Family Guy

Season 1 Episode 7

Brian: Portrait of a Dog

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 16, 1999 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (30)

Write A Review
out of 10
611 votes
  • If you ever tell anyone about that, I will kill you.

    Wow, I forgot that this episode even existed its been that long since I watched it! I remember saying in a previous review that no Family Guy episode had come close to its sentimentality since, but I was surely wrong because 'Brian- Portrait of a Dog' has got to be the most warm-hearted episode of the show I've seen to date and I have to say, I liked what I saw. The story starts off rather poorly but what it paves way for during the second and third acts is brilliant. I loved the entire back-story of Peter and Brian and I enjoyed watching the satirical segments involving Brian trying to fit in with human society. I mean even though it's really not to be taken as seriously as some politically fuelled black and white art house flick, this episode does have its themes and messages about acceptance, discrimination and injustice. However I did feel that the climax of the story was maybe just a little too overblown and did kind of ruin the mood of the episode, maybe just taking away from the subtlety that makes the preceding scenes so poignant.

    My problem with the episode however lies in the fact that a lot of humour is sacrificed in order to fit all this drama in. Yes the drama works brilliantly, but the show's gags are rather hit and miss. I chuckled a few times throughout, but there really wasn't much that I will remember. This brings up the question of just why do we watch the series in the first place? Would we continue to love and watch the show if it became satirically slanted and sentimental ala South Park? I know I probably would, but then again, I don't need another South Park or early Simpsons. Just as when The Simpsons tried to be Family Guy in 2000 and beyond, I didn't need another Family Guy but I needed The Simpsons. Alas, they did not heed the criticism and look at them now. So yes, I'm glad this episode is a rarity because Family Guy first and foremost for me will always be about the characters, the jokes, and then the story, and lastly the drama. Plus, it makes this outing all the more special.

    Continuing (and probably ending) my discussion of production value from previous reviews, it seems that with 'Brian- Portrait of a Dog' things have finally reached a point that we can all recognise as Family Guy. Granted there is still some difference here and there, but for the most part, I believe the show has finally found itself with this episode. And so this concludes my review of Family Guy's first season, a short one yes, but definitely one of the show's best. I'll be moving onto season 2 sometime in the near future I presume, but for now, thanks for reading.