Brian Writes a Bestseller – satire of self-help books

Family Guy is my favorite TV show, especially during this season, when The Simpsons episodes are starting to become tiresome and not really funny anymore.

But Brian, the anthropomorphic dog, is irritating me. Apparently, he’s irritating the writers, too, because they seem to be doing everything possible to make him out to be a pompous jackass.

The episode begins when Brian’s book, Faster Than the Speed of Love, comes back to him unsold in boxes stuffed with shreds of the book itself instead of packing peanuts. He vows never to write again, until he reads the newspaper and notices the bestseller list, which is populated by self-help books. Disgusted, Brian turns to Stewie and says that he could easily write a similar book because “morons” read them.

With Stewie’s encouragement, Brian writes the book in precisely 3 hours and 27 minutes, and sends it off. Penguin Publishing snatches it up, Stewie becomes Brian’s publicist, and Brian’s ego shoots through the roof.

The episode is obviously a satire of the self-help genre, but it makes the general book-buying public look like fools. Family Guy makes fun of literally every kind of person imaginable, so that didn’t offend me at all. I mean, how many of us actually have the time, energy, and inclination to read and comprehend even one highbrow literary novel?

Brian’s book gets more and more famous, and he becomes more and more arrogant. He abuses poor Stewie, treats his fans badly (unless they’re the typical blond bimbos he’s attracted to), and forgets that he hated the book and others in its genre in the first place.

Eventually, Brian meets up with Bill Maher, Dana Gould, and Arianna Huffington, who totally rip his book apart with some rather intelligent commentary. Now it’s Brian who’s the fool.

Brian Feels the Pressure

What irritated me about the episode was that Brian came home and refused to give Stewie a sincere apology, proving that he hasn’t really changed at all; he’s still the arrogant jerk he was at the beginning. Oh, well – I guess that gives the Family Guy writers more chances to humiliate Brian in future episodes. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Brian Writes a Bestseller – satire of self-help books

  1. I missed this episode since watching The Family Guy is generally “hit or miss” for me.

    I can see lots of newly famous people (or dogs) acting the way you describe Brian as acting ~ absorbing compliments and inflating with self-importance and arrogance until . . . Pop Goes The Ego.

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/pop-goes-the-ego/

    If you have time some Wednesday night, I recommend The Middle.

    {{looks down and whispers . . . “the middle”}}

    It a similar spoof (one hopes) on Family Life. 😉

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