Death Sentences 1: BLUE HARVEST Review
Oi. Darth Death here for the very first installment of DEATH SENTENCES. A totally random component of this rather amateur blog in which I bang on about whatever the Hell I feel like. Today I’m gonna crap on about FAMILY GUY: BLUE HARVEST. A rather disappointing Star Wars spoof that fails to live up to the level of humor you’d expect.
Now I coughed a fair bit of coin for this DVD. A full 30 notes from my local K-Mart. Yep, you read that right. Darth Death shops at K-Mart. So sue me, bitches. Bottom line is: $30 is a lotta dough to drop on a 50 minute feature. No matter how good it is. I’d seen quite a few excerpts on YouTube which were kinda funny so I figured the rest of the show must be good. It was Family Guy after all.
So I went into this with big expectations. Were my expectations met? Nah, not really.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Family Guy. I admit, I was a late comer to the show. But since getting into it I’ve enjoyed its ad-nauseum re-runs on Satellite TV. But BLUE HARVEST felt flat, tired and not worthy of the Family Guy title.
The plot sticks pretty close to that of ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.’ Which is fine. But essentially the whole story is condensed into 50 minutes meaning the viewer needs to have a pretty good knowledge of the original film in order to follow the plot. Peter as Han Solo steals the show. But the fact that he doesn’t turn up until 20 minutes in means that Chris and co. have to carry the film till then. Chris as Luke is pretty unfunny. In fact Chris is pretty unfunny in all Family Guy episodes so the fact that he’s essentially the lead in this is disappointing. Stewie as Darth Vader is under-utilised and most of his gags labored due the constraints of working within the established plot of ‘A New Hope’ and Vader’s limited role in that film. Although his idea about boarding up the exhaust port on the Death Star is pretty hilarious.
I’ve seen many Star Wars spoofs (hey, who hasn’t) and I gotta say this is among the weakest. Which is a shame because the Family Guy writers have demonstrated they have a strong grasp on pop culture so this should be ripe territory for them. But it feels like they held back for fear of upsetting Uncle George or getting their collective arses kicked by Lucasfilm. Either that or they just figured “Hey, if we knock something out with Star Wars and Family Guy on the cover we’re gonna be rolling in nerd cash!!!” and as a result, quality writing fell by the wayside. The funniest scene without doubt is when Peter is trying to steal a couch from the trash compactor. The scene is great and demonstrates the lateral thinking of the writers. I wish they’d done more gags using the known scenes as a stepping off point rather that trying to make the gags fit within the established narrative of ‘A New Hope’.
The Knights are not in the habit of bagging other people’s work. We dig all things Star Wars. No fear. It’s just a shame to see a wasted opportunity like ‘Blue Harvest’. If you gotta own anything remotely Star Wars then buy it. If you’re a bit more discerning, get the Robot Chicken Star Wars Special instead.