In this episode, the second of the season, the Griffins find themselves being chosen to be a Nielsen family. That is, a family that gets to have their television watching habits tracked in the name of the all important ratings war. Predictably, Peter goes a little bit too far with the Nielsen boxes and ends up getting hundreds of them. He then is able to control what is on television by threatening to not watch certain shows if they do not bend to his every demand. These demands include having a lightsaber fight break out in Mad Men and local news anchor Tom Tucker cut off his fabled mustache. As one can guess, these hijinks lead to the town of Quahog assembling into a mob to attack Peter for altering their favorite shows to the point of being unwatchable.
While this episode did have more laugh out loud moments than the season premiere, it also fell flat. There were a couple of gags that got a good chuckle out of me, like the Stewie pretend time moment and Peter never getting picked for anything cut away. But the effortless humor that once permeated Family Guy is becoming scarcer. Most jokes are a stretch now, and some just completely miss the mark. The first two episodes of this season are a little flat when compared to Fox’s other animated offerings, Bob’s Burgers and American Dad. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. It seems as though American Dad is getting all the great writing. Family Guy is one of my all time favorites, so I’m really holding out for some great episodes in the future. Until then, I’ll just get my laughs from American Dad and Bob’s Burgers.