I guess that's why it really bothered me that The Family Guy producers decided to "shake things up" this week by killing off the family dog, Brian. The show has been on since 1999--12 seasons, due to a 2001 cancellation by Fox that they later took back. Twelve years is plenty of time for a dog to live, many are saying. Never mind that nobody else on the show has aged, including the baby.
Here's the problem with the show's decision to kill off the dog. Have you ever heard the term jump the shark, Family Guy producers? (Yeah, as if they'll ever read this!) Killing off a major character is a top sign of jumping the shark, according to TVTropes, who writes as an example of jumping the shark that, "A popular character is removed from the show, or even killed off. Especially true if the method of removal is unsatisfying or mean-spirited."
Brian the dog is more than a family dog. He was the voice of reason in the crazy family, often grounding the head of the household, who was a little shaky at times. Now he's been replaced by an Italian-accented dog named Vinny, voiced by some actor from The Sopranos that Seth McFarlane has a guy-crush on.
But the biggest problem for me is that Family Guy is perpetually in reruns. Somehow our TV always ends up on TBS on weeknights. (As it was at the time I was writing this!) Just seeing the dog makes me sad now. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but a comedy isn't supposed to make us sad, right?
Did I mention the dog on the Family Guy is a writer?
I don't think he was really a dog. Dogs don't have thumbs, right?