Family Guy is peeling back yet another layer of the complicated onion that is Brian and Stewie’s relationship.
Sunday’s episode (Fox, 9/8c) marks the comedy’s 300th outing, which begins innocently enough — with Peter making the acquaintance of his favorite cereal mascot — then takes a dark turn when Brian does something unspeakable to Stewie’s favorite toy.
“We wanted to do something that focused on our core relationship, and as the show has developed, the relationship between Brian and Stewie has become, to many people, the emotional core of the show,” executive producer Rich Appel tells TVLine of the big 3-0-0. “In the early years, Brian was Peter’s best friend. They’re obviously still pals, but as the show progressed, Stewie and Brian became more of a team. So we wanted to focus on central characters because they’re the ones who got us here, and they’re the ones who will keep us going for a while to come.”
Appel adds that the episode “says something about Brian and Stewie’s relationship that we might not have explicitly said or pointed out before.”
And we can’t talk about the connection between Brian and Stewie without acknowledging Seth MacFarlane, the man who brings them both to life:
“Seth certainly doesn’t need me to say this, but it doesn’t give him a moment’s hesitation,” Appel says of MacFarlane’s voiceover process. “When he recorded this episode, he just went as he does, page by page. He doesn’t go through the script and do all of one character, then all of another. He shifts seamlessly back and forth between them. … And when he got to [the song Brian and Stewie sing], he recorded it as Brian, then added Stewie’s harmonies. It’s not like we have anything written out for him — he just adds the harmonies. It’s clearly the act of a creative mind. You really have to take a step back sometimes and remind yourself that this is one person doing two very distinct voices.”
Hit PLAY on the preview clip above, then drop a comment with your thoughts on Family Guy‘s long life.