When I tell you this show has: an fat, dumb man who loves his beer, a sensible, intelligent wife with the patience of a saint, two kids plus a baby and a dog, you'll be thinking: Oh no, not another rip-off of The Simp.. but I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop you right there, and further add: The dog can talk, has a classical English education and has a thing for his owners wife. The baby wants to take over the world, and swears like a sailor. The kids may look like your run-of-the-mill, stereotyped animated characters, but believe me what they get up to could never be broadcast in the Saturday morning slot. However, you let the makers get away with it, as these teenagers are acting like REAL people would their age, and the scriptwriters are also not afraid to get down and dirty with Chris Griffin (the fat man) and his wife Lois either.

The main reason Family Guy succeeds so well, and what elevates it so far beyond most recent comedies (including the terminally-in-decline one I almost mentioned) is the writers, who pile one gag after another and achieve an amazing success rate of about 90%. I honestly defy anyone to sit through an episode of this without bursting out with laughter at least a dozen times. The storylines are great too, often changing their focus half-way through and always throwing up hilarious twists and turns. This is one show where you know they worked the jokes into the plot, not the other way round.

There's so much else to praise here.. The FANTASTIC voice work done by a clearly talented cast.. The BRILLIANT songs that play in some of the episodes with lyrics that will have you on the floor.. The EXCELLENT innovative flashback moments that everyone else has mentioned.. But a man can only say so much, and now I've done talking I want you to go and check out Family Guy for yourself. You can thank me later.

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