Sunday’s Family Guy season premiere took us back to a place we hoped we’d never see again: Brian’s depressing fleabag apartment. This was to be the setting of his new life with Jess (voiced by Happy Endings‘ Casey Wilson), a terminal cancer patient he met and married in a matter of days. Of course, the notion of “till death do us part” took on a very different meaning when Jess learned that not only was she not dying — but her farts were back!
I’d like to say that this is where things got weird, but that would be dismissing the ludicrous montage in which Brian helped Jess check a few items off her sexual bucket list, including taking a Toblerone bar and putting it… somewhere. On that note, you might be surprised to know that executive producers Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin rarely take any heat — except from their own family members — for the show’s dog-human love scenes.
“It’s a result of Seth [MacFarlane]’s performance as Brian for 16 seasons, that he’s so obviously — in every recognizable way, except physical depiction — a human character with insecurities an weaknesses and false bravado,” the EPs tell TVLine. “Seth has created this three-dimensional character that feels very real, and at some point, you don’t see color or shape or size. You just see Brian as a character, and you’re with him. The funny thing is, we wrote an episode last season where Brian fell in love with a show dog voiced by Amanda Seyfried, but when we watched it, it felt… different.” (It’s been a long time since Brian’s Seabreeze days, huh?)
Brian received an unexpected — and truly twisted — opportunity to get out of his marriage at the end of the premiere when Jess started choking at a restaurant, which he sat and watched play out to its fatal conclusion. But just when Brian thought he’d seen the last of Jess, she popped out of her own damn coffin, shouting, “I’m OK!” (Having seen next week’s follow-up episode, I can confirm: The gnarliest twists are still to come as Brian attempts to free himself from Jess.)
Longtime fans were also likely taken aback by Quagmire’s kindness towards Brian, even calling him a “good guy” after watching the Channel 5 News report about his relationship with Jess. But don’t worry, the show’s EPs assure us that the characters’ truce is merely temporary. (“We think that’s a funny dynamic between those two. Brian is just never able to fool him or win his approval.”) In fact, here’s some bonus scoop: An episode later this season will find Brian and Quagmire running against each other for mayor, a position left open by the real-life passing of Adam West.
Your thoughts on Family Guy‘s season premiere? Predictions about the future of Brian and Jess’ marriage? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.