“Brian Griffin’s House of Payne”

Stewie discovers an old TV pilot screenplay in the basement written by Brian.  Brian tells Lois that she should read it, eventually she does, and – shock of all shocks – she likes it!  It turns out that Brian is capable of writing something other than pretentious drivel.  Then CBS is all set to pick up “What I Learned on Jefferson Street,” and Brian could not be happier, until everything is ruined, ruined in a way that could only happen on Family Guy: James Woods is cast in the lead role.  The show is revamped as a comedy and renamed “Class Holes,” and James Woods is granted a chimpanzee costar.  The take on TV executives’ and the pilot process’s knack for twisting shows into something that they are not was spot-on (signature quote: “Well, we thought it would be a lot funnier if it was a sitcom”), or if it was not spot-on, it was at least perfectly hilarious.
But the real treat of this episode was that other storyline.  Meg and Chris knock Stewie down the stairs, resulting in a gnarly head wound, rendering him unconscious.  A piece of skull is broken, and some brain is visible.  They hide the injury from Peter and Lois by dressing him in various goofy hats and dragging him around like a ventriloquist dummy.  This is exactly what I want from Family Guy: as much outrageousness as possible.  And just when you think they have gone as far as they can, they go even further:  When Peter finds out, he hides the truth from Lois … by tricking her into believing that she caused the injury.  He throws (the still unconscious) Stewie into the driveway as Lois is pulling out, causing her to drive over Stewie’s head.  And Lois, like everyone else, wants to hide the truth.  To which Peter responds, “I love you so much right now.”  And this is why we love the Griffin family.

Next up: Lost

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