|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10
|Directed by||John Holmquist|
|Written by||Mark Hentemann|
|Original air date||November 27, 2011|
"Amish Guy" is the seventh episode of the tenth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. The episode originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 27, 2011. The episode follows the Griffin family after their car breaks down in Amish country on their way back from a vacation. The family must then learn to adjust to the community for the weekend, until they are able to fix their car at a mechanic. However, when Meg falls in love with an Amish boy named Eli, and his father forbids the two from ever seeing each other again, a conflict arises between the two families. This results in a battle between the families, with the victor determining Meg and Eli's ultimate fate.
The episode was written by Mark Hentemann and directed by John Holmquist. It received mostly positive reviews from critics for its storyline and numerable cultural references. According to Nielsen ratings, it was viewed in 5.5 million homes in its original airing. The episode featured guest performances by Christine Lakin, Ari Graynor, Bobby Lee, Missi Pyle, and Kevin Michael Richardson, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series. It was first announced at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International. This episode marked the lowest Nielsen rating for Family Guy since 2002.
The Griffin family decide to travel to the Six Flags amusement park, but when Peter is barred from riding The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen roller coasters because he is too overweight, he becomes disappointed. Peter's friends Joe and Quagmire then convince him to go on a diet in order to be able to ride the coaster. He is unable to lose any weight and decides to wear a girdle instead. The family then travels to Ohio in order to ride a new roller coaster called The Holocaust. This time Peter is allowed to ride the roller coaster, but it is unable to make it up the first hill, and collapses under his weight.
The family decides to return home, but the car suddenly breaks down in Amish country, with no mechanic or any signs of modern civilization in sight. The family approaches a group of Amish workers, asking if they can stay in the workers' village for the weekend. When Meg begins complaining about the lack of electricity and other modern conveniences, a local Amish boy named Eli decides to take her on a tour of the village. The pair then begin to exchange kisses, but the boy's overprotective father, Ezekiel, interrupts them, and instructs the two never to see each other again over fears that Meg may corrupt his son. Meg approaches her father about talking to Ezekiel. Peter tries to introduce Ezekiel to rock music with the song Highway to Hell, but unintentionally turns the Amish community against him, prompting them to demand that the Griffin family leave. The Griffins explain that they cannot leave until their car is fixed, but the Amish then reveal that they have attached two horses to pull the car back to their home. Eli decides to follow Meg, and the group then returns to Quahog. Later that day, the Amish follow the family to Quahog and vandalize the Griffins' home, prompting Peter to declare war against the group. A battle ensues, with both sides equally matched. Peter and Ezekiel then have a fist fight in order to settle the matter on their own, but Eli stops his father and tells him that he is truly in love with Meg. Eli decides to stay in Amish country, and tells Meg that it is his true home. The two then embrace in one final hug. Peter and Ezekiel call a truce, deciding to remain friends and see each other from time to time.
Production and development
The episode was directed by series regular John Holmquist, shortly after the conclusion of the ninth production season, his first episode of the season. Holmquist joined the series in its second season, directing the episode "Running Mates". The episode was written by executive producer and showrunner Mark Hentemann, who joined the show as a writer in its third season, writing the episode "The Kiss Seen Around the World". This was also Hentemann's second episode of the season, after first writing the Brian and Stewie adventure episode "Back to the Pilot". Series regulars Peter Shin and James Purdum served as supervising directors, with Andrew Goldberg, Alex Carter, Spencer Porter, and Elaine Ko serving as staff writers for the episode. Composer Ron Jones, who has worked on the series since its inception, returned to compose the music for "Amish Guy". "Amish Guy" was first announced at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International on July 23, 2011 by series showrunners and executive producers Steve Callaghan and Hentemann.
In addition to the regular cast, guest stars included actress Christine Lakin, actress Ari Graynor, actor and comedian Bobby Lee, singer and actress Missi Pyle, and voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson, who notably portrays Cleveland Brown, Jr. on Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane's spin-off series The Cleveland Show. Recurring guest voice actors Alexandra Breckenridge, writer Chris Sheridan, writer Danny Smith, writer Alec Sulkin and writer John Viener made minor appearances throughout the episode.
"Amish Guy" was broadcast on November 27, 2011, as a part of an animated television night on Fox, and was preceded by The Simpsons and Allen Gregory, and followed by Family Guy creator and executive producer Seth MacFarlane's second show, American Dad!. It was watched by 5.50 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings, despite airing simultaneously with the Hallmark Hall of Fame on ABC, The Amazing Race on CBS and Sunday Night Football on NBC. The episode also acquired a 2.8/6 rating in the 18–49 demographic, beating The Simpsons, Allen Gregory and American Dad!, in addition to significantly edging out Allen Gregory and American Dad! in total viewership. The episode's ratings decreased significantly from the previous week's episode, "Thanksgiving".
The episode received mostly positive reviews. Kevin McFarland of The A.V. Club wrote of the episode, "The main plot actually did quite a good job of mirroring the usual Simpsons trope of starting in one place, going to another, and then taking a left turn into the actual central plot of the episode." He also compared it to a comic strip, noting, "If I didn't think the funnies lived up to their nickname, I did what everyone does with a newspaper. I threw it away. [...] Then I read the strip again the next day, as if the previous one hadn't existed. That's how I tried to watch this episode, paying some attention to the Griffins in Amish country, but mostly isolating each joke setup, figuring out what I liked, and then moving on to the next one." He concluded his review of the episode by giving it a grade of B-. Terren R. Moore of Ology praised Peter's role in the episode, writing, "even though the arguments and evidence that this show is past its prime grow increasingly larger, Peter manages—for me, anyway—to still be hilarious in nearly everything he does as he becomes more and more outlandish in the various situations the show puts him in." He concluded his review, however, by stating, "for the most part, I arrive at the same point I do at the end of nearly every episode this season: there's just nothing new happening here." Moore gave the episode a rating of 7.5 out of ten.
- Holmquist, John; Hentemann, Mark; MacFarlane, Seth (2011-11-27). "Amish Guy". Family Guy. Season 10. Episode 06. Fox.
- "Family Guy: Running Mates - Cast and crew". AMC. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
- "Family Guy: The Kiss Seen Around the World Cast and credits". AMC. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
- Ryan, Mike (2011-11-14). "Seth MacFarlane: Was Last Night's 'Family Guy' His 9/11 Catharsis?". AOL. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- White, Cindy (2011-07-23). "Comic-Con: 10 Outrageous Things Coming in Family Guy's 10th Season". IGN. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- Seidman, Robert (2011-11-29). "Sunday Final Ratings: Big Adjustment Up for 'Amazing Race'; No Adjustment for 'Once Upon a Time' + Steelers-Chiefs". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
- Gorman, Bill (2011-11-22). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'CSI:Miami,' 'Amazing Race,' 'Family Guy' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- McFarland, Kevin (2011-11-28). "Family Guy - Amish Guy - Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
- Moore, Terren R. (2011-11-27). "'Family Guy' Recap: "Amish Guy"". Ology. Retrieved 2011-11-29.
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