Family Guy (Season 18) (2019)

I have to admit, after 20 years of highs and lows (at least according to this longtime viewer), “Family Guy” has gotten out of its streak of inconsistent, underwhelming seasons recently and hit its stride again. Like getting a second wind, it seems like the focus of the show has gotten away from its strident, infantile desire to shock and offend anyone and everyone, and is now instead focusing on being irreverent and laugh-out-loud funny for the first time since its revival in 2005. It’s a refreshing return to form, with the humor taking less of an antagonistic stance towards its audience and gearing itself towards slack-jawed stoner comedy instead, which is, let’s face it, why people watch “Family Guy” in the first place. I’ll admit I still find Mila Kunis rather jarring as Meg, with a lazy, unpolished comedic delivery that always rings false to me, but everyone else is in top shape. Alex Borstein continues to the show’s main comedic weapon, delivering every one of her lines like they’re pure gold even when they’re on the ho-hum side and walking away with most of the show’s best moments over this season. It’s also interesting what the show is doing with Quagmire these days, having softened and humanized him a bit over the last few years, which has resulted in an unexpected poignancy that rears its head once in a while (which is all the more remarkable given the character’s raw, go-for-broke sensibilities, courtesy of the writers).

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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