To Love and Die in Dixie

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"To Love and Die in Dixie"
Family Guy episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 12
Directed by Dan Povenmire
Written by Steve Callaghan
Production code 3ACX09
Original air date November 18, 2001
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Emission Impossible"
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"Screwed the Pooch"
Family Guy (season 3)
List of Family Guy episodes

"To Love and Die in Dixie" is the 12th episode of the third season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. Country music singer Waylon Jennings, who died three months after the episode aired on television in the United States, guest-stars in his last ever appearance on the show.[1] Dakota Fanning also guest starred on the episode. The title is a reference to a line in the traditional Southern song "Dixie".[2]

The episode was written by future showrunner Steve Callaghan, and was directed by Dan Povenmire.[3] It features the first appearance of the recurring character Mr. Herbert. This episode is rated TV-PG.

Plot[edit]

Needing extra money, Chris decides to get a newspaper route, to help pay for a birthday gift for a girl he likes. Among those on his paper route is an old man named Herbert who is sexually attracted to Chris. He gives his crush a present, but his clumsiness and over-eagerness scares her off. Nevertheless, he decides to stay with the paper route. Shortly thereafter, however, Chris witnesses a robbery at a convenience store, and his bike ends up being stolen by the burglar as a getaway vehicle (even though he takes the bike but runs on foot). Later, at the police station, Chris identifies the thief from a police lineup. However, Peter shows up and tells the thief (not knowing he is the thief) that he is here to pick up Chris who was going to "finger the guy who held up the convenience store" and then proceeds to give the thief a picture of Chris, along with a list of his school schedule, and his greatest fears. When the thief escapes and swears revenge on Chris, the family is placed in the Witness Protection Program. The Griffins are then relocated to Bumblescum, a tiny town in the deep South. Meg blames this on Chris despite the fact it was really Peter's fault. When they get there and see their house, Meg complains about it, and Lois says that "If we fix it up a bit it could be a piece of crap." While there, Peter becomes sheriff with Brian as his deputy. Stewie joins a hillbilly jug band, Meg becomes popular with her classmates, and Chris meets a new friend named Sam.

Later, when Peter interferes with a Civil War reenactment, claiming the North won the war, despite how they were being portrayed in the play, Sam's dad says Chris and Sam can no longer be friends and Peter and Brian have to answer to the civil war survivors. Not knowing of this, Sam unexpectedly kisses Chris, and Chris assumes Sam is gay. As Chris writes in a journal about what happened with Sam, Brian hears the story (as Chris was speaking out what he wrote), and he explains that kissing Sam seemingly felt right.

When the two meet again, Chris tells Sam that he likes him but only as a friend. Sam agrees and when they are about to go swimming it is revealed to Chris (by Sam's bra, panties and long hair covered by a cap) that Sam is a girl. Due to the fact that Chris has had bad experience with girls (as seen in the beginning of the episode) he now feels awkward around Sam. At a party that was held that night, Sam explains to Chris that he had no problem talking to her, when he thought she was a guy, so she tells Chris to think of her as a boy who he can make out with.

After the Secret Service agents who were hired to look over the Griffins home in Quahog accidentally reveal the location of the family (telling the criminal where Meg was, but not Chris), the criminal tracks the family down in Bumblescum, and attempts to kill Chris. During the confrontation, however, the criminal is shot by Sam's father.

With the criminal gone, the Griffins return to Quahog with Chris having to leave Sam behind. Once they are home, they realize that someone had left 113 messages on their answering machine, all of which turn out to be from Herbert, who is looking for Chris. [4]

Production[edit]

A man with brown hair, leans forward slightly to speak into a microphone. There is a vague symbol behind him.
Steve Callaghan wrote the episode.

Dan Povenmire, who directed the episode, was granted substantial creative freedom by series creator and executive producer Seth MacFarlane. Povenmire recalled that MacFarlane would tell him "We've got two minutes to fill. Give me some visual gags. Do whatever you want. I trust you." Povenmire praised this management style for letting him "have fun." Povenmire brought realism, and material from his own experiences, to the visual direction of Family Guy.[5][6]

For this episode,[7] Povenmire drew inspiration from his own childhood in the deep south for a sequence for a background scene where a "redneck" character nonchalantly kicks a corpse into the nearby river.[5] Also, there was a running gag of raccoons jumping out of things and scratching Peter in the face.

