FAMILY GUY: PARTIAL TERMS OF ENDEARMENT
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
When “Family Guy” decided to do an episode about abortion, they probably figured it would have trouble getting on the air. But once the show was in the can, FOX didn’t air it in the regular schedule. Due to the controversial nature of the story – in which Lois Griffin agrees to be a surrogate for a couple who are then killed in a car crash, leaving her with the decision to abort or not to abort – the episode was banned from television. Thanks to the magic of DVD, the episode can now be seen by “Family Guy” fans everywhere.
WHAT I LIKED
I like a good “Family Guy” episode that pushes the boundaries of good taste, and for the most part this one did. You’ve got the obvious abortion elements, but you also have a nice dose of lesbianism to boot. On the whole, “Partial Terms of Endearment” is a pretty standard “Family Guy” episode. So if you like the show, you should like this episode.
Speaking as someone who has a pro-life stance, I appreciated the fact that the plot presented was (no pun intended) stretched to a ridiculous level. This episode doesn’t actually try to tackle the abortion argument, which is good because god knows that’s been done to death (again, no pun intended). Sure, you have Brian throw out all the standard arguments, but that’s what the character would do.
Rather than getting embroiled in the actual political debate, “Family Guy” does what it does best… it just makes fun of the entire situation. You really can’t expect these dreadful people in the show to make a decision that any of us would want to emulate. That’s the joy of “Family Guy”… it’s a comedy and really nothing more.
So, “Partial Terms of Endearment” made me laugh right to the bitter end, as almost every episode of this show has.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
For how controversial this episode was and how notorious it is for a network to not let it on the air, I was really expecting something racy. But really all this represents is just another episode of “Family Guy.” It wasn’t any more daring than other episodes. In fact, I can come up with a dozen examples of “Family Guy” stories that are far more offensive than this show.
So if you’re looking for something groundbreaking, you won’t find it here. It’s still funny, though.
Because there’s just a single episode of the show on this disc, there are some nice special features to balance things out. There’s an audio commentary on the episode featuring Seth MacFarlane, Danny Smith, Joseph Lee and Alex Bornstein, as well as the animatics for the episode. There’s also a table read for “Family Guy: Live and Uncensored” as well as the variety show style special “Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s almost Live Comedy Show.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
“Family Guy” fans.