Friday, October 23, 2009

Stairway To Cleveland


This season the makers of The Family Guy tried for a Sunday night trifecta creating a spin off for the character Cleveland Brown (which I just now got is a play on the name of the football team) called The Cleveland Show (the third show made by Fam Guys makers is American Dad). Going in I had concerns because just having Family Guy and American Dad running simultaneously has caused a drop in the yuks of the main show and dropped its productivity (true to form, shortly after it's season premiere Family Guy is already in reruns). A third show...there just aren't enough jokes for them to do three shows in my opinion.

Still, I wanted to give The Cleveland Show a chance in case they could prove me wrong. After three weeks of watching it, I can safely say they can't. The Cleveland Show isn't bad, it's just boring. Maybe it's because the character Cleveland Brown is such a laid back character to start with. He doesn't launch into impulsive idiotic behavior like Peter Griffin or reactionary paranoia like the American Dad dude. Cleveland is slow and dry, removed from his original purpose of being a foil to Peter Griffin's nutso mania he seems like part of the furniture.

They try hard to surround Cleveland with crazy characters modeled after Family Guy like having a hyperintelligent child or literally having a bear for a neighbor. It just isn't enough. And unlike the strategy of front loading the best jokes into the new show at the expense of other programs that I expected, The Cleveland Show comes across like a contractually obligated mess of left over gags. I think I laughted out loud just once and the rest of the time can only work up to a bemused grin at best.

This show is not worth watching Family Guy go into reruns early in the season for and what's worse it oversaturates the evening with Seth McFarlane's humor down to his sloppy seconds. Even from its modest expectations, The Cleveland Show is a huge disappointment. As Cleveland would say "Oh no."

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