Overview (Spoilers Below)
Lois gets into hot water after running over a kid at Stewie’s daycare. As part of the settlement, the Griffin family agrees to spend time with Doug while Lois gets LASIK surgery to get her eyes fixed. After Lois’ surgery, she goes blind in both eyes which becomes absolutely depressing though it inspires her to start a vlog on Youtube. After a few days, the vlog is a hit, and Lois is making a ton of money from all of the things vloggers make money from nowadays. After only another day or two, Lois’ sight comes back, but doesn’t tell anyone until she gets a guest spot on a daytime talk show. It’s here where she’s forced to come clean after it’s obvious she’s no longer blind. After, she’s sent to Cleveland Court.
Meanwhile, the Griffin boys all spend time with Doug and do all sorts of fun activities with the little tyke. From building a treehouse, playing teeball, and doing Sterling Archer impressions, Doug is doing everything he can to take advantage of the quality time as he’s not used to having others to play with. That said, the Griffins do enough to pay back the debt of running over Doug, and maybe we have a new recurring character?
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Family Guy embarks on it’s 20th season for FOX, and with it comes a big change in Arif Zahir taking over the role of Cleveland for Mike Henry. While Mike is still part of the show(in fact, Herbert shows up this week), Arif’s arrival I think is a less of a big deal as it pertains to representation as it is an injection of youth into an aging cast/producers. We are well past the days where the likes of Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Wellesley Wild, Gary Janett, Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, and others were fixtures in one of the strongest writers’ rooms in the business, and I hope this 20th season is the start of some “freshness”. I think Arif can provide some of that given his talents that I think can extend beyond just being a perfect (and I mean perfect) replacement for the voice of “Cleveland”, and perhaps see if the former Twitch/Youtube star can do the same for perhaps “Rallo” and even some brand-new characters. In terms of casting, Family Guy has done the best job in replacing white actors with black voice actors for BIPOC roles so far.
In any event, “LASIK Instinct” features trademark Family Guy qualities like a comeuppance story where the lead character in a premise learns their lesson after taking advantage of a bunch of people, and that’s certainly what we get from Lois’ bit. I think I was far more interested in the new “Doug” (Chris Parnell) character because I think the number of babies in the neighborhood are an untapped reservoir for comedy that this franchise doesn’t deploy a whole lot, and I think it should. In any event, Doug was an excellent character, providing a different strain of scumbag than what we’re used to from Stewie and Parnell was a perfect fit for the role.
Parnell and Zahir are the types of ingredients that can really help put new logs on this fire to keep it warm. With Family Guy leaving Adult Swim recently, the future of the franchise is all Disney, and we await if this franchise has the goods to go another 20 seasons.