It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One
|"It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One"|
|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Zac Moncrief|
|Written by||Alex Borstein|
|Original air date||May 13, 2007|
|Family Guy (season 5)
List of Family Guy episodes
"It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One" is the 17th episode of the fifth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on May 13, 2007. The episode features Lois after she runs for Mayor of Quahog against incumbent Mayor Adam West, once she notices how polluted the local lake has become. Lois is then elected as mayor, and successfully cleans the lake, but quickly succumbs to pressure by the toxic dump owner to allow him to resume dumping toxins into the lake.
The episode was written by Alex Borstein and directed by Zac Moncrief. It received mixed reviews from critics for its storyline and many cultural references. According to Nielsen ratings, it was viewed in 7.21 million homes in its original airing. The episode featured guest performances by Jeff Bergman, Gary Cole, Jackson Douglas, Keith Ferguson, Carrie Fisher, Masam Holden, Don Most, Gary Newman, Keith Olbermann and Fred Tatasciore, along with several recurring guest voice actor's for the series.
The Griffin family decides to take a vacation at Quagmire's cabin. When the family goes swimming in nearby Lake Quahog, they discover that an oil refinery is dumping toxic waste into the lake. As the family flees from the lake, their hair begins to fall out, and they are forced to wear powdered wigs until it grows back. Lois complains to Mayor Adam West, who admits that he sanctioned the dumping, in exchange for free oil for his hair. Outraged, Lois decides to run against West in the upcoming mayoral election. Peter and his friends become strong supporters of Lois's campaign, realizing should she become mayor, they would be able to get away with almost anything. Lois's campaign soon falters, however, as Mayor West proves more politically savvy. While Lois bores voters with detailed plans to improve the city, Mayor West uses glittering generalities and statements completely unrelated to the questions posed to him. Following Brian's advice to give short, simple answers, Lois resorts to similar tactics, dropping controversial terms such as "Jesus" and "9/11" in meaningless ways. She eventually gains the support of the populace and wins the election.
After taking office, Lois begins to use fear tactics in order to raise funds for cleaning up the lake. Thanks to her efforts, the lake was cleaned up, and life was returned to the lake. After successfully cleaning the lake, Lois has cash remaining from the efforts, and embezzles $600 to purchase a purse, much to Brian's disappointment. Peter has also succumbed to the perks of being the mayor's husband, rerouting the town's electrical system, and causing rolling blackouts to bring late comedian Jim Varney back from the dead. Later, Lois is tempted to buy a $4,300 fur coat. Bob Grossbeard, the president of the local oil company, offers to buy the coat if Lois allows him to dump his oil runoff in the lake. Lois reluctantly accepts his offer, but as the opening of the new runoff pipe begins, Lois realizes the error of her ways and closes the valve to the pipe and resigns her position as mayor, stating that she was consumed by money and power and that it led her to become the very same things she set out to destroy. Lois then allows West to have his job as mayor back, but a random bystander points out that a whole new election should take place, prompting West to pull out a gun and shoot him, as well as two others whom he believes objected.
The episode was written by Alex Borstein, under the pen name of "a.bo", and directed by Zac Moncrief. The story is based on a one-woman show Borstein worked on, entitled Women and Jews: Why We'll Never Be President. The storyline came out when she felt that a woman "will never be president," stating, "I had these fantasies about a woman president that would be fair and there'd be no corruption. That's a bunch of bullshit fantasy." Borstein called the episode "kind of my homage to Hillary Clinton." The staff enjoyed the episode's storyline so much, that Borstein and fellow writer Cherry Chevapravatdumrong wrote a novelization of the episode. Borstein called the book a "companion piece poking fun" at Clinton's book It Takes a Village.
Gary Newman, President of 20th Century Fox, voiced a man in the audience when Lois held a press conference. Newman is responsible for Family Guy being picked up again after the cancellation, and had wanted to do a line on the show. In addition to Newman and the regular cast, voice actor Jeff Bergman, actor Gary Cole, actor Jackson Douglas, voice actor Keith Ferguson, actress Carrie Fisher, actor Masam Holden, actor Don Most, news anchor and political commentator Keith Olbermann and voice actor Fred Tatasciore. Recurring voice actors Lori Alan, Johnny Brennan, Alex Breckenridge, writer Mark Hentemann, writer Danny Smith, writer Alec Sulkin and writer John Viener made minor appearances.
