Hannah Banana

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"Hannah Banana"
Family Guy episode
Episode no. Season 8
Episode 5
Directed by John Holmquist
Written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong
Production code 7ACX05[1]
Original air date November 8, 2009
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Brian's Got a Brand New Bag"
Next →
"Quagmire's Baby"
Family Guy (season 8)
List of Family Guy episodes

"Hannah Banana" is the fifth episode of the eighth season of the animated series Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on November 8, 2009. The episode follows baby Stewie after he sneaks backstage at a Miley Cyrus concert in Quahog, eventually discovering that she is actually an android and causing her to wreak havoc on the town. Meanwhile, Chris proves to his family that the Evil Monkey who lives in his closet is actually real, and eventually comes to realize that the monkey is actually friendly, well-spoken and intelligent, when he begins spending more time with him than his own father.

The episode was written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and directed by John Holmquist. It received mixed reviews from critics for its storyline and cultural references. According to Nielsen ratings, it was viewed in 7.73 million homes in its original airing. The episode aired during an "all-Seth MacFarlane" line-up, along with the live-action special Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show, and featured a guest performance by Candace Marie, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series. It was first announced at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International. "Hannah Banana" was released on DVD along with seven other episodes from the season on June 15, 2010.

Plot[edit]

Chris does poorly on a test at school and blames the Evil Monkey living in his closet, which he says prevented him from being able to study. His parents, Peter and Lois, are fed up with Chris talking about the Evil Monkey, saying it does not exist. Later, Stewie, a self-proclaimed Hannah Montana fan, learns that Miley Cyrus is having a concert in Quahog. Tickets to the show are sold out mere seconds after being made available for purchase, leaving him unable to attend the show. Brian makes fun of Stewie for watching Hannah Montana, at one point, calling him "gay". But seeing him cry about not being able to attend the show persuades him to help get tickets. Chris sets up a camera in his room to capture the creature. When he reviews the tape he finds no evidence of the Evil Monkey, and goes ahead with his plans on capturing him. The family is taken aback when Chris proves it is real by capturing the monkey, and showing it to them, but he turns out not to be evil after all. The monkey explains he was forced to move into Chris's closet after his wife had an affair, and divorced him, and pointing at Chris was only his way of trying to make conversation. In addition, the angry face he gave was his way of thinking, and the trembling was due to a copper deficiency. Chris is at first unconvinced, but when the monkey helps him write a book report, he is surprised to receive a passing grade, and the two become great friends.

Brian and Stewie manage to sneak in backstage at the concert, where Miley asks why they're here. Brian then explains that Stewie has a 'tumor' shaped like a football, which convinces Miley to let them hang out with her backstage. Miley and Stewie quickly become best friends and they sing a song which Stewie wrote. Soon, Chris realizes that the Monkey has spent more time with him, like taking him to play baseball and going to a father and son BBQ in Monkeykid. Chris then says to Peter that he has never gave as much attention to him as the monkey has, so he grows to resent his own father. While having ice-cream with Miley, Stewie notices a signal interference on her cell phone when handing it to her. He then realises something is strange about Miley. Upon spying on her, Stewie and Brian discover that she is actually an android after seeing an employee insert a USB drive on the control panel on Miley's back. They both realized that Miley was created by Walt Disney Imagineering to become the perfect teen idol that can never fail. When Brian curiously asks if she can perform other tasks, Stewie agrees to reprogram Miley to have sex with Brian by gaining access to the control panel. However, it goes wrong and he accidentally sends Miley into a rage, forcing Stewie and Brian to run away from the monstrous Miley.

