Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Cleveland Show Season 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Cleveland Show Season 2 - 3 out of 5

When this series started, series creator and funny man behind Family Guy said that Cleveland was the only character that could get his own spin-off but after this and the previous season, did Seth MacFarlane have to use Cleveland at all?  The problem with this show, and it was the same problem I said in my review of Season 1 is that this show is nothing but a re-tooled version of Family Guy.  Writer John McWhorter put it best when he said The Cleveland Show was just "basically Family Guy in blackface."

One thing I absolutely love about the show is having unique director David Lynch in it.

This is Terry, one of the many characters who never
appear in the show.
I gave the 2nd season a shot hoping it would come into its own and stop being the same thing we already saw from the folks in Quahog but the reality is, it hasn't changed.  It's remained stagnant and on the verge of getting worse.  The writing has become such a sloppy mess that a majority of the characters used for the show are barely used and see screen time at very sporadic moments. All the jokes feel like a collection of "inside jokes" used by the writers and makes for an overall unfunny experience.  Occasionally, you'll get an episode that has a gag that will make your sides split but, for the most part, all the jokes are either duds or barely illicit a chuckle for me.

The Cleveland family didn't have a talking pet like Brian so they added a talking bear.
Thus keeping the parallels with Family Guy intact.

Was the goal of the character Rallo to be NOT funny?
However, the biggest thing that hurts this show and keeps me from becoming a full-blooded fan is the fact it is nothing but a carbon-copied and slightly photoshopped version of Family Guy.  You have a talking baby, like Stewie, in the form of Rallo and he has to be the worst aspect of this show as he is PAINFULLY unfunny and can ruin the little momentum this show can build up with his weak gags.  Then there is the daughter character who is a kinda a raunchy thing rather than a unpopular kid like Meg but you never see this character and when you do, you forget that the family even had a teenage daughter to begin with.  Then you have Cleveland's son (who took a drastic change from his appearance in Family Guy) who is just a nicer version of Chris.  Then, there's the wife Donna, who isn't much different from Lois.

They're basically Lois and Meg from a parallel dimension.

And then you have Cleveland...

On Family Guy, Cleveland represented the voice of sanity among the Quahog men.  Peter was the idiot who didn't think before he spoke, Quagmire was the hornball and Joe was the man with anger issues but Cleveland was the nice guy, quiet spoken individual with feelings.  But when his own spin-off came about, this was all wiped away like the animation design of his son Cleveland Jr.  Cleveland was no longer the soft-spoken voice of reason in the world of screwball comedy, he was now Peter Griffin.  Cleveland was suddenly, to put it bluntly, a stupid asshole who was mean to everyone around him and didn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.  Peter Griffin can be a dick with funny results but seeing Cleveland in this role and even on occasions turning it up to 11, makes for some very uncomfortable and bitterly unfunny viewing.

Remember on Family Guy when he was heartbroken when his wife cheated on him with Quagmire?
He doesn't because he was too busy being a complete douche the entire season.

In my review of the first season, I mention the show was not terrible but not great either and, even after it's freshmen season had ended and it had a chance to get ready for a new year, nothing has changed...and if something did, it changed for the worse.  The show, overall, is weak and passes for passable entertainment.  I'll stick with the show because I like Seth MacFarlane and have a great deal of respect for the man and there are moments that are funny enough to keep me watching but deep down, I can't help but think that this show should be canceled but won't because Seth, since the resurrection of the previously canceled Family Guy, seems to be untouchable with Fox and can pretty much air whatever he wants, quality or not, and not see any repercussions from it.

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