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Family Guy season 15: Peter loses his job, Quagmire loses his, um...
Family Guy will return to the air with its sights on the Emmys. No, not in terms of winning them. The animated Fox comedy kicks off season 15 on Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT with an episode that pokes fun at assorted Emmy darlings like Modern Family and Breaking Bad. Later in the season, Family Guy will hit the 300-episode mark with an installment that drives a stake through the heart of the Stewie-Brian friendship. Also, you will bid farewell to the late Carrie Fisher and Adam West, welcome Sir Ian McKellen and Kristen Bell into the extended Griffin family, and see what happens when Quagmire gets his penis bitten off by a shark. Grab a first-aid kit and read what Family Guy executive producer Rich Appel had to say about the upcoming batch of outlandish cartoonery.
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Family Guy will push the (Emmy) envelope.
The season premiere will take on (and take down?) the most prestigious TV awards show, with some handy help from Modern Family stars Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, and Sofia Vergara, as well as Louis C.K and Bill Maher. "One might say that Peter is channeling the sad, possibly even self-pitying voice of many a non-Emmy winner at the top of the show when he announces he’s fed up that Family Guy isn’t nominated again, so he resolves that this episode will be the one that wins," says Appel. "We go through shows that some might say are better than ours and offer our versions of Modern Family, Making a Murderer, Breaking Bad, and Transparent. The family will quite consciously adopt the style, garb, and character roles of those shows…. Peter eventually discovers what he thinks is a conspiracy, and the people who Peter at first sees as the Emmy insiders provide a harsh lesson." And what are the show's chances of scoring an Emmy for this episode? "Less than zero," quips Appel. "We hope that among our viewers are a few Emmy winners who can send us their Emmys."
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Episode No. 300 is 100 percent bad for Stewie and Brian.
"It's about a possibly un-mendable rift between Brian and Stewie," sums up Appel. "They eventually have to say goodbye to a character, and in doing so, are possibly brought back together." What brings about the friendship fracture? "The fight revolves around something that will be revealed early on in the show," he says cryptically. "It’s something that strikes Stewie at his core." Appel reveals that the episode pays tribute to a certain crazy-car movie franchise. "Cherry Chevapravatdumrong wrote the episode, and among many skill sets she brings to her job as a writer is a fondness bordering on obsession with The Fast and Furious series," he says. "One of the sustained bits in the show revolves around Stewie’s adoration of that series, and he tells Brian to be careful talking about Paul Walker, because he hasn’t yet broken the news of his death to Rupert."
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Peter gets fired from work. Three times, in fact.
When Peter loses his job at the brewery, the story is told three different times, each in the style of a different director: Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and Michael Bay. The episode also features one of the last appearances of Peter's boss, Angela, voiced by late Carrie Fisher, who terminates Peter in each segment. "We're happy to have her in it and sad to have the reminder that she’s gone," says Appel. "In the Michael Bay story, she gets to have a long tongue-wagging French kiss with Peter." (Eventually, Peter will get a new boss — two of them, in fact, — in the form of a husband-wife team voiced by Bryan Cranston and Niecy Nash.)
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Mayor Adam West teams up with a rat — and becomes president.
The late actor will pop up in five episodes this season, including in the Michael Bay story from the "Three Directors" installment, in which he gets a political upgrade of sorts. "He plays the president, who acts every bit as logically as the presidents always do in those movies," says Appel. In another episode that follows a dollar bill throughout Quahog, the mayor "picks up a hitchhiking rat and has a one-sided conversation that only Adam West could pull off."
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Ready for the return of Ryan Reynolds?
The Deadpool star will be heard on the show for the third time, playing himself — and the piano. “He’s everybody’s All-American Ryan Reynolds," says Appel, "who happens to be somehow now playing piano in a cabaret show for Ida Quagmire."
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Stewie gets therapy from a knighted Englishman.
Remember the time that Stewie and Brian were locked in a vault at a bank? One upcoming episode has a similar two-characters-only flavor, and this time it's not Stewie and Brian but Stewie and... Sir Ian McKellen. The legendary actor plays Dr. Pritchfield, a child psychologist who meets with Stewie after he gets in trouble at pre-school. Dr. Pritchfield is "authoritative, probing, and ultimately a little victimized," according to Appel. "It’s the first time Stewie has seen a therapist and I can tell you they dispense with questions of sexuality in the first 90 seconds of this episode," he says. "They delve into surprising and revealing parts of Stewie throughout — some that Stewie is happy to discover and some that he is very unhappy to discover." The episode, which was written by Family Guy alum Gary Janetti (who co-created the British series Vicious starring McKellen), includes a running gag about "whether or not Sir Ian McKellen believes Stewie has a British accent."
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Brian may be saved by the Bell.
The Good Place star Kristen Bell pops up as a possible love interest for Brian when he gets a job at a suicide prevention hotline. "Brian falls for his officemate, Martha — a young woman trying to make her way in the big city," says Appel. "She comes complete with her own theme song, which, like all great sitcom theme songs, literally tells you everything you need to know about her."
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Or might he finally turn his attention downward to a dog?
A canine connection could happen when he crosses paths with Ellie, voiced by Amanda Seyfried. "For the first time in the show's history, Brian dates a dog," says Appel. "He meets her at the vet — they meet cute — and she reveals that she’s a showdog, so Brian resolves he’s going to impress her and enter a dog show, with Stewie as his coach. First prize is breeding rights with the female winner — and that’s Ellie."
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Meg hits the bottle — and possibly rock bottom.
You read that right: The whipping girl gets drunk for the first time. "[She] becomes the life of the party and, suddenly, someone whose company Peter for the first time truly enjoys," says Appel. "They go on a weekend bender and find themselves, hungover and helpless, on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with no idea how they got there, or how they'll get home."
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Meanwhile, Peter and Lois hit the skids.
"Lois's parents — overcome with pity — pay for the Griffins to get a nanny, giving Lois and Peter time to rekindle their love at a remote cabin by a lake," says Appel. How does that work out for them? "Their marriage explodes."
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Chris goes to war.
A special installment will open the "vaults" and give you a peek into classic Family Guy episodes. "In one never-before-seen episode from the 1950s, Lois defies Peter and gets her first job," hints Appel. "In another from the '70s, Chris enlists in the army to fight in Vietnam, leading to a musical number to save him."
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Quagmire's junk gets junked.
"We have one fun episode where a shark bites Quagmire’s penis off," notes Appel. "That unsettles Quagmire’s life in a variety of ways. It turns out that some of his life revolved around his penis."
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