Stewie Griffin had already stated by attitude towards this premise: “What the hell?! He’s getting his own show?!”
You’d think Seth MacFarlane would try to make American Dad funny first.
After watching the pilot, the answer to Stewie and I’s question is still unclear.
I assumed Cleveland Brown was so bland because his voice actor, Mike Henry, is white. Could’ve been he was just a token – like Token on South Park – fulfilling some sort of animatedly affirmative action quota. Over seven Family Guy seasons, we learn he is the antithesis of most Black characters in entertainment – unassuming and innocuous. A fresh if flat take on negroes.
Maybe he’s the straight man surrounded by a funny cast? Cleveland Jr. and Roberta aren’t fleshed out yet, but the former will have many fat jokes. Donna isn’t a Black Lois Griffin and is the most stereotypical although props to Sanaa Lathan’s voice acting. She doesn’t sound anything like herself.
Rollo is our only hope: a no bullshit country five year-old without the thuggery of a Riley Freeman. Can they walk the shuck and jive line with him?
The neighbors are a short douchebag, a redneck and an immigrant Christian bear (the most interesting). The bear’s accent gives him automatic funny, but I wonder how many hibernation and salmon-catching jokes lay in wait. First impressions are limited since this show obviously needs to find its voice.
I watched the first Family Guy episode to compare and it was MUCH edgier. There was a Aunt Jemima joke in the first two minutes of the series. I wonder if this series, with it’s ONE Black writer – Raynelle Swilling, is going to have the balls to poke fun at Black people and the wit to pull it off?
She did write for BET; so, my guess would be “no”. Probably just some skits with African-American references like the R.Kelly joke.