Family Guy: “420” Review
Everything’s better with a bag of weed.
Just in time for April 20th, we’re treated to a “make marijuana legal” themed episode. While it comes across as slightly preachy – Brian’s used as a political voice by the writers once again – there’s more than enough great humor to make up for the political slant. The musical number, “Everything’s better with a bag of weed”, with Stewie and Brian, was absolutely fantastic. It’s been a while since we’ve had a great original musical scene, and this stands up right there with the best of them. The choreography was creative, -especially the use of the bongs and the physics-defying human marijuana symbol. There were all kinds of groan-worthy politically incorrect references and it all gelled together really nicely. Take away the musical number, and this episode would have been yet another mediocre outing. A great song with ridiculously catchy lyrics can go a long way in covering the faults of an episode. In this case everything really was better because of the bag of weed song.
Brian and Stewie’s musical antics pave the way for Mayor West to legalize marijuana in Quahog, and we get to see what a post-legalization world would possibly look like. The bit with the high newscasters was pretty funny, but it would have been nice to see more of the vision of a what a perennially high Quahog could be like. Perhaps an additional cutaway to Meg and Chris at school might have helped here. Mind you, the joke about nobody being able to come up with a cutaway sequence worked pretty well too, especially watching Peter being unable to set up any kind of cutaway or manatee joke with his usual “this is better/worse than the time. “. Nevertheless, it’s all short-lived as Brian gets bribed into campaigning against marijuana after a business-hurt Mr. Pewterschmidt decides to take matters in his own hands and publish Brian’s book titled “Faster Than the Speed of Love”. The Oprah Book Club reference that followed was somewhat amusing, especially with Mr Pewterschmidt agreeing that the sticker was enough and a night with Oprah in bed wasn’t necessary.
Animal lovers beware (and pretty much everyone with any semblance of good taste) – there’s a brutal cat murder scene in this episode where Peter kills Quagmire’s cat, thinking it’s got more lives left. It’s way over-the-top and the amount of blood was pretty disturbing. Sure, it was meant to set up the following scene with the police choosing to arrest Brian instead of Peter, but the brutality of the murder probably won’t sit well with most people. Quagmire was pretty funny in his cat obsession though, and you could totally see why his friends got annoyed really fast.
The family joking about Brian and prison rape was not really in good taste either, but expected. Lois’ doughnut joke was timed perfectly though, and it’s her line that made the scene memorable.
Overall, this episode worked out quite well mainly due to the superb musical number. The storyline was also pretty cohesive and there were very few truly random jokes thrown in here, which is always appreciated.
Quagmire gets a cat and becomes one of those obsessive cat-people, much to the chagrin of his buddies. Meanwhile, Brian gets caught with some marijuana and goes on a campaign to legalize pot.