Written by Dylan Brandsema
Season 13 of Family Guy opened with the legendary “Simpsons Guy” episode. It was one of the most long-awaited and anticipated television collaborations in TV history, and an unprecedented high for both shows, making it one of the best episodes in a long time for both series. The episodes that followed, however, fell quickly downhill, with some episodes being decent and others turning out to be flat-out disasters, making Season 13, despite its strong start, the weakest season of Family Guy so far. Season 14 opens with “Pilling Them Softly”, an episode that would’ve been somewhere towards the bottom of the barrel of episodes last season.
This episode finds Peter and Quagmire butting heads with their apparent culinary skills in a televised cook-off, meanwhile Stewie and Brian buzz out on Adderall together after Dr. Hartman prescribes it to Stewie due to his behavior at school. It’s standard Family Guy formula, and as far as modern Family Guy episodes go, the quality is also what you’d expect. Some of the jokes land but most of them don’t, and there’s nothing really of substance to ride on. At this point we all know the drill.
The episode’s gags work best when Peter and Quagmire are working against one another in the cook-off. The jokes revolving around butter and the outdated Paula Deen references made for some scattered chuckles, and concerning the Stewie-Brian storyline, it, at the very least, had some decent commentary on one George R.R. Martin. If you’re among the crowd who believes Martin to be overrated as a writer and looking for evidence to back up your claim, his short cameo at the end of this episode is a goldmine.
The rest of the episode, as it stands, was rather poor and extremely forgettable. The absence of Seth MacFarlane from the writing team has an abundantly unfavorable effect on this quality of recent episodes, and it’s unfortunate that what was once a staple of animated television comedy in the modern age has become so watered down to the point of near embarrassment.
After 13 seasons, and almost two decades on the air, Family Guy either needs to completely turn over new leaf and reinvent itself, or respectfully wrap things up and ascend into conclusion. It’s time.
Family Guy Season Premiere RATING: 6/10
*all photos credit: FOX
Dylan Brandsema is a staff writer for Pop-Break specializing in film and television. When he isn’t writing reviews or spending too much analyzing the medium, he’s writing and directing his own independent films as well as drinking way too much soda. Currently at full-time film major at Full Sail University, Dylan eats, sleeps, and breathes everything related to the cinema. You can follow him on Twitter @SneakyOstrich69.