Movie Details

Originally given a special telecast just after Super Bowl XXXIII on January 31, 1999, the debut episode of the iconoclastic animated series Family Guy immediately staked out its territory with a warm, life-affirming plotline in which one-year-old Stewie Griffin constructs a roomful of death traps to murder his mother, Lois, while his dad, Peter, accidentally "bombs" a football stadium with the world's largest (and least deserved) welfare check. Nor did the series revert to traditionalism when season one proper began its six-episode run four months later. In episode two, "I Never Met the Dead Man," Peter is driven to the edge of madness when denied television, Stewie builds a weather-controlling device, and a caricatured Erik Estrada reprises his Ponch character from CHiPs. But series creator Seth MacFarlane is only getting warmed up. Subsequent episodes include "Chitty Chitty Death Bang," wherein Peter and Lois' teenage daughter, Meg, joins a Moonielike cult and Waylon Jennings pops up out of nowhere; "Mind Over Murder," in which Peter, placed under house arrest for accidentally punching out a woman, establishes a neighborhood bar in his restaurant; "A Hero Sits Next Door," an irreverent showcase for the Griffins' neighbor, paraplegic police officer Joe; and "The Son Also Draws," which finds the family making a wrong turn into an Indian casino and digging up their Native American roots. Wrapping up season one is "Brian: Portrait of a Dog," in which the Griffin's talking, booze-guzzling pet hound, Brian, strikes a blow for canine civil rights, only to end up a "dead dog walking" at the local pound. (And how does Dick Van Patten figure into all of this?) ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi