When most of us relax for the evening, or it’s a rainy day at the weekend, at some point we will find ourselves tuning into Family Guy.
This show has been a classic animated sitcom staple from Fox for many years now. There are few who haven’t heard of Peter and Lois, plus their children Stewie, Chris and Meg.
Family Guy has been running since the late 1990s, and as of September 2019, there are just under 350 episodes. In other words, bingeing the entire archive would take you quite a while!
The Griffiths family are the central focus of Family Guy, and each character has a strong personality. For example, Peter is a blue-collar employee who is simple-minded yet means well. He is clumsy but charming in his own way. Meanwhile, Lois stays at home as mom and teaches piano.
As for the kids, Chris struggles with his weight and is portrayed as not too intelligent. The daughter, Meg, is frequently depicted as being overlooked by the family, while Stewie is the classic evil genius stereotype whose sexual orientation remains somewhat unclear.
Cast and characters
- Seth MacFarlane – Peter Griffin, Brian Griffin, Stewie Griffin
- Alex Borstein – Lois Griffin
- Mila Kunis – Meg Griffin
- Seth Green – Chris Griffin, Neil Goldman
- Mike Henry – Cleveland Brown, John Herbert Bruce, Consuela
- H John Benjamin – Carl
- Bryan Cranston – Hal, Dr Jewish, Bert
- Johnny Brennan – Mort Goldman, Horace the bartender
- Christine Lakin – Joyce Kinney
- Phil LaMarr – Ollie Williams
- Rachel MacFarlane – Olivia
- Mark Hentemann – Opie
- Niecy Nash – Sheila
- Kevin Michael Richardson – Jerome, Cleveland Jr
- Danny Smith – Evil Monkey, Al Harrington, Ernie the Giant Chicken
- Alec Sulkin – Jesus Christ
- Jennifer Tilly – Bonnie Swanson
- Patrick Warburton – Joe Swanson
- Gary Cole – Principal Shepherd
- Lori Alan – Diane Simmons
- Carlos Alazraqui – Mr Weed
- Drew Barrymore – Jillian Russell
- Carrie Fisher – Angela
- Nicole Sullivan – Muriel Goldman
- Lisa Wilhoit – Connie D’Amico
- Adam West – Mayor Adam West
Family Guy does not have a filming location in the traditional sense, as it is an animated series. However, the production company behind the show is Fuzzy Door. This company is the product of Seth MacFarlane, and it has also produced American Dad, The Cleveland Show and science documentary series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey to name but a few.
The writing process for Family Guy involves 14 writers who take turns creating the scripts. The rest of those on the team will read a script when it has been completed. A number of gags are pitched to MacFarlane and the others on the team, and the best will make the cut to be included in the series.
In terms of production, MacFarlane has elaborated on this process in the past. It will take around 10 months on average to produce an episode, due to the fact that hand-drawn animation is used.
Episodes and reception
The first episode of Family Guy made its debut in January 1999, just after the broadcast of the Super Bowl XXXIII on Fox. While 22 million viewers were tuned in, it was very quickly deemed to be controversial due to its adult content.
Generally speaking, the show initially aired on Fox in between The Simpsons and The X-Files on a Sunday night. When the show was placed into another slot, it struggled to compete against Frasier on NBC, so Fox removed it from the schedule for a while.
When Fox tried to sell the rights for show reruns, they encountered difficulties with finding people who would be interested. In the end, Cartoon Network was the successful party, and it has been reported that the rights were bought ‘basically for free’.
There are 18 seasons of Family Guy. Most of them average out at around 20 episodes, while season 4 had 30 and the first season had just seven episodes.
Due to its use of pop culture references and satire, critics have praised the show. The general consensus has been that, while people recognised how crude the humour was and felt it was ‘wrong’ to watch, they also enjoyed how intelligent it was.
Happily, the show has become successful on Hulu, ranking second only to Saturday Night Live.
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There are many channels available to watch with Hulu. If you’re looking for entertainment content, you can go for Adult Swim, Food Network, Hulu Original Series, Lifetime and TLC to name but a few. For kids, options include Cartoon Network, Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Universal Kids. Finally, a mixture of news channels are available – Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC and ABC News.
Hulu places a priority on providing TV shows, so if you’re looking for a high quality catalog of series to browse through, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s the lowdown on what you can expect with this streaming service.
Pros and cons
- Large catalog. Hulu understands the ‘binge’ mentality, so it stocks full seasons of the shows you want to watch. You won’t need to worry about only being able to watch up to a certain point, as Hulu makes investments to ensure everything you need is on its platform.
- Navigation. This streaming platform is incredibly easy to use, with a clean layout and a simple search function to access your content.
- Managing your account. If you want to keep track of certain TV shows or movies, you can add them into the My Stuff category. For picking up where you left off, you can click on the Keep Watching tab.
- Lack of films and original content. As Hulu places a focus on TV shows, you may then conclude that competitors will have a better range of movies and original shows. Netflix is one of the main contenders here.
- Paying more to remove ads. If you want an ad-free plan with Hulu, this will cost more. Meanwhile, other competitors will offer all of their plans without ads.
