MY WEEK (June 12, 2014): Far more hits than misses in Family Guy’s new DVD

There’s no such thing as a steady flow of work when it comes to working for a newspaper.

Sometimes, it’s a real effort to find interesting material and other times – like last week, for example – I struggle to stay on top of all the great writing opportunities coming my way.

On Thursday (June 5), I went out to watch Stacey Kent perform at The Capitol (page 11). Then, on Friday (June 6) I conducted two interviews in fairly quick succession, before heading out to Coolham Live Music Club in the evening to watch Ben Waters perform (page 7). The two interviews are sitting on my hard drive at the moment and I’ll write them up nearer the time.

To unwind, I opted for a quiet night in with a DVD, which is when I realised that Family Guy Season 13 had been released. To be honest, when I saw it on the shelf I debated whether or not I should shell out £19. Recent seasons have contained solid laughs, but I felt that the show had lost some of its edge. In the end, I decided to simply take a chance and coughed up the money for it.

It was the right decision. After a couple of uneasy years and a sort-of return to form in season 12, Family Guy seems to have well and truly got its groove back.

Fans will know pretty much what to expect from this series. It’s as crammed full of completely random jokes, dirty puns and cruel celebrity parodies as it’s always been. Meanwhile, the ever-improving animation and super saturated colours mean the visual gags hit far more that they miss. Memorable moments include Peter transforming into a wide-eyed anime character and a bunch of amorous squirrels duping women by wearing a ‘rich guy suit’.

There’s also a new instalment in the ongoing chicken fight – a fan favourite in which Peter battles a giant chicken. This one defies all expectations, showing the combat sequence in reverse after Brian tampers with Stewie’s time machine. However, perhaps the most noticeable improvement on this show comes from the more emotional moments. Brian and Stewie, who started off as bitter enemies in season 1, have become the show’s closest friends and their ongoing love/hate bro-mance is the cause of much hilarity, as well as the show’s sweetest moments.

A scene where Stewie comforts Brian after the intellectual canine writes a badly-reviewed play is startlingly true to life and wouldn’t be out-of-place in live-action drama.

All in all then: a perfect end to a busy week. Now for the next one.