In the opening scene of the episode, the Griffin family is seen traveling to stay at Quagmire's cabin in the woods for vacation. Peter then notes that the trip will be a much better vacation than when they appeared in the American game show The Price Is Right pricing game Cliff Hangers. Cleveland is also shown playing the pricing game Plinko. As Stewie and Brian then decide to go berry picking in the forest, actor Don Most suddenly appears from the fog nearby, with a chorus simultaneously singing the theme song to the 1974 ABC sitcom Happy Days to the melody of the title song from Brigadoon.
After returning home from the local lake, and losing their hair, requiring the Griffin family to wear powdered wigs, Stewie begins playing several classical compositions, including those by Joseph Haydn and Georg Friedrich Handel, with Peter then appearing as Antonio Salieri. The scene is a reference to the 1984 film Amadeus.
In preparation for the upcoming mayoral election in Quahog, both Lois and incumbent Mayor Adam West participate in a debate, hosted by Quahog 5 News. As Lois begins her second response, after first running out of time, she uses the September 11 attacks, as well as Jesus, to form her answers. The crowd reacts positively to her answers, with a live action clip of "The Crying Girl" from season six of the American reality show American Idol also appearing on screen. Once Lois is elected, Brian mentions Lois's ability to connect with the citizens of Quahog, just as Disney is able to connect with their audience, with the 2004 film Home on the Range then being shown. Going on to propose a "modest tax increase" in order to pay for the cleanup of the local lake, Lois resorts to fear tactics, by stating that Adolf Hitler and the Legion of Doom are planning to assassinate Jesus, using the lake as their base.
Abusing his wife's power as mayor, Peter begins by rerouting the city's electricity, causing rolling blackouts, which leads Brian to become suspicious of Peter's actions. Peter then reveals that he had been using the power to reanimate the corpse of actor Jim Varney, having originally intended to bring back actor and Saturday Night Live alumnus John Belushi.
Horror movie legend Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movie series appeared twice in this episode, carrying his trademark machete which is dripping with blood. He first appeared when being interviewed at the lake by Quahog news reporter Tricia Takanawa, at one point during which he kills two women in bathing suits. The scene itself is a reference to Camp Crystal Lake, Jason's traditional haunt. He then also appears as the boss of the store where Lois tried to buy her coat and threatens to kill his employee if she "screws up".
In its original broadcast in the United States, the episode was watched by 7.21 million households and achieved a 3.5 rating and 9% share in the 18–49 demographic, according to Nielsen ratings. It ultimately finished third in its timeslot, after Desperate Housewives on ABC and a two-hour season finale of Survivor: Fiji on CBS. The episode attracted 740,000 fewer viewers than the previous episode, but made Family Guy the highest rated show in the Animation Domination block, ahead of King of the Hill, The Simpsons and American Dad!.
Since airing, the episode has received mixed reviews from critics. Brett Love of TV Squad noted that the story was very similar to the season two episode "Running Mates", but thought it was "pretty solid" with "some great moments." Ahsan Haque of IGN stated the episode had "quite a few funny jokes," but the storyline was "predictably unoriginal," and felt the "political statement [...] was stretched too thin," giving the episode a 6.8 out of 10.
- Epstein, Daniel Robert (2007-01-01). "Interviews - Alex Borstein". Suicide Girls. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
- Scherzer, Kym. "Alex Borstein - Guy's Gal". Men's Fitness. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
- MacFarlane, Seth (2008-10-21). Family Guy Volume Six Audio Commentary (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- "Family Guy - It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One - Cast and crew". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- Haque, Ahsan (2007-05-14). "Family Guy: "It Takes a Village Idiot and I Married One" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- Love, Brett (2007-05-14). "Family Guy: "It Takes a Village Idiot and I Married One"". TV Squad. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- Smith, Danny (2008-10-21). Family Guy Volume Six Audio Commentary (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Calabria, Rosario T. (2007-05-14). "Broadcasting TV ratings for Sunday May 13, 2007". Your Entertainment Now. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
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No Chris Left Behind
|Family Guy (season 5)||Succeeded by
Meet the Quagmires