The Emmy. First awarded in 1949. Named for the image orthicon tube of early cameras. Representing the muse of art and the building blocks of the universe. And other things the Wikipedia article told me. Over the years, as animation has crept into the mainstream, many an animated series have received this commendation: Futurama, Batman: The Animated Series, Samurai Jack, South Park, Bob’s Burgers, and numerous wins for The Simpsons. But despite a few nominations, never Family Guy.
Peter furiously interrupts the family’s viewing of alternative rock group front men calling spin-off show lawyers to announce that he will is hell-bent on finally getting his show the coveted award. This leads to a rapid-fire hodgepodge of parodies involving Modern Family, Transparent, Big Bang Theory, Louie, Cheers, Girls, and possibly How I Met Your Mother, all in hopes of getting Best Comedy. They don’t get the award.
The next step is to sneak into the drama, with a pastiche of shows like Breaking Bad, Homeland, The Wire, Downton Abbey, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, and Mr. Robot…Chicken. They don’t get that award either, so instead try for every other category, piling on references to Making A Murderer, America’s Next Top Model, Porn, The Daily Show, and Bill Maher, who leads Peter to a list of former Emmy winners. He arrives home to find an intervention of celebrity actors and writers essentially telling them how much they suck in so many ways and why they’ll never have an Emmy. No one learns anything. The end.
They say the first step to solving a problem is identifying you have one, and this episode definitely demonstrates they are aware of their problems. It also tells us that they clearly have no intent on fixing it. I mean, this is the sixteenth season. One. Six. Clearly, they are doing enough to keep themselves from being canned and they don’t plan on doing anything more than the bare minimum. And nothing says that more where the episode can basically be summed up as “we don’t have an Emmy, here’s a bunch of shows that do, good night.” I’d go into what ways they could have made this actually about something, but that would be doing more work than they did. Though I guess it was worth it to see one of Adam West’s final performances. So we’ll call that a highlight.