Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane Defends Brian's Death, Resurrection

Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane Defends Brian's Death, Resurrection

Seth MacFarlane claims the sequence "was a three-parter without the three words 'to be continued' at the end of the episodes."

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane was asked a few questions about the story arc involving Brian's death and subsequent resurrection during a recent press tour. Specifically, he admitted he was very surprised at the ensuing "fan rage" surrounding the event, and stands by his decision to bring back the character, claiming that that was always his plan.

"All it was, was a three-parter without the three words 'to be continued' at the end of the episodes," explained MacFarlane.

"We were all very surprised -- in a good way -- that people still cared about that character to be that angry," he added, "It didn't occur to us. We thought it would maybe create a little bit of a stir, but the rage was not something we counted on."

He went on to say how the storyline was a huge success in creating buzz for the show. "Based on the numbers, it helped. It did what it was designed to do and reminded people that this is still a show where anything can happen, despite the fact that it's been on for awhile."

MacFarlane says that "[Fox] is pretty great about letting us do our thing and letting us run the show how we see fit," commenting on a question about a possible story arc where a character dies for good, "But who knows... Season 25, we'll see!"

What do you think of the "Brian's death" storyline? Was it, like MacFarlane said, something that cleverly reminded people that "anything can happen," or just another beating on the dead horse?

Source: IGN

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I go with the "beating the deaf horse" instance. Remember, this isn't the first time a character has been "killed" and then brought back, only in the case with Louis and Stewie that was a "simulation".
It was pretty much what MovieBob said when it first happened, it was marketing ploy to drive up ratings, and that's what it did.

I haven't watched Family Guy for years. When the Cleveland Show started it got worse and worse to the point where I just couldn't put up with it anymore. To me it seemed that the writers were coming up with jokes that they themselves found funny, but that had absolutely no comedic value for the audience - the Conway Twitty joke being the most obvious example of this. I find that full 3 or so minute music video "joke" to be the most obnoxious thing that any comedy program has done to its audience.

When I heard about Brian's death I immediately thought it was just a publicity stunt. His subsequent resurrection just confirmed it for me and it came across as a desperate attempt for attention. I don't know how the show is performing ratings-wise these days, but I suspect it's not the huge success it once was.

I can't believe that people got so upset over a cartoon. Oh wait...yes I can, because people are strange.
The endless ranting by Firefly fans is proof of how obsessed people can be over a TV show.

Yes, it totally wasn't just a stunt to raise ratings.

Remember when South Park was going to reveal Cartman's father?

Yeah, this has nothing on that.
I've seen some of the mail those guys got.

Like, seriously insane, the level of hate.

They marketed it as a permanent death and then went back on it after one episode. It was a shameless stunt that made the highest ratings in ages, The writers don't seem to give a toss beyond getting ratings anymore and some people who felt manipulated have stopped giving a toss about the show.

Just watched the three episodes and although the last one was a bit schizophrenic (As is Family Guy's way) it was fine.
As fashionable to rag on the show as it is there still is some good writing in between the shock value jokes.

The three episodes ended with a subtle joke that diminished the whole moment and that level of self aware comedic writing one of my favorite parts of comedy. They know the faults and often they use them for their own enjoyment.

As offensive and dumb as some of the jokes are there seems to be so great writers in the Family Guy staff and I hope they all get their due credits when they move on.

I stopped watching years ago but when my friends were talking about it, saying they couldn't believe he was dead I already knew they'd bring him back. Guess the only people still watching Family Guy are people too dumb to see through a scheme like that. MacFarlane's a hack.

i think it was just a lack of regard for the show and its fans

confirmed by the man himself for you right there, troll bait, nothing more.

I think it was more than obvious that, even though the "three-parter" was planned ahead, their goal was to trick people into thinking they weren't - that Brian was gone for good. I don't know how many of you have actually seen the episode but the way it plays out it seems to be playing for keeps on the changes.

I'm becoming more and more certain Seth sold his soul. He's got four shows on the air at once, Seth Green, Patrick Warburton, and Mila Kunis under his thumb, and he was fated to die in 9/11 but missed the plane by ten minutes. And he got a movie where he got away with slapping Peter's voice on a teddy bear.

