May 23, 2006

Finale Report: Family Guy - "Stewie B. Goode" "Bango was his Name Oh" and "Stu and Stewie's Excellent Adventure"

I just want to warn you right upfront, this is not going to be so much a review as it is a discussion of a disappointment.

This so-called season finale was terrible. It wan't terrible because of the content, but because that it was a huge disappointment as a finale. All week Fox was advertisng this "Super-Freaking-Tabulous" 90 minute season finale for the show. What do they deliver? The direct to video feature that was released last year, "Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story."

Granted, that feature was originally conceived as a three episode story arc, and the DVD was just the combining of them into one long piece. I had always expected to see the movie broken down to its trio of elements and aired as part of the series, but why was it chosen to be the finale? This is not new material. Most of the big Family Guy fans have already seen this.

I don't really know if anyone is to blame for this, but I want to believe it was the Fox execs. I feel so cheated, I was looking forward to seeing this much hyped 90 minute finale, hoping to see 90 minutes of new material, insteas they deliver repurposed material.

There are probably a few of you out there who are not familiar with this material, and I am glad that you finally got to see it. The rest of us either figured there was nothing else on, or turned it off when they realized they had already seen, and possibly own, this. What makes the whole thing worse is that it will probably be included on the next DVD release, forcing all of us who bought the DVD already to re-purchase material that is already in their collection.

The episodes have one primary thread running through them. Obviously, they are about Stewie. One day he sees someone on the news someone who looks just like him, after he has a near death experience at the community pool. He gets it in his head that Peter is not his father and sets out on a cross country journey to find him. He starts off by hitching a ride, along with Brian, with Quagmire. Quagmire bought a Winnebago, sorry, a Wannabango (Giggity), and is on a quest to bed a girl in every state. Stewie's quest sees him abandoning Quagmire and stealing the vehicle. He ends up in California where, after a few tries, catches up with his presumed father. It turns out that his father is actually him from the future. The two have some fun trying to lose his virginity and seeing the future of the family, including Meg's sex change, and Chris's trashy wife. The other story has Peter and Lois trying to get Meg and Chris out of the house so they can have some "alone time."

As a direct-to-DVD movie it was entertaining, as a "BRAND NEW" season finale, it fails to deliver. Shame on you, Fox, for repackaging previously released material as a new season finale. You could have put these anywhere else in the season and be OK. You could have announced a special TV broadcast of the movie and been OK. Instead you disguise what you are showing and deliver it as a big finale event. Shame on you.

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