“La Famiglia Guy” sends up mob movies in the typical style, while also making some not entirely outlandish predictions about the fates of various Republican politicians.
This recap of Family Guy season 19, episode 5, “La Famiglia Guy”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It’s worth noting that “La Famiglia Guy” opens with a fitting gag about Donald Trump hanging himself in prison, accompanied by a little note explaining the episode was written in February 2019 and asking whether they were right. Not just yet! But you never know. This is nothing to do with the episode itself, by the way, which is about Joe asking Peter to be the godfather of his daughter, Susie, and Peter taking the responsibilities much too seriously, but it was worth pointing out all the same, given recent events.
Naturally, Peter starts walking around in a white suit with a cat, greeting everyone in Italian. The christening is conducted by a rabbi since there are no priests left on account of “all the fiddlin'”, which only makes sense to me. Fittingly there’s a very obvious streak of anti-religious sentiment running through “La Famiglia Guy” — when Joe thanks everyone for being present at Susie’s special day, he makes a point of mentioning how she has been given to Christ entirely without her consent and before she has any contextual understanding of it. You’ve got to catch them early.
But the whole thing’s basically a pastiche of gangster movies — especially The Godfather — and more predictions about the fates of Republican politicians (Brian, reading the paper the next morning: “I can’t believe Mike Pence came out of the closet right before he hung himself in prison.”) The writing team’s affection for the tropes and inherent sillinesses of the mob movie is obvious, and it’s fun to see the regular Family Guy fixtures reimagined as fixers. They even get some mileage out of Brian being a dog and getting executed for various violations — mostly eating things he isn’t supposed to — all throughout the episode.
In some ways “La Famiglia Guy” is quintessential Family Guy. It isn’t trying to make any larger points or do anything too clever, it’s just putting all the longstanding characters and quirks to use in sending up an entire, eminently mockable genre, and most of the fun is in spotting the references and seeing exactly what they’ll do with the plot and characters. It amounts to a classic undercover sting, with Joe coaching a mic’d-up Peter through a bust which he obviously messes up — the fact he’s ultimately saved by a sentient, armed jar of tomato sauce is pretty much the level of humor we’re dealing with here. Sometimes, and now’s one of them, that lack of sophistication is a pretty good thing.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.