A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas (2001)

Huh. That was.... not as bad as I expected.

You have to understand, I basically hate Family Guy. There were a few funny episodes early on, but the characters grate on me to such a degree that watching the show makes me feel somewhat ill. So it was with much trepidation that I settled in to watch this.

For the first two-thirds of the episode, it went basically as expected. Erin and I sat there in revolted, stony silence as the terrible attempts at “jokes” rolled out. Unnecessary crudeness that just wasn’t funny, pointless twists in the service of yet more unfunny lines, and a building over-the-top sitcom-style disaster that mostly had us rolling our eyes.

Then there was a tiny little Christmas miracle: it got funny.

The third act followed through from what had gone before, but ramped up the craziness in a way that actually worked! We laughed, we sat up, suddenly interested, and were rewarded with biting, funny commentary on the manufactured nature of the holiday, a solid amount of amusing blasphemy, and a speech about the meaning of Christmas that was actually kinda great: unsentimental, selfish reality masquerading as niceness. You know, like the holidays.

I don’t know whether the ultimate pay off made up for enough of the earlier, terrible part for me to actually recommend this, but I can at least give you this: It Didn’t Suck.

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