In addition to the regular cast, actor Brian Dunkleman, voice actress Dakota Fanning, voice actor Ralph Garman, singer Waylon Jennings, voice actress Rachael MacFarlane, and actress Kathleen Wilhoite guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voice actors and writers Mike Henry and Danny Smith made minor appearances

Cultural references[edit]

Actor Ralph Garman guest starred in the episode as Sam's father.
  • The title is a reference to the 1985 crime film To Live and Die in L.A., and is also a reference to the song “Dixie”: "I wish I was in Dixie, hurrah, hurrah; in Dixieland I’ll take my stand, to live and die in Dixie."
  • The plot of this episode is somewhat similar to the 1991 film, Cape Fear.
  • The pig in the classroom shares traits similar to Arnold Ziffel, the pig on the sitcom Green Acres, who also attended school.
  • Chris gives Barbara a bottle of Elizabeth Taylor’s brand of perfume and says “I guess that means you’ll smell like bourbon and vicodin,” referring to the actress’s alleged substance abuse problems.
  • One of the criminals in the lineup at the beginning of the episode is Morpheus from The Matrix.
  • The FBI agents are a reference to The Odd Couple. “We’ll be watching your house together, even though he’s a slovenly liberal and I’m a fastidious conservative,” one of them says. “I smell a sitcom!” the other replies.
  • After plucking a banjo string, Stewie explains “Oh, I feel so deliciously white trash. Mommy, I want a mullet!” referring to the derided hair style stereotypically associated with poor, rural whites.
  • Soon after arriving in Bumblescum, Peter paints the family car to resemble the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard. After he and Brian race around, impersonating main characters Bo and Luke Duke, Peter suggests getting Chris and Meg to play the show’s villains Boss Hogg and Enos Strate who Peter mistakenly calls anus.
  • When Chris asks where do you go when you die, his friend says “I learnt at church if you’re good you go to heaven, but if you’re bad you go to a place where the dead believe they’re still living and pray for death, but death won’t come” and Chris thinks Hell is UPN, a now-defunct television network that normally aired programming aimed towards African-Americans.
  • When Peter and Brian launch the car over a hay bale, a popular stunt on Dukes of Hazzard, Waylon Jennings reprises his role as the show’s narrator. Another parody of the show occurs when Brian tries to hop into the car through the window, another popular stunt on the show.
  • After Lois says that she made dinner with Shake 'N' Bake, Stewie says “And I helped!” a line directly from Shake ’n’ Bake commercials.
  • After Stewie plays a song on the banjo, he screams “I got blisters on me fingers!” which is what Ringo Starr screams at the end of The Beatles song “Helter Skelter”.
  • Sam compares Chris to a “skinny Garth Brooks,” referring to the country singer’s apparent weight gain.
  • When the robber asks for the names of Peter and Brian, Peter claims he is “T. J. Hooker” and Brian is “McMillan and Wife,” referring to two television police dramas.
  • After the locals kill the thief on the dock, Peter says that all Southerners “suffer from the gum disease known as gingivitis,” in the same manner as the voice on a 1990s commercial for Listerine, a dental hygiene product.
  • When Peter and Brian are being chased by the Civil War survivors one of them asks “Has anyone seen my foot?” This is possibly a reference to a Jerky Boys skit in which Sol Rosenberg is selling Confederate memorabilia, one of the items being a Confederate foot. Jerky Boy Johnny Brennan who voiced Sol Rosenberg is also the voice of Mort Goldman on this show.
  • After being kissed by Sam (while still under the impression that Sam is a boy) Chris remarks, “I haven’t been this confused since the end of No Way Out!” It is then revealed that Chris’ confusion refers to how Kevin Costner keeps getting work, and not the infamous twist at the end of the film.
  • This episode contains a humorous Southern version of a Civil War re-enactment, which plays off of real history, as Robert E. Lee was a teetotaler, while Ulysses S. Grant was forced to resign from the military in 1854 because of a drinking problem (he did not return until 1861).

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "Waylon Jennings marched to his own outlaw beat". USATODAY. February 14, 2002. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  2. ^ "Family Guy: To Love and Die in Dixie episode on TV.com". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan Take Over Family Guy". MovieWeb. September 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  4. ^ "Family Guy "To Love and Die in Dixie" Episode Guide". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  5. ^ a b Callaghan, pp. 174
  6. ^ Callaghan, pp. 142
  7. ^ Callaghan, pp. 171

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Emission Impossible
Family Guy (season 3) Succeeded by
Screwed the Pooch