Hey all you bloggers out there (to quote Hilary Duff in "A Perfect Man") A little while back me and the big home slice Kyle Ryan got into an animated conversation about the long-simmering feud between The Simpsons and Family Guy. The catalyst was yet another ham-fisted satirical swipe The Simpsons took at Seth McFarlane in the form of a throwaway visual gag once again condemning the Family Guy's patriarch as a rip off of Homer and American Dad's titular father as a knock off of a knock off. It was, by my counting, the third and fourth Simpsons gags attacking McFarlane and it felt to me at least gratuitous and mean-spirited, the satirical equivalent of kicking the opposing team's quarterback in the head after your teammate's already sacked him fifteen yards behind the line of scrimmage (how's that for a tortured metaphor?). Kyle however felt the gags were funny and righteous since Family Guy by its own admission borrows alot from the Simpsons. Sure, the father in"Family Guy" is alot like Homer but that's in part because Homer represents a sturdy sitcom archetype: the blustery, buffonish, lazy middle-class husband and father. Besides, the Simpsons have been on for what, four hundred episodes or something? It'd be damn near impossible for any even vaguely similar animated show not to repeat certain aspects of it. Hell, South Park devoted an entire episode to the topic. Don't get me wrong, I think "The Simpsons" is the single greatest television show in history. Yes, better even than "Blossom". In fact I resisted "Family Guy" for years partially out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to the Simpsons but I can't help but feel that the show's legacy is being tainted by bitterness and jealousy. For the love of God, "Family Guy" fucking rose from the dead. Doesn't that command at least some level of respect? The attacks are even more perverse considering that Family Guy airs on the same night and on the same channel as The Simpsons so their commercial fortunes are tied together. The fact that "The Simpsons" went on to attack "American Dad" is even more troubling. It's as if they're emulating in 50 Cent, whose M.O seems to be to go after not just enemies like Ja Rule and Benzino but also Ja Rule and Benzino's business partners, families, little league coaches, ex-girlfriends, bald-headed grand-mammies and Hebrew tutors. It's getting a little ridiculous, especially that latest diss track 50 Cent just put out eviscerating Ja Rule's nutritionist. In the immortal words of Rodney King, can't we all just get along? I think both parties would be wise to remember that a noble spirit embiggens even the smallest man. So what do you all make of the Family Guy/Simpsons feud? Who's right? Who's wrong? Please do feel free to discuss.
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