Review: ‘The Cleveland Show’

ClevelandShowPromoWell, we all knew this day would come. When something pure and excellent in the world of animated comedy would eventually get tapped in an attempt to make more money and multiply. It happens with the best of things: Macaroni and Cheese becomes Spider-Man Shaped Mac and Cheese, iPhone brought on the Gphone, and Family Guy brought on American Dad (which isn’t all that bad) and now The Cleveland Show. One of these things are still great (looking at you, web-shaped macaroni), but sadly the rest come across as poor knockoffs, and truly miss the point, especially the spin-off about Peter Griffin’s affable-yet-slow neighbor, Cleveland Brown.

Mike Henry, who writes for Family Guy and voices Cleveland, is now leaving the show, and taking his voice with him. With Seth McFarlane as one of the hottest and highest paid TV writers in Hollywood today, Fox was easily talked into a second spin-off to the twice canceled series about a family from Rhode Island.

The show starts like any great episode of Family Guy, the whole gang is there, even Jennifer Tilly (who has been absent in recent episodes), and Cleveland decides it’s time for he and his son to leave Quahog and return home. We still get about 10 minutes of Peter, Stewie, and Brian to act as a nice transition into this new and scary world, but it doesn’t help. All those 10 minutes do are force you to long for more episode of Family Guy.

18203In leaving Quahog, Cleveland spends time with his son, who is no longer the thin, hyperactive child he was in previous episodes, and is now a sloth-like obese child who’s mannerisms mirror those of “Chris Griffin meets Theo Huxtable”. There are still plenty of jabs at society and popular culture, there’s even a classic FG cutaway about a man with an eyebrow comb over.

The Browns meet up with a new family, including a saucy wife, annoyingly rebellious-while attractive-teen daughter, and a talking toddler (sound familiar?). The major difference between Stewie and the new baby is that this new baby talks jive and LOVES the ladies, both of which Stewie doesn’t. The Clevelands meet up with new friends to the show, a racist hillbilly, a douche midget (played by SNL’s Jason Sudeikis) and a giant talking bear that spreads the word of Jesus. As funny as these characters may sound, they don’t come across as chuckle-worthy in the pilot.

Overall, the show feels like a watered down, black Family Guy, which would be great, if they weren’t going for easy stereotypes and spoofs of old Cosby Show plots. The humor isn’t as punchy or natural, and the characters certainly aren’t as likable. If you’ve always felt that Family Guy or American Dad was too fast-paced and not racially diverse, then come September 27, The Cleveland Show is right up your alley. Otherwise, don’t bother.

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  • Mitz
    March 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    God awful show, what a waste of time. Even the other networks aren’t dumb enough to try and copy FG.

  • Mitz
    March 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    God awful show, what a waste of time. Even the other networks aren’t dumb enough to try and copy FG.

  • Mitz
    March 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    God awful show, what a waste of time. Even the other networks aren’t dumb enough to try and copy FG.

  • lemming
    November 29, 2009 at 9:03 am

    SUCKS ASS!

  • lemming
    November 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    SUCKS ASS!

  • lemming
    November 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    SUCKS ASS!

  • Chantal
    November 22, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I love Seth McFarlane but boy did he miss with the Cleveland Show. It is so not funny…I tried watching it a few times but I loose interest. Sorry sweetie McFarlane, not this time. Just keep going with our beloved FG…we all love them!

  • Chantal
    November 23, 2009 at 1:52 am

    I love Seth McFarlane but boy did he miss with the Cleveland Show. It is so not funny…I tried watching it a few times but I loose interest. Sorry sweetie McFarlane, not this time. Just keep going with our beloved FG…we all love them!

  • Chantal
    November 23, 2009 at 1:52 am

    I love Seth McFarlane but boy did he miss with the Cleveland Show. It is so not funny…I tried watching it a few times but I loose interest. Sorry sweetie McFarlane, not this time. Just keep going with our beloved FG…we all love them!

  • Tom
    November 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    NOT funny, very disappointing. It should be replaced with more Family Guy. RIP Cleveland Show.

  • Tom
    November 16, 2009 at 5:00 am

    NOT funny, very disappointing. It should be replaced with more Family Guy. RIP Cleveland Show.

  • Tom
    November 16, 2009 at 5:00 am

    NOT funny, very disappointing. It should be replaced with more Family Guy. RIP Cleveland Show.

