I watch Family Guy and the Simpsons, and have watched the Simpsons for, well... ever since I was old enough to talk (no joke). I began watching Family Guy because it was funny, and intrigued me, and these were fresh writers and characters to watch, and some were fairly interesting.
Well, they were kind of
And the more I watched, I realized, the Family Guy characters were very well developed... Yeah, and Seinfeld
had a plot.
I was talking with my friend the other day who actually kicked off this little epiphany in my head. She watches the Simpsons, but not Family Guy. She points out that while the characters on the Simpsons can be crude, lazy and just plain mean at times, they also had softer sides, like when Bart was best friends with Lisa, or when Homer apologized to Lisa in a crossword puzzle (these are just off the top of my head). She pointed out that Family Guy characters never (or very, very rarely) have any moments like that. She confessed an interest in Stewie and Brian, but an outright loathing of Peter.
Her argument was that Peter was the flattest of flat characters, and not just because lives in a two dimensional world. Peter, like the Simpsons, is crude, lazy and just plain mean... and that's pretty much it. He has absolutely no character arc, whereas Homer does. He hasn't changed at all since the first season of Family Guy.
I found myself agreeing with everything she said.
Don't get me wrong-- I still get a kick out of Family Guy. But the more I watch it, the more I wonder... what exactly is
Peter's appeal? Is he really as flat as he seems? Sure, he loves Lois, but why exactly is it that Lois loves and continues to put up with him? What are his redeeming qualities? If he were a real person, would you be his friend?
No, seriously-- I'm asking you folks these questions. Is Peter deeper than he seems, or is he flatter than a pancake on Jupiter? What do you guys think?