Review: Family Guy “How the Griffin Stole Christmas”

This week’s new Family Guy, “How the Griffin Stole Christmas” was a relatively good episode, despite being a Christmas episode (and having Santa as an actual character).

Spoilers Below
The episode starts out in a really funny way, with Chris and Meg watching “How David Lynch Stole Christmas”. David arrives at a child’s house at Christmas, and shows the child a thumb in a box– to which the child recoils in horror, confused. David asks for a plate of black coffee to be left out for him in the future. And in the past. Hilarious. Strong start to the episode– and I’m bringing such attention to it because I feel the intro joke often falls flat. And I really do feel this joke– because David Lynch’s movies truly are infuriatingly confusing and ridiculous.
The Griffin family decides to go sledding in the snow (on an antique table). Peter gives the whole family GoPro headsets and the screen is split into 6 frames. Seeing the downhill ride and eventual crash from all those different perspectives is a really interesting idea especially for animation, as we don’t usually see things from a cartoon character’s first person point of view. Totally loved this. Really cerebral– and kudos to the writers for it.
After that, the Griffins go to the mall to get a new table and Peter gets the opportunity to try out being a mall Santa. There are a lot of good scenes to start off this bit, but I feel like the episode kind of falters here in the middle. Stewie finds out Brian’s been crashing office Christmas parties for free drinks and to hit on women. Stewie shows up to witness Brian being pathetic, and ends up getting a job, and gets to experience firsthand the drudgery of office life.
Of course, the real Santa finds out that Peter is using his Santa outfit to get free things, get out of parking tickets (Homer Simpson being Krusty the clown comes to mind) and is PISSED. There are a lot of showdowns in this episode. My only complaint is the premise of Santa being a real character on a show is weird and a little hacky. It never really comes across well.
Stewie does finally do some good at his job– even though the conclusion to that storyline is a little soft– it’s okay. And Peter agrees to stop being Santa. All in all, “How the Griffin Stole Christmas” is an enjoyable episode. The funniest joke may have been when they make fun of those weird farmer dating ads. Laughed my ass off.
Good time in the Family Guy camp this week- but looking forward to the next episode, though– a non-Christmas themed episode hopefully. I think I may have a little bit of holiday fatigue.

Jake Beamer

An avid watcher of cartoons since being hooked by Looney Tunes and Woody Woodpecker reruns in the 1980s.

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