A Requiem for The Cleveland Show

A Requiem for The Cleveland Show

Cleveland Brown and family have moved back to Quahog to join Peter Griffin and Family Guy once more, but not without a proper sendoff for the spinoff.

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I agree the show went out before its time (it would have been nice to get a proper send-off episode), but at a certain point, we all knew this was coming (hell, it became a running joke for the last two seasons).

Still, glad to see most of the characters not get wiped out with the show. Donna's a much better replacement than Loretta (one of the few characters they permanently killed off) and I can see Rallo, Stewie, and Brian having a few episodes where they get together and compare lives. Roberta and Meg will probably have an episode that pairs them off as Roberta enters a new HS and immediately overtakes Meg. Ditto for Junior and Meg, with Chris now having a legitimate black friend who could hang out with him.

A part of me wants the rest of the cast to be forced up there as well (it's rural Virginia, pick a disaster and have them settle in Quahog[1]), but I doubt that will happen.

[1] or, hell, have Waterman cable buy out the Rhode Island equivalent and you've already moved half the cast

I really liked The Cleveland show and at times I preferred it to Family guy. I really hope that Cleveland's family gets some of the spot light in future episodes as I find Cleveland far more endearing than Peter (who just annoys me most of the time) and I actually prefer Rallo to Stewie and I agree with The Gentleman in that I think that Stewie and Rallo would make quite a good double act, and maybe sometimes tag along with Brian and Stewie on their escapades, but only time will tell how this will all pan out I guess.

We can all finally have that deathmatch between Larry the Leopard and Rupert that none of us have been asking for.

For a show with such a godawful first season, TCS did get pretty good. It kind of transitioned from "Family Guy without the edge" in a bad way in S1, to "Family Guy without the edge" in a good way from S2 onwards.

Nice that they're mostly making the transition back to Quahog. Family Guy doesn't have room to showcase them often but the presence of more fleshed out characters helps the setting overall... though calling it a setting makes it sound a bit like a weird sort of D&D campaign.

I may have to give this show another chance (especially with how Kolyarut described it).

I watched most of the first season and just got bored with it. Everyone was basically a one-note joke. It didn't have the edge that Family Guy had. It didn't have the craziness that American Dad had. It didn't have the nostalgia that The Simpsons had. It was a family sitcom with boring characters and no real reason to exist to me.

Since it's on the Netflix, I may have to give season 2 a try and see if it breaks out of the mold I put it in.

Ok, I've always loved Kevin Michael Richardson in anything he's been in and I was impressed how he did Junior, but I'm just learning NOW that he was also Lester: holy crap he's got range!

4 Seasons is a good run, compared to some weird things I've liked such as "Ugly Americans" at most made it like two seasons. I mean sure it's not as big as some other animated blockbusters, but I'd say a lot of people had to like it for it to make it that long.

I also wouldn't be surprised if there is a successful fan petition to bring it back in some form, that seems to almost be a tradition with animated shows that go on to crazy numbers of seasons.

I'll admit I've never watched a single episode of this, mostly because before I majorly soured on Family Guy I found Cleveland to the most gratingly unfunny character in the entire show.

I lament the loss of the cleveland show. it was cut down just as it was beginning to find its own identity.

A lot of fan complaints were utterly justified, naturally. Cleveland's personality was changed from the "boring everyman" he was in Family Guy into a black Peter Griffin, and the first season was shamelessly just "Family Guy lite" with celebrity joke-based cutaway gags being the source of the humor, and vaguely family-centric stories tying them together.

With each progressive season it improved, though. The non-sequitor cutaways became fewer and further between, and eventually disappeared completely, Cleveland remained nothing more than a black Peter Griffin, but his family and social circle became more developed, and were decidedly unique compared to the cast of Family Guy. Especially his family, who were quirky and could be annoying, but were still a welcome relief from the pack of self-important sociopaths that are the Griffins.

