Family Guy (Season 17) (2018)

Much to everyone’s surprise, “Family Guy” is still on, and at this point it’s more of the same. The last decade’s worth of seasons have been pretty hit-or-miss and good-but-not-great overall, and the same is true here. The season’s off to a rough start with the tiresome two-part “Married with Cancer” and “Dead Dog Walking,” which presupposes that something tasteless and inappropriate is inherently hilarious. They exemplify one of the biggest problems of the latter-day “Family Guy” seasons, which is that its writing has gotten terribly lazy over the years, and the jokes are often sloppy and groan-inducing. There’s also a tiresome episode (“Trump Guy”) that lops juvenile insults at Donald Trump, and it’s the worst kind low-hanging-fruit humor because its target is a ridiculous caricature beyond parody as it is. However, things start to get better as the season goes along, and eventually there’s a series of genuinely funny episodes near the end of the season, like “You Can’t Handle the Booth” (which is predicated around a mock DVD episode commentary by the characters), “Throw It Away” (which recalls some of the show’s earlier, better work) and “Adam West High.” So, if you’re still watching “Family Guy” you’ll like this season just fine, and if you gave up on it some time ago this won’t win you back.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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