- Not available worldwide. Currently, Hulu is only available in the US and Japan. This means that locations across Europe, Australia and so on will only be able to read news about new shows without being able to watch them.
Types of content available
To browse the available content, go to the ‘Browse’ button in the top left hand corner and select the filter. For example, if you want to watch TV shows, this is a filter, with genre sub categories including action, drama, family, game shows and comedy. Further filters are available as you scroll, so you can view content that it’s been predicted you will enjoy based on your preferences or viewing history. Furthermore, you can view which content is popular at the moment, which series have new episodes available, Hulu Originals and newly added shows.
Available TV shows on Hulu include The Handmaid’s Tale, America’s Got Talent, Life of Kylie and King of the Hill. There are bite-sized episodes available for those who don’t have a lot of time on their hands, and you can catch up on missed episodes from both current and returning network shows. Many top comedies and dramas such as American Dad, Archer and 12 Monkeys are available to binge from the very first episode. Further filters include Staff Picks, International, Teen Shows and Anime Favourites.
When it comes to movies on Hulu, there is a similar selection of genre sub categories to use as filters, such as classics, history, horror and science fiction. Personalised recommendations are available at the top of the movies page, and there are also popular movies shown for users to browse. For example, people may be watching Deadwood The Movie, Jumanji and Night School.
Certain movies are exclusive to Hulu, such as Ben is Back, Destroyer and Backtrace. Similarly, Hulu Originals are also showcased on the movies page, with titles including All That We Destroy, Ask Dr Ruth and Treehouse. If you want an 80s movie binge, to watch a critically acclaimed film or to browse staff picks, this is also possible. If you have an addon, such as HBO, Showtime or Starz, you can watch titles such as The Meg, Crazy Rich Asians, Den of Thieves, I Feel Pretty and Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who.
Top Hulu TV shows and movies
The Handmaid’s Tale
Offred is one of a few remaining fertile women who must be a concubine for the Commanders in a dystopian society. She begins illegal relationships and dreams of being reunited with her daughter.
This TV series takes place in the Stephen King multiverse. Death row attorney Henry Deaver is lured back to Castle Rock after an anonymous phone call. He returns to help a sinister man locked up under Shawshank Prison.
Six teenagers come together against their mutual enemy – their criminal parents, who are part of a group called the Pride. They go on to live on the run as they figure out how to stop the Pride for good.
A TV series based on real-life experiences from the comedian’s life. It was created by both Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, and stars a fictionalised version of Seinfeld. It is often described as a show about nothing.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy Summers learns she is one of the chosen women who must play the part of Vampire Slayer. She wants to live a normal life but grows to accept her destiny.
Fry is accidentally frozen and wakes up 1000 years in the future. He is taken in by his only family member – an elderly scientist. He works for his cargo delivery service alongside Leela, Hermes, Amy, Bender and Zoidberg.
Aaron Paul plays Eddie Lane, who is part of a new age spiritualist movement called Meyerism. However, he questions his faith right before he climbs its ladder, and his wife becomes suspicious when he meets with a Meyerist defector.
A TV series which focuses on the goings-on in a small community in Canada. Wayne and Katy are siblings who run a farm and produce stand. Other groups in the community include the farmers, the local drug addicts, the natives and the out of towners on the local hockey team.
You’re The Worst
Jimmy and Gretchen meet at a wedding and decide to pursue a relationship. Their respective egos soon make life difficult as they battle it out. Jimmy receives tiny royalty checks for a single novel and Gretchen lives a sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga
Set in New York City during the cocaine epidemic which took place at the start of the 1990s, this series chronicles the Wu-Tang Clan being formed. Diggs turns to rap so he can try to reach fame – going against the lifestyle of his brother Divine, who used drug selling to improve his family’s lifestyle.
Hulu has worked to keep its user interface as consumer friendly and efficient as possible. Those who are watching on streaming players such as Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV will be able to make use of a grid guide which allows you to view shows up to 14 days into the future. You will also be able to see which shows are coming out in the next few weeks and plan recordings well in advance.
The Hulu app lets viewers see a grid of shows, allowing for easy choice and selection. There will be options to look through categories such as Sports, News, Movies and Kids. The personalisation level is high, as you can look at My Channels and Recent to access content you’re prone to regularly watching.
In terms of the on-demand interface, you will see rows of content displayed in a similar fashion to competitors such as Disney Plus and Netflix. You will be able to click on one of the titles under Keep Watching, or navigate to Jump Back In to return to shows you hit pause on in the past. There are also other useful categories such as TV, Movies, News, Kids and New Movies.
How to watch
There are many devices you can use to stream Hulu. For example, you can use your Android TV (for on-demand services only), Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV and Roku. If you want to watch Hulu on the go, you can load this provider on Android, iOS and Fire devices. Alternatively, compatible video games consoles are the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 (for on-demand services only), the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Wii U (for on demand) and the Nintendo Switch. You can also use Echo Show, the in-browser app for PC, Mac and other desktop devices, certain smart TVs and TiVo if you’re using on-demand services only.
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