Ultimately the show was cancelled because Fox didn't have the dollars to stretch to cover both it and more Bobs Burgers... I can't fault them if this is the case, since Bobs Burgers is more awesome than anything by MacFarlane, but I'm still sad to see it go. XD

MovieBob:
But Junior's (and maybe the show's) crowning achievement was "Hot Cocoa Bang Bang," aka "The Comic-Con" episode; wherein Cleveland drags the family to the San Diego Comic-Con to try and sell his (terrible) indie-comic to publishers. It's the expected deluge of geek-culture references, but executed in such a way as to never once feel obvious or cloying - that's not easy to pull off, considering one of the visual gags involves Harry Knowles and Kevin Smith sumo-wrestling over a corndog (later, a Buffy fan uses a riot as an excuse to stake Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart to death.) It's all about the fun details, like Junior's MST3K Jumpsuit cosplay (complete with Tom Servo, previously a background-joke among his toys) and the fun main story of Donna finding out that an embarrassing "Blaxploitation" movie she acted in in her youth being revived at the 'con as a "lost classic." The big showpiece, Junior leading a violent fandom-revolt against TV studios crowding out fans and booths with trendy showcases for stuff that has nothing to do with the 'con.

Damn.

Every other TV show that has ever done a geeks-and-nerds convention episode, take note. Yes, even "The Equestranauts".

Grace_Omega:
I'll admit I've never watched a single episode of this, mostly because before I majorly soured on Family Guy I found Cleveland to the most gratingly unfunny character in the entire show.

They change his personality completely in the Cleveland show to the point where he felt more like Black Peter than Cleveland to me, though I admit I only watched a few episodes in the first season which apparently was by far the worst according to the people in this forum

And even a bear. :'(

To compare the Cleveland Show to the Simpsons isn't fair, because the Cleveland Show didn't overstay its welcome by (X-6) seasons.

Also, I'm glad Cleveland Junior got retooled from ...


He was my favorite character of the series.

Even though American Dad and Cleveland Show eventually departed from the Family Guy formula, I still can't bring myself to watch another episode. Even though they're funny and entertaining I just can't enjoy them, probably because I'm a biased jackass who doesn't want to waste his time. I like what I like and don't like what I don't like.

I guess because all of Seth McFarlane's shows feel so formulaic and passionless they don't register as anything but a "me-too!" attempt at something successful. The Simpsons had a passion for its world and characters from the get-go, and Futurama proved itself to be special and worthwhile instantaneously (being such a radical departure from anything on primetime at that point, it had to put up or shut up). Meanwhile, everything McFarlane does is a jack-in-the-box that makes a fart sound when it pops open. Maybe after 30 or so times it tells and actual joke, but I don't feel like sitting through another couple dozen farts in the face to hear another one.

Delivery, then, is the dilemma. Case in point: how the Simpsons and Family Guy handled the subject of gay marriage. In the Family Guy episode, Brian's incredibly gay fitness instructor cousin (brother?) wants to get married to his incredibly gay latin boyfriend, whose name I don't remember. When the mayor bans gay marriage, Brian takes the mayor hostage and threatens to shoot him if he doesn't repeal the law.

In the Simpsons, the town of Springfield legalizes gay marriage to increase tourism and get some much needed cash for the town. Homer then becomes a minister and starts marrying anybody to anything because of the money in it. When Marge's sister Patty comes out of the closet, Marge is a little unsure of how to respond. Then Marge finds out Patty's fiancee is secretly a man, and puts a stop to the wedding to spare her sister's feelings.

In Family Guy, the humor comes from the mayor barfing up board games while captive, and the subject of gay marriage is little more than a plot device to show how much the TV show is in support of gay marriage. In The Simpsons, many aspects of homosexuality, religious beliefs and human motivation are explored and are in conflict with one another. It's a topic that doesn't affect one person, but a whole town, in more ways than "this book says its wrong" or "I think it's right because I think you're wrong". In the Simpsons, people are forced to face painful changes and grow as individuals, while in Family Guy the status quo is simply moved to where a few people believe it should be.

I would guess from the article that the Cleveland Show leans more towards the character-driven and character-affecting style of the Simpsons, and I might be wrong in thinking that it's simply a delivery vehicle for one person's morality. But that's really the vibe I get from every episode of every McFarlane series I've seen.

I understand your issue with Family Guy, as it's success and rebirth is built entirely on the fans response. So it's natural that they would spend more time catering to what the base fans want or request of them. It's a fan service, if you will, one that is deserved and American Dad or TCS would have never been without the support.

