All-new episodes of Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show air tonight, making it a good time, at the start of the year, to reevaluate these creations of Seth MacFarlane.
I’ve written reviews of these shows in the past, but at this point, I’d rather hear what you have to say, because as the years have gone by, I’ve noticed that audience taste and preferences can shift — have shifted, in some cases.
Family Guy will probably always be the quintessential MacFarlane series. Since its premiere in 1999, it’s established its unique template of hard-edged satire mixed with pop-culture non sequiturs and shaggy-dog jokes.
But in recent years, a vocal segment of fans has asserted that American Dad! is the place to go for fresher humor. Some believe Family Guy has peaked, and that Dad!, with its heavy input by co-creators Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman, is underrated.
The rookie Cleveland Show has barely had a chance to establish itself, and from the reactions I read on this site and elsewhere, it’s the most devisive of MacFarlane’s productions: I haven’t heard anyone say they out-and-out hate it (and really, how could you hate the character of Cleveland?), but some people love the show, some think it’s a disappointment, and some say — well, as one commenter on EW.com wrote, “It’s not great, but it’s better than The Simpsons at this point in time.”
So I ask you: How would you rank these three shows? Is it as simple and obvious as:
1. Family Guy
2. American Dad!
3. The Cleveland Show?
Or would you place them in a different order of preference and quality?
And tell me why. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that MacFarlane fans make strong arguments for their man. Thanks.