Peter and Chris set up traps for each other as they fight. Lois then gets sick of the boys fighting, so the monkey tricks Peter and Chris into coming to dinner together. Chris and Peter admit they don't hate each other and vow to spend more time together. As they are doing this, they see Brian and Stewie running away from the chaotic Miley who is smashing vehicles, shops and houses. The monkey confronts her, and attempts to talk her out of her rampage (as well as her career), but Miley ends up kidnapping him and takes him to the top of a nearby skyscraper. Fortunately, Peter is able to recruit his neighbor, Quagmire, to shoot her down in a biplane, and a battle with Miley starts escalating. The monkey falls out of her hands and he grips onto a narrow ledge with one hand. Miley's skin, hair and clothes peel off, revealing her android skeleton and she tries to kill Peter and Quagmire with a rock, but fails. Eventually, she is pummelled off the top. Afterwards, the monkey falls off the ledge but is saved by Peter just before he hits the road far below. Stewie and Brian then see the broken Miley, where Stewie says Brian can have now have sex with her, but Miley blows up seconds later. Monkey then moves out of Chris's closet, and his friendly attitude also parts ways with him, saying he will "go where he's needed", and moves to Tom Tucker's upside-down-faced son Jake's closet as his new haunt.

Production and development[edit]

Miley Cyrus was parodied in the episode.

"Hannah Banana" was written by series regular Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and directed by John Holmquist, before the conclusion of the eighth production season. Commenting on the original development of the episode, series creator and executive producer Seth MacFarlane stated, "[The episode] was the result of our ongoing desire to let the series stagnate, and kind of evolve things that may have run their course. There's only so many times you can do the Evil Monkey jumping out of that closet, before the joke gets old, and I think often times there's a fear to mess with what works, and change things permanently. [...] We literally retired the Evil Monkey in this episode, and got a great episode out of it, which was worth it, and kind of evolved the series in a way."[2] Singer and actress Candace Marie provided the voice of Miley Cyrus. Marie received the role when her producer alerted her of the audition, and she eventually received a call from the Family Guy casting director a month later.[3] Even though the episode mocked Cyrus, Marie did not think she would upset any of Cyrus' fans. She added that she is a fan herself, and "was very impressed by the way Family Guy developed the episode," and thought it was "a huge compliment for them to refer to Miley as the "perfect popstar.""[3] After voicing Cyrus, Marie was called back to Family Guy to voice Meg's friend Beth for "several upcoming episodes." Marie described Beth as a girl that is "rarely addressed in conversation but loves to chime in whenever she can."[3] The song in the episode sung by Cyrus was written by Chevapravatdumrong, and composed and performed by Family Guy composer Walter Murphy.[2]

The episode aired as a part of an "all-Seth MacFarlane" line-up, after the episode "Brian's Got a Brand New Bag" and the live-action special Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show.[4][5] "Hannah Banana", along with the seven other episodes from Family Guy's eighth season, were released on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on June 15, 2010. The sets included brief audio commentaries by Seth MacFarlane and various crew and cast members for several episodes,[6] a collection of deleted scenes, a special mini-feature which discussed the process behind animating "Road to the Multiverse", and mini-feature entitled Family Guy Karaoke.[6] In addition to the regular cast, series regular, writer and executive producer Danny Smith voiced the Evil Monkey. Recurring guest voice actors Chris Cox, actor Ralph Garman, writer Alec Sulkin and writer John Viener made minor appearances throughout the episode.[7]

Cultural references[edit]

Rapper Kanye West was referenced in the episode.

In the opening scene of the episode, Chris alerts his parents of a failing grade he received at school on a science test, causing his mother to suggest he receive help on his homework. Chris then asks his father, Peter, for help who ends up rejecting him, leading Chris to blame his bad grades on the Evil Monkey, and announces that he will prove the monkey is real. Peter then suggests that his son would have to do a better job than God when he created actresses Ellen Barkin and Kelly McGillis.[2]

Later that day, Stewie is shown watching television in the family room, with a narrator announcing a Hannah Montana marathon, as well as a concert in Quahog, Rhode Island, causing him to become excited. A scene from an episode of Hannah Montana is then shown, featuring Miley Cyrus, as well as her father, singer-songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus.[8]

Deciding to sneak into the concert, Brian agrees to dress as rapper Kanye West, and is forced to sing one of his songs by a security guard. Despondent, Brian then begins singing the theme song to 1972 NBC sitcom Sanford and Son. The scene is not shown on TV; Stewie and Brian sneak into the concert in the televised version. [2]

