“Family Guy’s” seventeenth season brings the humor back into the long-running animated show.
After almost twenty years on the air, there was a noticeable dip in the quality of the show starting around season 13. By that point, it was obvious that the writers were not trying to come up with engaging storylines. Almost every episode, with some notable exceptions, basically had the same premise: Peter gets a new job and Brian and Stewie have a misadventure.
“Family Guy” began to ignore many of its interesting secondary characters in order to focus more on the three most popular characters. And this lazy story premise was nothing more than a thinly-veiled set-up for a series of jokes and cutaway gags with no relation to the actual story.
However, season 17 is a step in the right direction to bringing “Family Guy” back to its peak perfection. The season tackles many social issues, such as Donald Trump, transgender rights and the garbage island floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It handles each of these issues the way old “Family Guy” did, with no care for offense.
The season also departed more for the formula it had fallen into, allowing for more time to focus on other characters. One episode focuses on a woman Brian falls in love with and marries, while another focuses on Quagmire discovering that he has a daughter, and another focuses on Lois’s relationship with her father Carter.
The jokes this season are also much more refined. In the previous few seasons, many of the jokes have come off as either lazy shots at celebrities or the writers picking the low hanging fruit. However, this season with the exception of the one jokes that was just to see how many times the characters would say a name that took an entire minute to say, the jokes have been much more memorable and hilarious.
Overall, this season of “Family Guy” is a massive improvement over the previous few seasons. The jokes and cutaway gags are both funny and related to the plot, and the episodes feel more like an actual story than a few running jokes repeated over and over again. If “Family Guy” continues like this, it may once again reach the heights of comedic gold it once held.