A little more than a few weeks ago, the few people who still watch Family Guy were stunned when they witnessed the death of Brian Griffin, the lovable, alcoholic, anthropomorphic pet dog voiced by the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane.
Brian’s likability stemmed from not only the absurdity of him being a talking dog, but that he was the only sensible one in the family. And it’s pretty much general consensus that him and Stewie are everybody’s favorite.
But Family Guy peaked years ago. You all know the story — it was canceled by FOX, likely because it was a too big of a risk for a major network, as the show is comprised of semi-racist, homophobic, sexist humor. But the fans, upset with its cancellation, rallied and ultimately brought it back.
Several years later, like every show, it became stale. Seth MacFarlane’s popularity only continues to grow, but even he would probably admit that Family Guy isn’t as much of a priority for him anymore, especially now that he’s moved on to bigger and better things. As a result, no one really cares anymore about the show.
That is, until you kill off their favorite character.
I’ll admit — the video, linked to above, is a bit of a tear-jerker. It definitely contains some sentiment, and it’ll stir emotion in anyone whose ever lost a pet.
But while sadness was expected from this, what I did not expect … was outrage.
Minutes after the show aired, A #BringBackBrian hash tag was trending on Twitter, and angry Tweets were directed at Seth MacFarlane,with many saying they’ll never watch the show again. A petition on Change.org directed towards MacFarlane and FOX has 75,000 signatures.
Seriously, people were more mad about this than they are with Obamacare.
It just goes to show: harm a dog, real or fake, and America is going to be pissed.
In the last two weeks, Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker, Peter O’ Toole and Tom Laughlin died, and there wasn’t a bigger outcry for those deaths combined than there was for a fictional dog.
And don’t people know that — unlike real life — death on an animated television show is not permanent? Whereas Nelson Mandela and Paul Walker can not possibly return to this Earth, the only thing stopping Brian Griffin from returning is him being drawn onto a piece of paper.
Sure enough, this past Sunday — similar to how Jesus Christ himself resurrected from death — Brian returned. This “miracle” was accomplished by Stewie traveling back in time to pull him to safety moments before the fatal car accident.
It’s a modern day Christmas miracle.
In the end, it was likely just a ploy to get people talking about Family Guy again. However, I can’t imagine that MacFarlane, or any of the show’s producers, could have anticipated the public backlash, and that was exemplified in this Tweet:
You can screw with people’s civil liberties, equality, and privacy all you want, but if you take away their favorite animated pet dog, then you’re really starting trouble.