  • Vette Man
    November 10, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    This show sucks! I love Seth MacFarlane but he REALLY dropped the ball on this show. The premise is to sitcom. The cutaways are LAME. They really need to give more of an edge. I watch Family Guy and American Dad for the same reason I watch South Park, to see how far they will go and still be funny. BRING BACK KING OF THE HILL or make the Cleavland show BETTER!!!!!

  • Vette Man
    November 11, 2009 at 6:05 am

    This show sucks! I love Seth MacFarlane but he REALLY dropped the ball on this show. The premise is to sitcom. The cutaways are LAME. They really need to give more of an edge. I watch Family Guy and American Dad for the same reason I watch South Park, to see how far they will go and still be funny. BRING BACK KING OF THE HILL or make the Cleavland show BETTER!!!!!

  • Vette Man
    November 11, 2009 at 6:05 am

    This show sucks! I love Seth MacFarlane but he REALLY dropped the ball on this show. The premise is to sitcom. The cutaways are LAME. They really need to give more of an edge. I watch Family Guy and American Dad for the same reason I watch South Park, to see how far they will go and still be funny. BRING BACK KING OF THE HILL or make the Cleavland show BETTER!!!!!

  • Shaun
    October 18, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    I only saw a little bit of the 2nd espisode, I had more important things to do. But I had to see it. I had no clue why someone would pick one of the least memorable people in family guy and give him his own comedy show.

    Personally I think they would have done better to make a “Stewy and Brian” spin off, or even a “Qwagmire” spin off.

  • Shaun
    October 19, 2009 at 3:18 am

    I only saw a little bit of the 2nd espisode, I had more important things to do. But I had to see it. I had no clue why someone would pick one of the least memorable people in family guy and give him his own comedy show.

    Personally I think they would have done better to make a “Stewy and Brian” spin off, or even a “Qwagmire” spin off.

  • Shaun
    October 19, 2009 at 3:18 am

    I only saw a little bit of the 2nd espisode, I had more important things to do. But I had to see it. I had no clue why someone would pick one of the least memorable people in family guy and give him his own comedy show.

    Personally I think they would have done better to make a “Stewy and Brian” spin off, or even a “Qwagmire” spin off.

  • davegraham
    October 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    thsi show wont last more than 2 seasons

  • davegraham
    October 5, 2009 at 1:19 am

    thsi show wont last more than 2 seasons

  • davegraham
    October 5, 2009 at 1:19 am

    thsi show wont last more than 2 seasons

  • jason mclingberg
    October 3, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I COMPLETELY AGREE!! YOU HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD!! I EXPECTED MORE, AND WAS A LITTLE UPSET. JUST A LITTLE, I MEAN, THEY CAN’T ALL BE WINNERS NOW CAN THEY……..MR. SETH MACFARLENE? ANYWAY, GOOD COLUMN!

    • Annoyed
      October 13, 2009 at 2:00 am

      I WRITE IN CAPS SO PEOPLE LOOK AT WHAT I’M TYPING, EVEN THOUGH I ONLY STATE THE OBVIOUS AND/OR COMPLAIN ABOUT ANGRY NERDY STUFF! Oh by the way, The Cleveland Show is not funny at all.

  • jason mclingberg
    October 4, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I COMPLETELY AGREE!! YOU HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD!! I EXPECTED MORE, AND WAS A LITTLE UPSET. JUST A LITTLE, I MEAN, THEY CAN’T ALL BE WINNERS NOW CAN THEY……..MR. SETH MACFARLENE? ANYWAY, GOOD COLUMN!

    • Annoyed
      October 13, 2009 at 9:00 am

      I WRITE IN CAPS SO PEOPLE LOOK AT WHAT I’M TYPING, EVEN THOUGH I ONLY STATE THE OBVIOUS AND/OR COMPLAIN ABOUT ANGRY NERDY STUFF! Oh by the way, The Cleveland Show is not funny at all.

    • Annoyed
      October 13, 2009 at 9:00 am

      I WRITE IN CAPS SO PEOPLE LOOK AT WHAT I’M TYPING, EVEN THOUGH I ONLY STATE THE OBVIOUS AND/OR COMPLAIN ABOUT ANGRY NERDY STUFF! Oh by the way, The Cleveland Show is not funny at all.

  • jason mclingberg
    October 4, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I COMPLETELY AGREE!! YOU HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD!! I EXPECTED MORE, AND WAS A LITTLE UPSET. JUST A LITTLE, I MEAN, THEY CAN’T ALL BE WINNERS NOW CAN THEY……..MR. SETH MACFARLENE? ANYWAY, GOOD COLUMN!

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