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How Family Guy Uses Sitcoms Like Modern Family To Stay Grounded

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In September 2022, Family Guy executive producer Richard Appel pulled back the curtain on how the show’s crew keeps her grounded. As it turns out, the secret lies in watching other TV sitcoms like Modern Family. He told TV Fanatic, “We have this unwritten assumption or goal for ourselves when we publish a story, to be like, ‘Could that story be told in Modern Family in its own way?’ Could it be told in: a fill-in-the-blank sitcom?” Appel notes that once narrative continuity is established and this constraint is met, the famous “Family Guy” touches enter the equation.

Just because “Family Guy” tries to stay grounded in reality doesn’t mean its storylines will always resonate with fans. In a u/MysticOneIX Reddit thread, they asked fans about their weirdest moments from the series. In no time the thread became a series of some of the most difficult to watch scenarios ever shown. Peter Griffin (Seth MacFarlane) marrying his son Chris (Seth Green), Brian Griffin’s (MacFarlane) relationships with human women – since he’s literally a dog – and Brian eating the contents of Stewie Griffin’s (MacFarlane) diaper all fell the fans as difficult to get through.

On paper, the “Family Guy” team came up with a clever way to keep the show on the right ground. However, the question of how successful they were in doing so is clearly up for debate.



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