Adult-oriented animated sitcom by Seth MacFarlane Family man is currently in its 21st season. The new season was hit and miss, with forgettable episodes like a trip to the latest Blockbuster in America and instant classics like a Halloween hologram episode. Compared to the first season, Family man looks like a whole different show today.
There are a lot of things from the first season that the show eliminated, like Stewie being a matricidal megalomaniac and Brian being the voice of reason, that wouldn’t be recognizable to audiences today.
10/10 Brian is the voice of reason
In Season 1, Brian was used as an unimpressive foil to Peter. When Peter got into ridiculous schemes and escapades, Brian would dryly comment on them from the sidelines. But the writers abandoned Brian’s self-awareness and made him as oblivious as Peter.
Today, Brian is characterized by his lack of writing talent, his uninformed political beliefs, and his superficial intellectualism. Brian is no longer the voice of reason opposed to Peter’s antics; Stewie is the voice of reason opposed to Brian’s phoniness.
9/10 Stewie is a matricidal maniac
In the first episodes of Family man, Stewie was an evil genius planning to take over the world. He was intent on murdering Lois, often building deadly contraptions that she would confiscate, and the show even explored what would happen if he was successful in both parts of “Stewie Kills Lois.”
These days, Stewie is defined more by his countryman attitude, his love for his teddy bear Rupert, and his friendship with Brian. He’s still an inventor, but invents plot devices like interdimensional travel or a time machine, allowing writers to dabble in science fiction.
8/10 Peter works in a toy factory
Peter has worked at the brewery where his favorite beer has been made for years. But in the first seasons, his occupation was constantly changing. In Season 1, he worked as a safety inspector at the Happy-Go-Lucky Toy Factory, but lost his job when his boss, Mr. Weed, came to dinner and choked to death on a bun.
After that, Peter worked as a fisherman, NFL player, and butt scratch salesman before finally establishing his career at the Pawtucket Patriot brewery.
In season one, Lois fit the generic mold of most sitcom wives. She was relegated to pestering her husband to help him around the house instead of having fun with his friends. That same jaded archetype can be seen in almost every family sitcom, from The Simpsons for everyone loves raymond🇧🇷
Writers have since developed Lois into yet another subversion of that trope. She is very open about not being very fond of her children and the writers have hinted that Lois has had a few affairs.
6/10 Meg’s original voice
Alex Borstein has always voiced Lois, Seth Green has always voiced Chris, and Seth MacFarlane has always voiced Peter, Brian, and Stewie (and a bunch of other characters). But Meg wasn’t always voiced by Mila Kunis; in Season 1, she was voiced by Lacey Chabert, so she sounds totally different.
According to Huffington Post, there are no hard feelings between Chabert and the show’s producers. She explained: “Actually, I left [Family Guy] of my own free will, and just because I was in school and doing party of five at the time.”
5/10 Everybody loves Joe
The season one episode, “A Hero Sits Next Door,” introduced fan-favorite supporting character Joe Swanson. But the version of Joe seen in this episode is completely different from the one seen in later seasons. In his first appearance, Joe is the town’s toast, idolized by the entire neighborhood. Peter is jealous of all the attention and adoration Joe gets in this episode.
These days, Joe is second only to Meg as a punching bag for the other characters. All of Joe’s friends make fun of him and his wife Bonnie has fallen in love with him.
4/10 Family Guy borrowed more from The Simpsons in Season 1
Critics often accuse Family man to boot The Simpsons🇧🇷 Any adult-oriented animated family comedy is inevitably inspired by The Simpsonsbut Family man borrowed the characterization of most of its cast from The Simpsonsnamely, Homer’s characterization of Peter as a hard-working dad who drinks heavily.
Though it has evolved into its own beast, with a unique style and a subversively dark sense of humor, Family man I felt a lot like one simpsons clone in its first season.
3/10 Brian is Peter’s best friend, not Stewie’s
MacFarlane Developed Family man since the beginning of his career Larry and Steve shorts, about the relationship between a man and his talking dog, so Peter and Brian’s friendship took center stage in the early seasons. But since the release of the fan-favorite “Road to…” episodes, the writers have focused more on Brian’s friendship with Stewie than his friendship with Peter.
Recent seasons still have occasional episodes where Brian acts as Peter’s sidekick, but Brian and Stewie have quickly become the show’s central dynamic.
Since then Family man became a cultural staple, writers enjoyed poking fun at themselves with meta, self-aware humor. The show’s modern episodes are full of references to its reputation as a series with poorly developed characters and more cuts than plot.
In Season 1, Family man it simply told stories about the Griffins without feeling the need to break the fourth wall or wink at the audience.
1/10 Even more cuts
Family manthe signature cut gags were featured even more prominently in the early seasons. These cuts were gradually phased out by the writers when critics complained about the excessive use of cuts to the detriment of plot and character development.
The show still uses cuts when a character is watching TV, but the writers use less of the obvious “That’s worse than the time I…” in favor of an actual narrative.