Review of "The Cleveland Show" From The TV MegaSite
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"The Cleveland Show" Series Premiere Review by Suzanne
Airing on FOX Sundays 8:30/7:30 c

I am still not sure whether spinning off the character Cleveland from "Family Guy" is a good idea or not, but the premiere on Sunday was pretty funny. It was not the funniest thing ever...it was spotty and uneven, much like Family Guy itself, and Seth McFarlane's other show, "American Dad". It was, however, much funnier than its lead-in, "The Simpsons", now entering its 20th year. The whole line-up is a fun animated evening, and I can't really say I miss "King of the Hill".

Cleveland was not a very interesting character on "Family Guy", and spin-offs can be problematic if they dilute the original show. In this case, I have to worry if the writers will run out of jokes..."American Dad" is by the same people as "Family Guy", and it's rarely as funny as the first show. Will they have enough jokes for three shows? I don't know.

Cleveland leaves Quahog to go to California, with his son, but they stop in his old hometown of Stool Bend, Virginia. He decides to stay after reconnecting with his old girlfriend, Donna. She has two sassy children that need Cleveland's firm hand (frankly he never seemed like he would have much discipline, but then again he was not a very detailed character on "Family GUy", either). The Family Guy characters do show up on this show, so who knows whether they will visit in the future. Cleveland's next door neighbor, for some reason, is a bear. Arianna Huffington appears as a regular character in future episodes.

Seth McFarlane did help create this show, but it is also written by the actor who voices Cleveland, Mike Henry, and some others. Although Cleveland is a black character, Mike Henry is not black, but since it's an animated show, no one seems to care. Still, the other voices on the new show are done by black actors, I notice. It's almost like they were hedging their bets in case anyone complained.

We will just have to see if The Cleveland Show continues to be as funny as its premiere, or if it gets even better. I will be there, watching, with our family because we all love these shows, even though some weeks are not as funny as others. When they are funny, though, they are hilarious and leave us in tears. This week's Family Guy was very very funny. Hopefully The Cleveland Show will have some tear-inducing laughs as well.

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Updated 9/28/09 

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