“The Cleveland Show” Family Guy Spin-Off is Looking Questionable

by Latoya Peterson

I am generally amused by Family Guy, and tend to watch it if it is on television that day though I generally don’t bother to tune in to new episodes. So, when I heard the black character Cleveland was getting a spin-off show, I was intrigued…and wondering what the hell they would do because I find Cleveland kind of boring. I would much rather have watched a Quagmire spin-off.

So then I look at the promo still on Spill:

Did anyone else’s what-the-fuck-o-meter just go off?

It looks like the cast of Family Guy, a bit browner and with one notable exception. Cleveland’s stepdaughter, the stand-in for Meg, looks like a straight up stereotype. Strange when everyone else closely resembles their FG dopplegangers.

The description of the show provides a bit more insight (my emphasis in bold):

HE CLEVELAND SHOW (working title) (Sundays, 9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT): Many years ago, CLEVELAND BROWN (voiced by Mike Henry) was a high school student madly in love with a beautiful girl named DONNA. Much to his dismay, his love went unrequited, and Donna wound up marrying another man. Cleveland once told Donna he would always love her, and if this man ever done her wrong, he’d be there when she called. Well, this man done her wrong. Donna’s husband skipped town with another woman, leaving Donna with a daughter and a baby. Now she’s come to Cleveland and offered him another chance at love. Unattached after the Loretta-Quagmire debacle and true to his word, Cleveland joyously accepts and he and CLEVELAND JR. move to Stoolbend, VA, to join their new family. Once in Stoolbend, Cleveland has a few surprises in store for him, including a flirtatious new stepdaughter, a 5-year-old stepson who loves the ladies, as well as a collection of neighbors that includes a loudmouth redneck couple, a British family seemingly stuck in the Victorian era and a family of bears living at the end of the block. FAMILY GUY was only the beginning. Get ready for THE CLEVELAND SHOW (working title)!

Skeptical, dear readers, skeptical.

I quite liked Spill commenter Hardcore Souma’s take:

I agree it all looks kind of old hat, with the anthropormorphic characters (in the vein of Brian and Klaus), but I like McFarlane and I am willing to give him a chance. He just got a 100 million dollar check from FOX with “PLEASE SAVE OUR NETWORK” written on the comment line.

That being said…I do hope that he steers away from the racial thing a little more than he has with FG. It’s not that I’m offended…it just a) doesn’t work because Seth M. has little to NO perspective on black people and b) it just isn’t funny.

At any rate, we won’t know much of anything until the series premieres in 2009.

In the meantime, what are your first impressions? Do we give Seth McFarlane and the FG staff the benefit of the doubt based on the type of comedy they create? Or is the blatant stereotyping too problematic to be redeemed with a bunch of quick one-liners?

(via The YBF)