Livin' on a Prayer (Family Guy)
|"Livin' on a Prayer"|
|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10
|Directed by||Pete Michels|
|Written by||Danny Smith|
|Original air date||January 29, 2012|
|Family Guy (season 10)
List of Family Guy episodes
"Livin' on a Prayer" is the twelfth episode of the tenth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. The episode originally aired on Fox in the United States on January 29, 2012. In this episode, Stewie befriends another boy named Scotty. When Scotty falls ill, Peter and Lois take him to the Hospital, in which his parents disagree due to their religious beliefs.
The episode received fairly positive reviews for its cutaway gags and cultural references. This episode was written by Danny Smith and directed by Pete Michels. The episode features guest performances from Max Burkholder, Gary Cole, Rob Corddry, Judy Greer, Jonathan Morgan Heit, Kevin Michael Richardson, Sage Ryan, Nicole Sullivan, and Josh Robert Thompson along with several recurring voice actors for the series.
The opening credits were a direct parody of the opening of the television series Little House on the Prairie.
The Griffin family goes to the Quahog Public Library for the Children's Sing-a-long activity held by Bruce. Whilst there, Stewie meets a boy named Scotty Jennings and his parents Ben and Hope, whom Lois and Peter befriend. Lois organizes a play date for Stewie and Scotty. Everything goes well until Scotty suddenly falls ill whilst playing with Stewie and passes out, so Lois and Peter rush him to the hospital. Dr. Hartman tells them that Scotty has Hodgkin's lymphoma and needs urgent treatment or else he will die. When Scotty's parents Ben and Hope arrive, they confess that they do not use modern hospital treatment due to their religious beliefs as Christian Scientists, stating that they use "faith" as a medicine.
Despite her own religious views, Lois finds the couple's beliefs ridiculous and tries to convince them to let Scotty receive medical treatment. Unfortunately, Ben and Hope remain adamant that continuous prayer will save their son, so Lois decides to kidnap Scotty and take him to the hospital herself. Lois and Peter sneak up to the Jennings' house and get Scotty out successfully. However, their plans are thrown into turmoil when a huge crowd and the police with Joe stop them at the hospital after news spreads of the kidnapping. Ben and Hope arrive, and plead with Lois to return Scotty to them, but not before Lois explains that even if they use faith of God as a medicine, people still have created modern medicine, which is also the possibility of what God may have allowed. Eventually, Ben and Hope agree and allow their son to go to the hospital to receive his treatments, prompting Peter to exclaim "Hey Everybody, We're All Gonna Get Laid!". Scotty ends up beating his cancer, but by this point, Stewie has found a new friend with leprosy. At the end of the show, Peter decides to study Christian Science and proves a theory by imagining himself as Kate Middleton at the Royal Wedding. While there, he asks William when he thinks the Queen will die.
The title is a reference to the Bon Jovi song of the same name. The opening sequence is a parody of Little House on the Prairie. While dressing up to kidnap Scotty, Peter dresses like the title character from Harry Potter. Mayor West claims he is musician John Mayer and references Mayer's song Your Body Is a Wonderland. When Lois gets Scotty's parents to treat their son's cancer, Peter says Rodney Dangerfield's quote from Caddyshack "Hey everybody! We're all gonna get laid!." The cutaway gag involving a vampire in San Francisco is reminiscent of an 80's era Saturday Night Live skit about a vampire who is paranoid about catching AIDS, so he arranges to have a woman's blood sample tested before biting her. Unfortunately the test takes too long and the sun comes up before he can complete the deed. Interestingly, James Woods, a frequent guest on Family Guy, was the guest host in that episode and performed as the vampire.
While eating breakfast with the family, Chris Griffin tells Brian the dog, "If you die tomorrow, you think we're going to be devastated. But you know what? We're just gonna go out and buy another dog! And maybe this dog will fetch a stick and bring me my slippers instead of prattling on about the pros and cons of various religions!"
Production and development
In addition to the regular cast, actors Max Burkholder, Gary Cole, Rob Corddry, Judy Greer, Jonathan Morgan Heit, Kevin Michael Richardson, Sage Ryan, Nicole Sullivan, and Josh Robert Thompson guest starred in the episode. Recurring voice actors Steve Callaghan, Gary Janetti, Danny Smith, Alec Sulkin, and John Viener made minor appearances. Recurring guest voice actors Adam West and Patrick Warburton appeared in the episode as well. This episode marked Greer's second appearance on this season, the first being "Lottery Fever".
The episode received fairly positive reviews. Kevin McFarland of The A.V. Club, a considerable critic of post-cancellation seasons of the show, gave the episode a B-, appreciating how it tackled religion in comparison to previous episodes, and enjoying several of the cutaway and filler gags, such as Mayor West claiming to be John Mayer. He disliked a joke about Count Dracula nearly catching HIV in San Francisco, however as he felt it was homophobic. A review by Kate Moon of TV Fanatic was even more overwhelmingly positive, claiming that the show delivered a "genuine message". She gave a 4.3/5 rating. Both reviews were favorable towards the opening credits.
In its original broadcast on January 29, 2012, "Livin' on a Prayer" was watched by 5.92 million U.S. viewers and acquired a 3.1/7 rating in the 18–49 demographic.
- MacFarland, Kevin (January 30, 2012). "Livin' on a Prayer". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
- Moon, Kate (January 30, 2012). "Family Guy Review: Blasphemy! Heresy! Sodomy!". TV Fanatic. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
- Gorman, Bill. "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon A Time,' 'Family Guy,' 'CSI: Miami' Adjusted Up; NFL 'Pro Bowl' Down vs. Last Season". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
- Millar, Paul. "'Fifty Shades of Grey' Channel 4 show exceeds 2m in late slot". Digital Spy.
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