‘Into Harmony’s Way’
We all know that Seth MacFarlane is a talented singer – he has proved this on numerous occasions through song sequences throughout the entire series of Family Guy, as well as through song and dance opening title sequences in all of his shows – including The Cleveland Show and American Dad. In this week’s episode of Family Guy, Peter and Quagmire discover that they can sing together in perfect harmony.
The main plot of Into Harmony’s Way focuses on Peter and Quagmire, who discover that they are fantastic singers after a bee enters the Griffin house. Peter and Quagmire become the next Simon and Garfunkel and are an instant success around Quahog. When they are signed by Sony, Peter has to decide whether or not to embark on a two month tour, leaving his family behind on thanksgiving. The success of Griffin and Quagmire starts to go to Peter’s head and problems arise between the pair – they have an argument live on Conan where Quagmire quits the band. Peter realises that he made a mistake, so he returns to Quahog, and apologises to his family.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the episode is the focus on the Griffin’s new dog, Vinny. Essentially, Vinny was introduced into Family Guy because he is the complete opposite of Brian – he’s a sweet and gentle character and this good nature is juxtaposed with a feeling of ambiguity about his mob connections. It’s also worth mentioning that this is the first ever episode without Brian – he has been removed from the opening title sequence and he isn’t even mentioned in the episode. It appears that the Griffin’s have forgotten about Brian, and settled down well with their new talking dog.
At first, I didn’t want to like Vinny, just because he replaced one of my favourite characters on the show. There is however something about Vinny that makes him likeable and this is down to Tony Sirico – an exceptional talent who lends his voice brilliantly to the show.
As well as focusing on a new character, Into Harmony’s Way is also about music. In true Family Guy fashion, the songs are extremely bizarre. Griffin and Quagmire’s first hit is about “Pooping in strange places” and the songs become even more unusual when the duo start singing about putting butter on a pop tart. Some of these musical numbers were very amusing, but others were too specific to American audiences – one song in particular played on an American stereotype that people from Florida are stupid.
Into Harmony’s Way was a fairly enjoyable episode of Family Guy. The song sequences were funny, focusing on observations that added a topical feeling to the show. The narrative worked well, moving at a nice steady pace and ending with a gag where Peter commits suicide after having to return to the monotony of family life. Vinny also settled in well, but this will be his penultimate appearance on Family Guy, as Brian Griffin returns in next week’s seasonal episode.