Not having watched Family Guy in some time, I was nevertheless surprised to read last week that they'd killed off Brian in the November 24 episode.
Fox's The Simpsons may have been the one to generate buzz earlier this season with news that it would kill off a character, but it was one of the network's other animated comedies that beat the long-running series to the punch.
During Sunday's "Life of Brian" episode of Family Guy, the Seth MacFarlane-produced series killed off a major character when the Griffin's sophisticated talking family dog, Brian, was struck by a car and run over as he prepared to play in the street with Stewie. Ultimately, his injuries were too severe, and he could not be saved.
I guess fatal car accidents are only funny when they involve Laura Bush.
Hey, he was 14 years old (the series debuted in 1999). That's a pretty good run for a dog, especially one who drinks and smokes. I also understand a time machine was somehow involved, and since this is a show that regularly featured its main character fighting a giant chicken (and let's not overlook the whole talking dog angle), he's probably not really dead. Maybe.
Whatever the case, I think this is a promising start, and should other showrunners out there need any encouragement, I've come up with a list of other TV character they should feel free to retire. With extreme prejudice.
8. Alan Harper - Two and a Half Men
Think of this as a mercy killing. Jon Cryer used to be quasi-respectable several decades ago, right? Pretty in Pink? Hiding Out? 11 seasons of TaaHM has ruined whatever goodwill we once felt, and now the only option is bowing out, if not gracefully, at least as bloodily as possible.
I mean, this is billed as the "funniest scene" from Season 8 of the show. If you don't feel like watching, it involves Cryer giving massages to -- in succession -- a morbidly obese black woman, a tattooed gay Latino, and a midget.
Two and a Half Men was second only to The Big Bang Theory in network comedy rankings that year.
7. Sheldon Cooper - The Big Bang Theory
Maybe we should just exterminate every Chuck Lorre character ever. As part of the ensemble, Jim Parson's character merely annoyed, but Sheldon has become more and more the focus of the show. And in a group of pseudo "nerds" who only ever call out highly recognizable elements of geek culture without understanding them, Sheldon stands out as the worst, laugh track or not.
Alternately, I'd suggest killing off one of TBBT's well-written female characters, but, you know.
6. Carrie Bradshaw - Sex and the City
I realize the show ended 10 years ago. That's why there's never been a more compelling reason to build a time season: to go back to 2000 and put the Manolo Blaupunkt (or whatever) hoarding fiend in the ground.
5. Aaron Hotchner - Criminal Minds
Abused by his father, blown up by a car bomb, tortured by a serial killer who then ended up murdering his wife. Hotchner's dating another woman now, but honestly, on a show as monotonously grim and this, she's probably doomed as well. Let's put "Hotch" out of his no doubt considerable misery.
4. The Dowager Countess of Grantham - Downton Abbey
I've actually never seen Downton Abbey, but I understand Maggie Smith's character is very popular, so sending her on her way would cause lots of delicious outrage. Shit, Patton Oswalt's head might explode.
3. Bart Simpson - The Simpsons
The show hasn't been watchable for over ten years, and the cast members can barely be coaxed down from their solid gold luxury drigibles to phone in their performances. Groening and company have been pussyfooting around for years, knocking off minor characters no one cares about (Maude Flanders) or retiring them due to an actor's demise (Lionel Hutz, Ms. Krabappel). Considering most people were tired of Bart's shtick by around 1998, I doubt too many people would "have a cow" if he went away for good.
2. Ted Mosby - How I Met Your Mother
At this point, it's hard to know whether Ted's conversations with his "kids" are a genuine interaction or the ravings of a madman who's held two children in captivity for the last eight years. I prefer to think they're the dying visions of a man defenestrated by a mob of pissed of architecture students.
Josh Radnor's no doubt fighting the cancellation of HIMYM tooth and nail, because he knows what nightmarish fate awaits him:
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8. The entire cast - Grey's Anatomy
Couldn't that stupid plane at the end of Season 8 have just landed on Seattle Grace? Would've saved a lot of time.