Family Guy Paper

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  • Topic: Family Guy, Stewie Griffin, Peter Griffin
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  • Published : April 11, 2015
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Composition II
19 March 2015

To Watch or Not Watch Family Guy

In recent discussions of the show Family Guy, a controversial issue has been whether it should be watched or not. Family Guy is a television show that has been on air for over a dozen seasons, but it has been criticized greatly over the years and has gained media controversy due to its inappropriate and distasteful jokes. The show does in fact make jokes about celebrities and situations in a manner that causes serious conflict amongst some viewers. Family Guy is a comedy intended for adult viewers that enjoy this type of humor, so if it is not appealing to you, you should just refrain from watching the show. Despite the negative aspect of the jokes and the language being used, the underlying message means so much more. In Antonia Peacocke’s “Family Guy and Freud”, she shares her experience of how she initially opposed the show for what she thought was offensive humor, and her view later changed. Due to its popularity, Peacocke was forced to give the show a chance, and later saw it for its amazing satires. Peacocke acknowledges how the show might seem offensive if taken at face value, but there is an underlying sense of harsh reality that people should try to learn and comprehend, and not just ignore. To achieve her point she uses common knowledge, personal experiences, and speaks of the history and the criticism the show has received. Throughout the text she also includes numerous of examples to reveal the true meaning behind the “offensive” jokes. For someone that completely opposes the show, would argue that there is no way to justify the cruel and offensive jokes. If there was no wrong in the show, it would not have gained such controversy. Family Guy was taken off the air not just once, but twice. There was even a lawsuit filed in 2007 by Carol Burnett for 6 million dollars. Although she lost the case, the U.S. district judge agreed on how distasteful and offensive the segment was. By focusing on the satirical aspect of the show, Peacocke overlooks the deeper problem of being cruel and disrespectful. Seth McFarlane, the producer of Family Guy, could get his point across in a less offensive and demeaning way. On the other hand, one would completely agree with Peacocke. For those who don’t often watch the show, could mistakenly believe that Seth McFarlane takes pleasure in the controversial humor for his own sake. But for others, such as Peacocke and I that actually pay attention to the show, understand that Family Guy is satirizing aspects of American culture. What makes Peacockes’ argument stronger is how she introduces logical evidence to support her claims. She mentions how on Facebook, a world-wide social networking service, there are currently 23 separate Family Guy fan groups with a combined membership of 1,669 people. In comparison with the 6 groups protesting against the show, containing only 105 members total, it is favored more than it’s disliked. Furthermore, the show has gained eight awards, including three primetime Emmys. “Most importantly, each time it was cancelled fans provided the brute force necessary to get it back on the air.” To support her claims further, Peacocke utilizes more rhetorical strategies. Pathos is incorporated by her sense of humor through diction. Peacocke uses ethos by introducing Sigmund Freud, a famous psychologist of the 20th century, and his book, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. “…the joke appears to be a wrongly constructed word, something unintelligible, and puzzling. [We] realize that this meaningless word has bewildered us and has then shown us its true meaning” (Freud 28). The idea of using satires to make the jokes in Family Guy are not meant to be hurtful and offensive, but its addressing American Culture and the stereotypes that people create amongst each other. Peacocke provides more evidence by using direct dialogue from the show that relate to the realities of American culture....
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