silly: it's because he's black. FOX does not have an animated show that solely features African Americans. There's plenty of live action "black-only" shows out there with real actors, but no animated ones! (Well, not to my knowledge anyway - I do live in Australia and I am very white) Thus, a niche is filled and we have a new cash cow.

But, the money will only pour in if the show is a success. I want you to have a look at the official trailer below:

As Stewie puts it, "What the hell, he's getting his own show?" My sentiments exactly. But first, let's look at the characters:
  • Cleveland - You know him, you love him! Uh... well, you may not love him, but you do know him. He's that black guy from Family Guy who talks about brotherhood every now and then while you wait for the next zany cutaway gag that has nothing to do with the plot.
  • Donna, his new wife - Whoa, it's that easy to get married? Well, anyway, she doesn't get much screen time in the ad, but her Wikipedia page says, She is shown with an extremely-large posterior that is joked about often in the series. Wow. Giant ass jokes. You gotta love 'em. And isn't it a negative stereotype that black women have large bottoms? Good to see they're portraying her in a positive light. Anyway, if I had to guess, she'll probably be the stereotypical "no-nonsense" black chick - think Margaret from Becker, Laverne from Scrubs, etc.
  • Donna's teenage daughter, Roberta - Again, to quote Wikipedia: Roberta has a personality like most teenage girls... she is talkative and aggressive. She gets attracted by celebrities some of the time. Jaysus Chroist. Did they put any effort into these characters? Any at all? IT'S JUST THE "POPULAR TEENAGE GIRL "STEREOTYPE, PEOPLE! Claire from My Wife and Kids was essentially the same character!
  • Donna's young son, Rallo - I have to admit, here is a truly original character. An intelligent young kid, spouting pop-culture references who hates his father (stepfather in this case) and behaves like an adult. Oh, the originality!
  • Cleveland's son, Cleveland Jr. - Rounding out the cast nicely is a generic "fat kid" stereotype (did you catch the joke in the trailer about him having breasts? Hilarious, right?!). But, this isn't what Cleveland Jr. looked like in Family Guy - he was hyperactive and skinny. Why the big change? BECAUSE FAT PEOPLE ARE FUNNY, THAT'S WHY!!!!!!!!!!
All sarcasm aside, I have an issue with the whole premise for this show. To me, it just seems to be a black version of Family Guy. See the gag with the caveman and the dogs at the end? I'll bet you anything it's a zany cutaway gag. And why would they mess with a formula that's worked so well? Well, apart from their integrity and reputation as comedy writers, that is.

I can't go on, I'm going to watch one of my Simpsons DVDs. I may not be able to get rid of Family Guy, but if we work hard, we may be able to stop The Cleveland Show before it's merchandised and catch-phrased to death. We can only hope.

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