Brian Griffin: the eulogy

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Brian Griffin, much-loved dog of the Griffin family in the animated hit-series Family Guy, has just been killed off in the twelfth series of the show (episode six) and it is unclear whether or not he is to return. For now the reality seems that, in fact, a miraculous recovery would not be made by the canine, as has previously been the case with various other characters on the show (renown partly for bouts of comically-ridiculous violence), and this news has been met with uproar across the online world with the ‘Twittersphere’ itself almost going into cardiac arrest. Therefore now is the time to reflect upon the impact made (so far?) by one of the world’s most famous dogs. He’s up there with Pluto, Scooby Doo and Snoopy; ladies and gentlemen, Brian Griffin.

Voiced by the show’s creator (Seth Macfarlane), Brian is a vitally important construct because he reflects what has swallowed people’s lives across America for decades: striving for the American Dream. The cocktail-loving cannabis-campaigning canine embodies the decadent spirit of L.A., a place brimming with failed actors, musicians and writers alike. He dropped out of college, constantly hooked up with beautiful yet horrifically stupid women and possessed a terrible track record when it came to finding love. He failed time upon time to reach his dream of becoming a writer, with his biggest chance at fame coming with a book that he himself hated (‘Wish it, Want it, Do it’), as well as a short-lived stint at the highlife alongside Frank Sinatra Jr.

Brian’s voice has been described by Macfarlane as being merely an exaggeration of himself and whilst the dog is by far the most cultured character on the show, he never shies away from pointing this out. His love of jazz, opera and books, in conjunction with his frequent engagement in political activism makes Brian the show’s lefty intellect. In turn, the episodes that orbit around Stewie and himself are ever iconic, travelling in time machines and the works. However, if it is the case that Brian isn’t coming back, this is not all bad. It is indeed arguable that the writers had squeezed as much as they could out of him, and that by shaking up the line-up this move would serve the interest of the show’s development into further and funnier series’.

So as it stands both Peter and Stewie need to find a new best friend and if new dog Vinnie is here to stay then he has quite the paws to fill. As stated perfectly by horny neighbour Quagmire, Brian is a lazy, pretentious, alcoholic atheist sponge with a textbook liberal agenda that constantly hits on his best friend’s wife and failed in both his studies and as a father. Whilst on the flipside Brian has also taught us that it is OK to shout at crying babies, that going for women based on their looks is in fact not the greatest move, that writing terrible books will make you more famous than those you pour your heart and soul into, and that, finally, all you need is a bag of weed.

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