If you hadn’t already heard the bad news, I apologize for the spoiler in the headline. This past week, the popular animated sitcom, ‘Family Guy,’ killed off one of its main characters. Having appeared in each of the show’s 216 episodes, the Griffin’s dog Brian had a central role in creating the show’s humor and appeal. This role came to a surprising end during the show’s latest episode titled “Life of Brian,” as Brian was struck by a car and later passed away at a veterinarian’s office.
This move by the “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane came as a shock to the show’s fan base. In killing Brian, not only has MacFarlane written out one of his own voiceovers, but he has also taken away one of the show’s most popular characters. This rash decision has left a bad taste in many audience members’ mouths and led people to question the show’s future.
Negative feedback to this decision has grown significantly, prompting the creation of a petition to rewrite the script and bring back the fan favorite, as cited by MSN News. This petition has attracted thousands of signatures from aggravated fans who would like FOX and the show’s creator to reconsider Brian’s sudden and unceremonious elimination from the show. Also, the hashtag “#BringBackBrian” has been trending on Twitter as more fans join the conversation and communicate their displeasure.
Comments from MacFarlane suggest that this decision was made with the intent to spice things up and take the show in a new direction, as cited by Metro. Despite this claim, many people fear that this spells bad news, as MacFarlane may be losing interest after seven years of producing and writing the show.
These fears are based on previous quotes from MacFarlane where he has expressed that he wants the show to end. The Metro’s article also goes on to discuss how MacFarlane wishes that fans would lose interest in Family Guy and move on. For apprehensive viewers, Brian’s death seems to be the start of MacFarlane’s wish as he attempts to taper off the plot and encourage a loss of fan interest.
Death on Television
Death is not an uncommon theme in popular television shows, as “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad” are examples of Sunday night shows that have featured death on a regular basis. Fans thrive on the suspense of not knowing whether or not their favorite characters will survive until the next installment or even the next commercial break. Character deaths are unceremonious and have become as common and anticipated as the advertisements for soft drinks, pool rehab and clothing that have become a part of the viewing experience.
The issue with Brian’s death is that he was a character in an animated sitcom, a category of television show that doesn’t rely on realistic limitations such as death and character lifespans. This has led many people to view this plot twist as unnecessary and disturbing. Brian’s death marked a very real and saddening event in a show that usually presents violence and death as humorous elements in its plot. While the show’s characters unrealistically survive deadly situations on a regular basis, the writer’s chose to introduce a dose of reality to the dismay of thousands of fans.
Brian’s death was a saddening moment for Family Guy fans that has generated uncertainty surrounding the show’s future. Whether it will retain its comedic quality without the beloved cartoon dog, or if this is the beginning of the show’s decline, are questions viewers will anxiously wonder about.
Guest Post By: Courtney Gordner, talkviral.com