One thing that I have to say in it's defense, is that FG has hit me pretty hard emotionally on more than one occasion. The "New Kidney in Town" and "Brian & Stewie" "Life of Brian" and "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q" episodes come to mind as being specifically poignant, while maintaining their trademark gross-out and often upsetting humour. Some moments from these episodes hit me just as hard as the beloved "Jurassic Bark" episode of Futurama.

In "New Kidney in Town" the scene of Stewie tying Brian to the Jungle Gym to prevent him from giving his kidney's to Peter and dying in the process. It was both touching and gross (Stewie's crying and runny nose as he tries to cuddle into Brian's fur hit both at the same time). "Brian & Stewie" was full of amazing moments for both characters, with the entire plot revolving around them being locked in a bank vault (with other characters only being featured in cutaways), especially the scene revolving around Brians gun and his thoughts of suicide felt very real for both characters. "Life of Brian" goes without explanation, as it's the episode where Brian dies...The episode featuring Quagmire's sister (voiced by Sweet Dee from It's Always Sunny...) dealt with Quagmire's near death from autoerotic asphyxiation from the opening scene, followed by a lot of domestic abuse and violence directed at her and Peter/Quagmire/Joe for defending her. I've seen domestic abuse growing up (thankfully not from my own Father, but other relatives) and it's a hard subject to approach and they tackled it head on without flinching, even though some might find it tasteless to even make jokes about.

They may have lost some magic over the years, but they did find a lot of heart, outside of "learning a lesson and strengthening family bonds" plots that are a staple of (successful and enduring) Fox cartoon comedies. I stopped watching the show for years because I thought they had become to derivative, but rewatching it all on Netflix a few times now (along with multiple viewings of AD and currently finishing up my 2nd run through TCS) has given me a much stronger appreciation for it than I ever had. I loved it at first (watched it after the Super Bowl in 99) because it was whacky and different, but it's grown out of just being different now. It's a staple of TV and deserves that spot.

Anyway, I just wanted to come in an defend FG, not to start any arguments or anything, you made very valid points about FG vs. Simpsons. I'm also glad to see someone else who still appreciates The Simpsons, even though they are not quite what they used to be, they still have relevance to me and I get tired of hearing people say it's just stupid, boring, derivative and safe family TV for people with nostalgia issues to cling to.

vid87:
Ok, I've always loved Kevin Michael Richardson in anything he's been in and I was impressed how he did Junior, but I'm just learning NOW that he was also Lester: holy crap he's got range!

I had no idea either, I thought he was amazing before (my favorite character of his is Principal Lewis) but him voicing Lester just makes him more amazing. He needs more attention! Seth deserves accolades for his vocal work, but he's got nothing on the range of people like Mr.Richardson, Billy West or Maurice LeMarche (Futurama!!!!). He still deserves his fame and fortune for being the Steve Jobs behind all these shows, but he obviously does more work than Mr.Jobs (he was a visionary and business man).

koots:

vid87:
Ok, I've always loved Kevin Michael Richardson in anything he's been in and I was impressed how he did Junior, but I'm just learning NOW that he was also Lester: holy crap he's got range!

I had no idea either, I thought he was amazing before (my favorite character of his is Principal Lewis) but him voicing Lester just makes him more amazing. He needs more attention! Seth deserves accolades for his vocal work, but he's got nothing on the range of people like Mr.Richardson, Billy West or Maurice LeMarche (Futurama!!!!). He still deserves his fame and fortune for being the Steve Jobs behind all these shows, but he obviously does more work than Mr.Jobs (he was a visionary and business man).

I get the feeling it's the nature of the voice-acting business to not be noticed - people like Tara Strong and Tom Kenny are some of the most prolific actors in the world, jumping between multiple media and industries, but unless you're a devoted fan you probably couldn't pick them out in a lineup. Seth is a show-runner so he has to be a public face. Not knocking him in any way, but yeah he works with fantastic talent who, unless they're known publicly like Mila Kunis or Seth Green, probably don't get the respect they deserve (Alex Borstein I feel in particular doesn't seem as involved as she was before and I'd love to see/hear more of her).

 

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