Family Guy presents: Something Something Something Darkside (SSSDS) is the follow up to the hugely successful Blue Harvest hour long that was released last year, Blue Harvest was a parody of A New Hope and SSSDS is of course parodying The Empire Strikes Back.
I love everything Family Guy and laugh more at it than I do at most other comedy TV shows I watch, the problem I have with it though is that some of the jokes are aimed at the American audience so us Brits will sit in silence whilst State-side they are chuckling away. This of course can’t be avoided but it does make it difficult to fully appreciate the series and this Family Guy hour long in particular to its full.
Never-the-less SSSDS is a great example of controversial humour, excellent animation and a obvious passion towards the Star Wars ethos which is only slightly ruined by the Americanisms that did not hit home for me. It has everything a Family Guy fan could want and is probably just a little too short to fit in every idea they have to cover the whole of Empire Strikes Back.
The episode begins, like Blue Harvest, with a power cut in the Griffin household and Peter Griffin tells us another story about Star Wars, only his version. The familiar Yellow Star Wars crawl leads us into the film which is probably the funniest part as Seth Macfarlane and the gang take a few pops at FOX and how they carry out there business, it’s funny as hell and sets the mood nicely before we enter the action.
Peter Griffin is Han Solo (or Carlos Spicy Weiner, his new call sign), Lois is Princess Leia, Chris is Luke Skywalker, Stewie is Darth Vader, Cleveland is R2D2 and Quagmire is C3P0. Meg again is amusingly largely ignored and she has a small part as the meteor cave worm. The characters go about following the Empire Strikes back plot using the excellent looking Rotoscoping effect for a majority of the film which again work superbly and combined with the original score and sound FX it feels very close to the original movies.
Include into this story Mort Goldman as Lando, Ernie the Giant Chicken cast perfectly as Boba Fett (we must see an epic fight with Han in next part) and Carl as Yoda who trains Chris to become a Jedi and altogether you have a very funny selection of characters portraying the roles brilliantly. It must fun playing Star Wars for money!
There are a lot of quality Star Wars references and jokes which all work well but there are a lot of references to older episodes of the series which may not work with some viewers who are unfamiliar with the show, this reuse of material also makes it a bit unoriginal but it’s still very funny to watch being a bit hit and miss on occasions which was a problem I had with Blue Harvest.
Han Solo’s and Leia’s relationship is hilarious with Han giving her all kinds of abuse, especially in the films standout scene where Han gets frozen in carbonite and utters the immortal line back to Leia’s “I love you”, I won’t spoil it but I almost pulled a muscle laughing so much.
There were as usual some bizarre inclusions that didn’t work like a big reference to Back to the Future 2 which was so out of place and irrelevant and the Cookie Monster appearing as the Wampa delivering some strange lines that didn’t get a laugh but overall the film was a good laugh and well worth 50+ minutes of your time although it’s not as good as Blue Harvest.
The show finishes of like Blue Harvest with Peter Griffin and Chris arguing about Robot Chicken which again is brilliant especially Peter’s final insult which completely puts Chris (Seth Green) in his place and tops of the film nicely. I’m ready for the Return of the Jedi parody “ We Have a Bad Feeling About This” and hope they can improve on Something Something Something Dark Side and add a few more funny exposition scenes not related to the original story.
Family Guy Something Something Something Dark Side is out on 28th December on both Bluray and DVD.
See trailer below.