As the monkey begins bonding with the family, including having a conversation about actress and comedian Sarah Silverman, Chris realizes his deep hatred of the monkey. Deciding to help Chris on his homework, the monkey successfully writes an essay about the 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye by American author J. D. Salinger.[2] The two then begin their own personal bonding, and eventually decide to go fishing, leading Chris to catch the comic book superhero Aquaman, before beating him to death and eating him.[2]

Peter tells the Evil Monkey that New York was under attack by suicide bombers then a flashback it shows a suicide bomber on a bike heading for the bottom of the World Trade Center then crashes and falls off the bike.

In the conclusion of the episode, Miley Cyrus begins destroying downtown Quahog, causing the monkey to attempt to stop and reason with her. Not realizing that Stewie had unsuccessfully reprogrammed her, the monkey is then kidnapped, and taken to the top of a nearby skyscraper, in a parody of the 1933 film King Kong. Cyrus is then shot down by Quagmire and Peter while piloting a biplane, before the two rescue the monkey from certain death. After being shot during several passes, Miley's robotic skeleton is partially revealed making her resemble a T-800 from "Terminator".[9]

Reception[edit]

In a slight improvement over the previous episode, the episode was viewed in 7.73 million homes in its original airing, according to Nielsen ratings, despite airing simultaneously with Sunday Night Football on NBC, The Amazing Race on CBS and Desperate Housewives on ABC. The episode also acquired a 4.0 rating in the 18–49 demographic, beating Seth & Alex's Almost-Live Comedy Show, The Cleveland Show and the Family Guy episode "Brian's Got a Brand New Bag", in addition to significantly edging out all three in total viewership.[10]

Reviews of the episode from television critics were mostly mixed, who found it to be "a thorough examination of both Miley Cyrus and the evil monkey in Chris' closet," but, "things got ridiculous."[8] Television critic Ahsan Haque of IGN gave the episode an 8.5 out of ten, and called it a "much better episode than Brian's Got a Brand New Bag, with some clever sight gags, an annoyingly catchy musical number, and the revelation of the Evil Monkey's true reasons for hiding in Chris' closet."[9] In a simultaneous review of all four MacFarlane programs, Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club gave the episode a C- stating, "Turning Miley Cyrus into a Small Wonder parody was fitfully amusing, but the rest of the Hannah Montana material was ridiculously non-specific, filled with the kinds of jokes everyone made about Cyrus a few years ago." VanDerWerff praised the action sequence at the end of the episode, however, calling it "high quality stuff for the show."[11] Jason Hughes of TV Squad stated of the Evil Monkey's role in the episode, "I don't think I ever wanted this character fully explored or seen by anyone else in the house [...] The character lost some of its mystique and charm."[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "20th Century Fox – Fox In Flight – Family Guy". 20th Century Fox. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f MacFarlane, Seth (2010-06-15). Family Guy Volume Eight Audio Commentary (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  3. ^ a b c House, M.L. (2009-11-11). "Exclusive Interview with New Family Guy Star Candace Marie". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  4. ^ Sassone, Bob (2009-11-08). "What's On Tonight: Amazing Race, Family Guy, Dexter, Bored To Death". TV Squad. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  5. ^ Warren, Tom (2009-10-15). "Windows 7 powered Family Guy special to air November 8". Neowin. Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  6. ^ a b "Family Guy – This Just In: Volume 8 DVD Announced to Retailers, with Complete Details". TVShowsonDVD.com. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  7. ^ "Family Guy: Hannah Banana". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  8. ^ a b c Hughes, Jason (2009-11-09). "Super-Sized Sundays with Seth: And a variety show makes ... five?". TV Squad. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  9. ^ a b Haque, Ahsan (2009-11-09). "Hannah Banana Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  10. ^ Gorman, Bill (2009-11-09). "Cowboys Point NBC To Win; Housewives, Brothers & Sisters Hit Lows". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  11. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (2009-11-09). "Hannah Banana". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 

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