Family Guy Presents: Something Something Something Dark Side (2009)

pAheeL1WsqhIBUbesx4Ti9Aoc1XWatching “Something, Something, Something Darkside” is similar watching another episode of “Family Guy.” It’s boring, tedious and so intent on being funny it feels as if it has to point out almost every single joke it posits. “Ahaha, the giant chicken is Boba Fett!” says Peter. Get it? Because the chicken fights with Peter in these long drawn out unfunny fight scenes meant to kill time and hide the fact the show is short on actual story. “I’d give my right hand for this day to end.” Get it? Because Chris is Luke and Luke gets his right hand cut off by Darth. When Luke is hanging from Cloud City, Leia asks Luke to raise his right hand. Get it? Because Chris is Luke and Luke gets his right hand cut off by Darth. “Turn the Ship Around” is played when Leia asks Lando Calrissian to turn the ship around to save Luke. Get it? Because of the disco song. Does any of the target audience even know what Disco music is?

They feel like they actually have to point out these jokes to us because A. the writers obviously feel the audience is too stupid to get it, and B. they’re drawing attention to the fact that these jokes are extremely apparent to the point where sirens nearly go off at the end of their deliveries blaring: “Laugh Here! Laugh Here!” They also feel they have to constantly compare themselves to “Robot Chicken” as they did in “Blue Harvest.” That special wasn’t so excruciating, but it was otherwise marred by the fact that someone during production obviously advised the writers, “”Robot Chicken” did it first so at the end of the special we have to point it out too or they’ll accuse us of ripping it off,” and in spite of the fans ability to forgive and forget, it was blatant if you saw the “Robot Chicken” Star Wars special.

Because it was better and much funnier than the “Family Guy” special “Blue Harvest.” One thing this special does have going for it is that it points out some glaring inconsistencies in the film declaring that though the “Family Guy” clan are fans of the trilogy, they know the movies are pretty cheesy. For example: why does Yoda tell Obi-Wan there’s another hope for the galaxy if Obi-Wan was there when Luke and Leia was split up? Why didn’t Yoda go with Luke? And, as Brian points out, why is Lando wearing Han’s clothes at the end of the movie? There’s also a pretty funny moment where Leia tells Han “I Love You,” and Han replies “Fuck off.” And I have to commend them for employing the voice work of H. John Benjamin who I know best as Coach McGuirk from “Home Movies.”

Still though, it’s “Family Guy” and they’re not above letting the audiences intelligence be insulted by splashing eighties references non-stop on the screen (Get it? The ending is a riff on “Back to the Future 2”! Familiarity is funny!) and tapping on the latest fads to allow for a awareness until a few years from now we’ll have to explain to audiences what the joke was all about in the first place (Get it? Because “American Idol” is popular! Popularity is funny!). And of course there’s the obvious fact that Meg has zero lines in these specials because has there ever been a point to her inclusion in the show at all. You can also feel the writers kicking themselves for not turning Cleveland in to Lando as Mort is Lando in an unusual and weird little twist and they do nothing with his character.

He greets them and literally stands around doing absolutely nothing when there could have been some interesting riffing on the fact he’s Jewish and not black. As an ex-“Family Guy” fan (a title I wield proudly) it’s so painful to watch so much potential for material be pissed away by short-sighted writers who couldn’t spend time remembering past storylines… kind of akin to Lucas and his vision for “Star Wars.” Get it? Because the prequels sucked! I know, I know: “If you don’t like Family Guy, why did you even watch it?” First I hate the show, and secondly, I’m a huge “Star Wars” fan and I love almost anything that riffs on the trilogy, I just like to have it done with a sense of intelligence and wit and not painfully obvious jokes so on the nose we’re treated like Pavlov’s dog expected to laugh every time McFarlane rings a bell.