finally in the home stretch of getting a bigscreen version of The
, it’s only natural that studios look at that film’s box office
prospects, size up their animated/TV offerings, and figure out what could
possibly make a decent transition to celluloid as well. And of those shows,
there is one about another animated family that gets involved in misadventures
and hijinks left and right that looms large. A large part of this show’s
strength is in the way it references other properties, often doing clever nods
and bizarre little tweaks to these touchstones of pop culture.

I wish to
God I were talking about The Venture Bros. Alas, that’s a
good show, and thus, unlikely to get the sort of loving it deserves. Instead, I
give you Family Guy.

In all
honestly, I enjoyed Family Guy at one time. I didn’t watch it when it started, and
instead caught the second wave when it first began airing on The Cartoon
Network. At first, I was delighted by a lot of the pop culture gags, and even
managed to catch inspired original jokes in betwixt (The episode where Stewie
runs away to England and leaves Brian the Dog with a…lengthy goodbye note is
one for the ages, as far as I’m concerned). But once it came back to Fox, it
became quickly apparent to me that this show was a one-trick pony and the repetitive
“Hey, remember that time when…” structure worked best in small doses. Despite my best efforts, I lost the ability to watch
even commercials for upcoming episodes, and I began to see the past episodes I
liked in a less flattering light, too.

If you
track the Family Guy threads on our boards, you can see the steady,
season-by-season descent registered with a lot of other fans of the show, too.
Still, there’s gas (read: money to be made) left in the tank of this rusty
jalopy. Seth MacFarlane recently said that he wants to do an actual movie movie version of the show, but has
yet to figure out how to do so – and I quote “without the series suffering.”
Tardiness, thy name is Seth MacFarlane.

To be
fair, he says nothing’s official, but raises the possibility of having
one of the show’s original writers, Ricky Blitt, write a movie script, while
the rest of the staff continues on MacFarlane’s TV shows. This is a brilliant
idea because Blitt’s the writer/creator of The Winner, the dismal Rob
Corddry-starring show that MacFarlane is currently trying to convince Fox not
to kill off. Even better is the fact that MacFarlane wouldn’t want to expand
the scope of the show for a movie version, preferring instead to work on a
small story involving the Griffin
family. But I actually mean it when I say that particular idea is brilliant,
because unlike The Simpsons, Family Guy has no real supporting
cast except for recurring visual gag characters that have long since worn out
their welcome. Focusing on the family might actually force MacFarlane to flesh
the characters out beyond spoofs and references, and add a smidgen of growth.
But that’s hoping against hope, I fear.