The WiFi has gone down in the Griffin house. And, after the commotion settles down, Peter decides to tell the story of how he and Lois had met. In a flashback to the nineties, Peter recounts how he and Lois went from being former lovers to neighbours, to completely falling apart. Finally, after both of them make successes of themselves, they decide to throw it all away and be with one another.
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this amount of ‘90s nostalgia, and I don’t know what to do with it all. When I found out this was a flashback episode to the younger days of Peter and Lois, I thought it would be much more in line with how The Simpsons handle these plots. There would be some references, some character redesigns, and a heartfelt story. Sure, all those things were there, but much as you would expect from Family Guy, the references took priority over anything else.
I was sold on this episode from the beginning when Peter dropped this brilliant quote: “I will tell the story of the greatest trilogy ever told, the Mighty Ducks”. I’m a sucker for those terrible ‘90s hockey movies. But, things only got better from there.
The whole thing started with a satire of Friends. Family Guy has managed some brilliant parodies in the past, so from the get-go, you could tell something significant was happening. For a show that has been off the air for fifteen years, they still manage to make fun like it was yesterday. Throwing in every musical reference could only help to make things even better. But, then there were even shots at other ‘90s sitcoms like Mad About You and Blossom. It all added up to be a trip down memory lane for those who grew up in the time of Beanie Babies and Pogs.
For something more relevant to this website, Family Guy had a couple of substantial cameos from former adult animations. First, Daria makes an appearance, complete with a riff of her old theme song, which I forgot how much I had missed. Then, for something unexpected Beavis and Butthead show up, with the addition of Peter into their posse. Peter’s laugh mixed with the two teenagers as definitely worth hearing. Very excellent throwbacks to add to their ‘90s bonanza.
Aside from all of the fun, there was a story there. And, even the plot of Lois and Peter falling apart and getting back together was very nineties-esque. In fact, the plot was the same as plenty of romantic comedies of the era, complete with Peter crashing Lois’ wedding at the last possible moments. There were some liberties taken with Peter becoming the creator of Google, or Googoogle, a Goo Goo Dolls search engine. But all in all, this was a story that could have easily been written in 1997.
I can safely say that this was the best episode of Family Guy that I have seen in years. The references were aimed at my generation specifically, which makes it extra lovable. I am curious to hear how younger generations would interpret this particular episode. I wonder what they think of us, or if any of this even made sense. For me, this was as good as the series can get. Equal to the Star Wars episodes of the early seasons. I can only hope that they come out with a follow-up episode in future seasons. But, even as a one-off, this was a great idea in the perfect medium.