Steven Bogos:

"We were all very surprised -- in a good way -- that people still cared about that character to be that angry," he added, "It didn't occur to us. We thought it would maybe create a little bit of a stir, but the rage was not something we counted on."

It surprised the hell out of me. People I knew who I didn't think even watched the show anymore were upset.

Neronium:
I go with the "beating the deaf horse" instance.

Was that a typo or a show reference?

SirPigglesworth:
They marketed it as a permanent death and then went back on it after one episode.

Did they? I honestly don't know because I missed the marketing. Just one day everyone was all "OMG THEY KILLED BRIAN!"

Zachary Amaranth:

Was that a typo or a show reference?

Sadly not, that was a typo resulting from it being about 12 am when I typed it, and I was typing it with an iPod Touch 3rd Generation and for some reason my auto-correct decided to be picky on when it does and doesn't wanna work.

Otherwise, is anyone surprised by this? Was anyone actually thinking Seth would axe his in-show persona? I suppose the new dog might have convinced some, but it was obviously for ratings and regardless of fan rage, it worked.

That is such a lazy way to generate publicity, I don't see the purpose of doing it if you're going to retcon it a few weeks later (or however long it lasted), it'll make any future characters deaths insincere at best and people will become immune to the "shocking" events that happen. I noticed he said 'season 25' somewhere in there, has this show seriously been going on that long? It needs to end.

I don't watch the show and I don't personally know anyone who still does watch it. This and the Simpsons have already tunneled through the bottom of the barrel in my opinion.

Steven Bogos:
...he was very surprised at the ensuring "fan rage" surrounding the event...

ensuring - ensuing. Editing is a bitch, good luck.

lunavixen:
That is such a lazy way to generate publicity, I don't see the purpose of doing it if you're going to retcon it a few weeks later (or however long it lasted), it'll make any future characters deaths insincere at best and people will become immune to the "shocking" events that happen. I noticed he said 'season 25' somewhere in there, has this show seriously been going on that long? It needs to end.

No, Family Guy has not gone on that long, not even close. Family guy has gone on so far for about 12 seasons, which is still a lot, but nowhere near the amount the Simpsons has gone on for. The Simpsons is the longest running American comedy in US history, and currently is at Season 25 itself.

I haven't seen Family guy in years, but when I heard that Brian died, the first thing that I thought was "Well that's never going to last" Brian is a popular character in the show, at least I see Brian and Stewie's faces on a lot of t-shirts and Family guy merchandise, it would have been foolish to have permanently written him out.

It did what it was designed to do and reminded people that this is still a show where anything can happen, despite the fact that it's been on for awhile.

Yeah, anything can happen, except it really won't because we'll hit the reset button.

So MovieBob was absolutely correct in his assumptions. Nice guessing there, Bob.

Neronium:

Sadly not, that was a typo resulting from it being about 12 am when I typed it, and I was typing it with an iPod Touch 3rd Generation and for some reason my auto-correct decided to be picky on when it does and doesn't wanna work.

Ah. Well, "beating a deaf horse" sounds like something Family Guy might do, especially in a cutaway gag. So I honestly wasn't sure. XD

Artina89:
I haven't seen Family guy in years, but when I heard that Brian died, the first thing that I thought was "Well that's never going to last" Brian is a popular character in the show, at least I see Brian and Stewie's faces on a lot of t-shirts and Family guy merchandise, it would have been foolish to have permanently written him out.

I bet sales of Brian merch went way up after he died. I bet they would have still been abl;e to market him if he stayed dead, too.

BloodSquirrel:

It did what it was designed to do and reminded people that this is still a show where anything can happen, despite the fact that it's been on for awhile.

Yeah, anything can happen, except it really won't because we'll hit the reset button.

Exactly. And in the end, didn't this do more to enforce the status quo than a notion of "anything can happen?"

It's sort of crying wolf. I mean, I wasn't invested enough to care much. My first though was less about whether it was real or not, but more "wouldn't it be interesting if it was?" I see a lot of people did care, and did get swept up, and now people are going to be more skeptical of anything that purports to change.

Tanis:
Remember when South Park was going to reveal Cartman's father?

Yeah, this has nothing on that.
I've seen some of the mail those guys got.

Like, seriously insane, the level of hate.

im actually glad i didnt have the net when that episode was aired

 

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