Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sometimes fiction is more accurate than truth.

Don't know how many of you are devotees of Family Guyand if you're not, you may be puzzled by certain thematic elements of the showbut regardless, you owe it to yourself to revel in FG creator Seth MacFarlane's achingly canny take on self-help books, the writing and promoting of same, and the publishing and cultural climates responsible for all the foregoing. The episode ran this past weekend. Say what you will of some of the asides, the SHAM-related conceit is hilarious, and it says everything it took me 263 pages to say in my book (plus the ensuing five years on this blog). Special appearance by Bill Maherlive action, not cartoon, a very cleverly done segmentwho nicely articulates the downside to the SHAMscape.

Trust me, you will laugh your ass off. And probably become a fan of the show, if you aren't already.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This episode is hilarious, especially if you've read your book! Maybe you can use parts of this episode in your next documentary!

Dimension Skipper said...

I'm not a Family Guy guy, so I didn't see it, probably never will. Only episode I ever watched all the way through was one last season (I think) which featured the cast of ST:TNG, so a very special case for me. Usually FG episodes are extremely hit and miss for me. I can love some jokes, hate others, and there's usually a wide back-and-forth mix within each ep. I get humor whiplash trying to watch.

But anyhoooo... Today's Monty (by Jim Meddick at comics.com) tackles The Secret. I'm not sayin' it's hilarious, but if the subject is wildly popular self-help and poking fun at such, well then it fits... (For your convenience here's a larger, more readable version of the strip, but bear in mind both links will timeout eventually as strips are only posted for so long.)

$#*! My Dad Says (on CBS) aired an episode Nov 18 also poking fun at The Secret. Cybil Shepherd guest-starred as their version of "Rhonda Byrne," pushing The Wish. It's not a show I watch regularly or even like that much when I've tried it (though I don't think it's as bad as TV critics generally claimed it was), but I thought the ep, "Make A WISiH," was entertaining enough. The title comes from Shatner's character's response when Shepherd's character explains "WISH" means "Wish It, See it Happen" and Ed (I think that's Shatner's character's name) points out there should be another I in there.

If you poke around online maybe you can find the ep, or pieces of it here and there. I didn't have much luck on YouTube, but didn't have the patience to search very long (...what appeared to be there, wasn't really, and the 1:44 preview had a prepended commercial I didn't sit through). Couldn't find it at CBS.com either, but again I plead lack of patience.

If you search for it, keep in mind that the episode may alternately be listed as "Make A WISH", season 1 episode 9, s1e9, 1x9, or other variations.

Steve Salerno said...

DimSkip: Thanks as usual for the links/tips. You are always such a fount of contextual info...and I am not at all being snide in saying that. You've been a valuable resource here on SHAMblog.

I too find FG to be very uneven. In fact, given how razor-sharp some of the humor is, I'm amazed at how juvenile (and sometimes downright corny) too much of the rest of it is. Or maybe MacFarlane and his co-conspirators are aiming for that special Lettermanesque niche where they're so corny and silly at times that they become a parody of un-hipness and thus a kind of meta-hip in their own right.

Whatever the case, what really drew me to this episode was the overarching brilliance of the theme, and especially the Maher segment at the end, which is worth watching even if you don't bother with the rest of the show. See what you think.

Dimension Skipper said...

Well, if I happen to see it's being rerun at some point (and I will try to keep an eye peeled for it if I can remember), I may try to catch it if I can. But I can't watch such stuff online. Last person on the face if the Earth with dialup, hence the lack of patience. I can search to see if something appears to be available, but can't actually watch in entirety. There are times I wish I could, but other times I'm just as glad I can't.