Family Guy Viewer Mail 2
|"Family Guy Viewer Mail #2"|
|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10
|Directed by||Greg Colton|
|Written by||Tom Devanney
|Original air date||May 20, 2012|
"Family Guy Viewer Mail #2" is the twenty-second episode of the tenth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. The episode originally aired with the succeeding episode "Internal Affairs" on Fox in the United States on May 20, 2012.
In the episode, Brian and Stewie respond to viewer mail. Three segments respectively feature a British version of Family Guy, Peter Griffin turning everybody he touches into Robin Williams, and a typical day from Stewie's point of view. The episode is a sequel to the first viewer mail episode in the show's third season.
The episode was written by Tom Devanney, Alec Sulkin and Deepak Sethi and directed by Greg Colton. It received mixed reviews for its storyline and cultural references, the more positive reviews going to the "Chap of the Manor" and "Point of Stew" segments, and the more negative reviews going to the "Fatman and Robin" segment. This episode features guest performances from Cate Blanchett, Max Burkholder, John Finnemore, Colin Ford, Ioan Gruffudd, Tom Hollander, Rachael MacFarlane, Chris O'Dowd, Jeff Ross, and Joshua Rush, along with several recurring guest performers for the series. The episode was dedicated to musician Warren Luening.
"Chap of the Manor"
The episode uses the premise that Family Guy is based on a British television show. The characters from Family Guy are all presented as English, apart from Stewie (as he already has an English accent in the main show, he is shown as a devoutly religious redneck in "Chap of the Manor"). Brian is also an effeminate horse, who pronounces "Whip" the same way Stewie normally does, by placing heavy emphasis on the "H".
In this British version of the series, Neville (Peter) states that he is going to the pub to meet his friends. When the news announces that Queen Elizabeth II will be in the parade, Neville tells his friends that he is related to the Queen and wishes to gain a lock of the Queen's hair to test it. When the Queen passes by, he tries to set up a fake barber chair along the route. When this fails to gain the Queen's attention twice, Neville and Collingsworth (Chris) steal a police motorcycle and chase the Queen to her death in a tunnel. As Neville and Collingsworth try to nonchalantly walk away, they are chased by a cohort of London Bobbies to the tune of "Yakety Sax". Back home, Neville discovers they are not related to the Queen after all.
"Fatman and Robin"
While Peter is watching a roast of his favorite stand-up comedian Robin Williams, he feels offended when insult comic Jeff Ross insults Williams. Peter runs outside in the middle of a thunderstorm and accuses God of hating Williams, wishing that everyone were Williams before getting struck by lightning. Upon waking up in the hospital, he discovers he has gained the ability to turn everyone and everything he touches into Williams (similar to the Midas Touch). Peter turns everyone in the city into Robin Williams (while "Rockin' Robin" is played). At first, this goes well for Peter, but soon the multiple clones become too much for him, especially after he accidentally turns Lois into one. After numerous suicide attempts which fail because everything he touches turns into Williams, he orders the drove of clones to venture into the world to make others laugh, but chooses five clones to serve as replacements to his family members. The story ends showing that Peter appears insane and has cut both his hands off, a solution that prevents him from bringing any new clones into the world. Stewie was the only one that was not transformed, as he mimicked Williams, and at the end of the scene he is shown on the roof suggesting that Disney did not let the show portray Williams' role as the Genie from Aladdin.
"Point of Stew"
The audience sees the world through Stewie's eyes as Lois changes him, Meg wishes him to keep her ring (Stewie stating this is a "Red Flag"), and his friends ask him to go down the slide at the playground (doing a reference to the film National Lampoon's Vacation in the process). Later, Stewie secures a Twinkie to stuff in Brian's tail pipe on his car but ends up going for an unexpected ride with Brian where he chases a squirrel in his car and kills it. He then spots Herbert underneath a school bus. At bath time, he imagines a doll being eaten by a shark and Peter joins him. At bedtime, he makes a quick trip through time to stop Kurt Cobain from killing himself in 1994 by introducing him to Häagen-Dazs ice cream; on returning to the present he sees an obese Cobain on a 2012 album. As Lois reads a bedtime story about the town from Footloose, a drunken Peter rudely interrupts for sex as Stewie is forced to listen. In his dreams, he visualizes Peter and Lois, who are having sex in reality, as lumberjacks chopping down trees, with Peter, cutting down his tree signifying the end of the sex, and Lois beginning to cut down hers with a chainsaw, representing her beginning to use a vibrator, to finish.
The episode received a 2.6 rating and was watched by a total of 5.35 million people; this made it the most watched show on Animation Domination that night, beating The Cleveland Show, Bob's Burgers and The Simpsons with 4.97 million. Kevin McFarland of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B with each segment getting an A-, C, and B- respectively, saying "“Viewer Mail” is composed of three shorter stories, an opportunity to completely alter the structure of the show and tell a different kind of story. As far as the repetitive nature of Family Guy goes, at least this technique has a reasonable track record of success, so it’s not all that surprising that the first segment in this anthology is one of the best moments for the show all year."
Robin Williams incident
BBC Three showed a repeat of this episode in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2014, the day that Robin Williams committed suicide. The episode aired at 23:25 GMT, and news of Williams' death broke about 23:50 GMT. Viewers reacted to the coincidence, highlighting that Peter attempted suicide in the episode. A BBC spokesperson said:
|“||The episode ended just as the news broke about his death, this was a repeat that we have shown a couple of times before so who could have planned that? It was scheduled more than two weeks ago so it is just an uncanny coincidence. Some of our people who work here noticed that the death of Robin Williams was announced just as this episode ended. It was due to be repeated on Friday but we will not be showing it now.||”|
- Kondolojy, Amanda (May 22, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Family Guy' Adjusted Up; 'Bob's Burgers' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- McFarland, Kevin (May 21, 2012). "Viewer Mail 2/Internal Affairs". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Hooton, Christopher (12 August 2014). "Robin Williams Family Guy episode about a suicide attempt aired on BBC Three as news of actor's death broke". The Independent. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
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