Jeremy Eaton
Recognize that gentle stirring within your loins? That, my friends, is MAY. The month when our juicy bits awaken from their winter slumber and begin squirming around in our trousers. Coincidentally, May is also a squirmy time for television because it's "sweeps month," a time when the networks trot out their specials and season finales in an effort to engorge their ratings and then screw the shit out of their advertisers.

But May isn't just about SEX, SEX, SEX (although it's all about SEX, SEX, SEX for me). It's also about other less interesting topics like "resurrection." For example, pretty flowers and growly bears are resurrected when they arise from their winter naps. The same also goes for sleepy Jesus Christ who, every year around this time, rolls away the big rock in front of his cave, stretches, and then flies off to heaven to kick it with God 'n' the Angel Crew.

And while May is the month for most TV shows to go into hibernation until September rolls around, there is one show debuting this week that perfectly sums up this notion of "resurrection": the return of Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy (Fox, Sun, May 1, 9 pm). The story of Family Guy is a tale almost unheard of in television history: In 1999, Fox network execs cream their britches over MacFarlane's religiously and racially subversive pilot about a dorky dad and his beleaguered family, scheduling the show in the plum slot following the Super Bowl. Though it gets decent ratings in season one, it's pulverized into diaper gravy by Frasier and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in season two, and then further pulverized by Friends in season three. After being unceremoniously cancelled by Fox in 2002, the show becomes a surprise hit on DVD in 2003, with reruns on the Cartoon Network grabbing big ratings. Upon seeing the latent success of Family Guy, Fox naturally panics, and digs the show out of the trash bin where it was covered by sticky tissues and yellow-encrusted Q-tips. New episodes start this Sunday.

So as one can see, Family Guy has a lot in common with Jesus Christ (popularity followed by crucifixion followed by resurrection). Unfortunately, Family Guy (just like Jesus) now has a BIG REPUTATION to live up to. This small-time cult cartoon suddenly has to prove itself worthy of being brought back from the dead by producing some really great episodes--which, frankly speaking, has never been its strong suit. Cult hit or not, Family Guy will always be The Simpsons for retards. The jokes are blunt, the satire obvious, and the characters are unlikable.

Even worse, Fox is also debuting another MacFarlane cartoon this Sunday called American Dad (9:30 pm); a carbon copy of Family Guy, with one major difference--if possible, the jokes are even worse. So while resurrection may work great for some people, don't be surprised if Family Guy (and its less amusing clone) is shoved back into the grave where it belongs. Remember, while May is a great time to let your juicy bits run free, take it from Jesus, and "leave resurrection to the experts!"