Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Baby Not on Board

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Episode no.  Season 7 Episode 4
Written by  Mark Hentemann
Original air date  November 2, 2008
Directed by  Julius Wu
Production code  6ACX07
Baby Not on Board

"Baby Not on Board" is the fourth entry in the seventh season of the American animated television series Family Guy. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 2008. The episode features Stewie (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) after he is accidentally left at home when the Griffins head for the Grand Canyon. The family soon notice his absence, and they rush home; however, Peter (also voiced by MacFarlane) makes it more difficult for his family because of his immature behavior. Meanwhile, Stewie realizes how much he depends on his family while he is alone.

Contents

The episode was written by Mark Hentemann and directed by Julius Wu. It received mixed reviews from critics for its storyline and cultural references. According to Nielsen ratings, it was viewed in 9.97 million homes in its original airing. The episode featured a guest performance by Jon Benjamin, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series. "Baby Not on Board" was released on DVD along with eight other episodes from the season on June 16, 2009.

Plot

Peter visits the Quahog Mini-Mart where Chris works after a visit to the local spa. After he threatens to sue the store for Chris' "sexual remarks" (in fact a legitimate medical question regarding one of his testicles), Peter is given an unlimited gas coupon for a year by Carl. Peter begins to take advantage of the card, even taking a trip into space, until Lois suggests that the family travel to the Grand Canyon. They leave early the next morning but inadvertently leave Stewie behind at home, only realizing that when they visit the site of 9/11. They first contact Joe but cannot get a hold of him. They then contact Cleveland and Quagmire to look after Stewie. After not receiving any calls from either of them, Lois insists that the family return home to Stewie. While driving the car, Peter somehow enters the car next to them, causing the Griffins' car to crash. When the family attempts to ride a train home, Peter spends the last of the money that they saved on curtain rings. Lois becomes angered and blames all their misfortunes on Peter's stupidity, only to feel ashamed when he informs her that everyone else respects him for who he is. Eventually, Brian is able to get the family a ride in a pickup truck bound for Quahog.

Meanwhile, Stewie finds out that he has been left alone, and takes his solitude to his advantage. When Cleveland and Quagmire arrive, Stewie believes that they are intruders and sprays tear gas all around them to knock them out. Stewie realizes his mistake, however, and he chains them to the Griffins' basement wall of his house and forcing them to watch the DirecTV help channel on a continuous loop. When Stewie consumes all of the food in the house, he applies for a job at fast food restaurant McBurgertown, but is fired for stealing food (despite his insistence it was due to be thrown out anyway). Eventually, Stewie realizes how much he depends on his family and is thrilled to see them return. The episode ends with a scene of Cleveland and Quagmire reciting what is said on TV, and Cleveland telling Quagmire, "Did I tell you I'm getting a spinoff?".

Production

"Baby Not on Board" was written by eventual series showrunner and executive producer Mark Hentemann, who joined the show as a writer in its third season. It was directed by Julius Wu on his first episode of the season, although he would go on to direct the episode "420" later in the season. Series regulars Peter Shin and James Purdum served as supervising directors for the episode. The episode marked the first time since the show's creation that celebrities do not feature wide, circular eyes. The staff wanted to make the celebrities look more realistic in contrast to the regular characters; a good example of this can be seen on Patrick Swayze's character design for the episode. The Standards and Practices had a problem with Peter saying "masturbate", so staff writers edited it to "rub one out". The episode revealed that the character Cleveland Brown was going to start in his own show, which turned out to be the Family Guy spin-off, The Cleveland Show, which later premiered in September 2009.

"Baby Not on Board", along with the first eight episodes of the seventh season, were released on DVD by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on June 16, 2009, one month after it had completed broadcast on television. The "Volume 7" DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, animatics, and commentaries for every episode.

In addition to the regular cast, voice actor Jon Benjamin, actor Joe Flaherty, and actor Jacob Pressman guest starred in the episode. Recurring voice actors Alexandra Breckenridge, writer Steve Callaghan, writer Danny Smith, writer Alec Sulkin, and writer John Viener made minor appearances. Recurring guest voice actors Adam West and Patrick Warburton made guest appearances as well.

Reception

In its original broadcast on Fox in the United States on November 2, 2008, "Baby Not on Board" was watched by 9.97 million homes and acquired a 5.0 Nielsen rating, the audience measurement systems developed to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States, making it the highest rated episode of the season.

The episode received mixed reviews from television sources and critics. Steve Heisler of The A.V. Club gave the episode a C, calling it "without a doubt, the most meta episode I've seen in quite some time" and said that "if Family Guy wants to make the show itself the butt of every joke, it needs to ramp up the conflict and tone down on the flights of fancy–most of those are funny for a bit, but excess can ruin just about anything." Another complaint of the episode were the Back to the Future references and the storyline.

Ahsan Haque of IGN gave the episode a much more negative review, calling it "definitely one of the worst Family Guy episodes in years". He criticized the jokes, calling some pointless and most of them tasteless, saying that the funnier moments of the episode were not enough to make it a worthwhile episode. Robin Pierson of The TV Critic also gave the episode a negative review, calling it "pointless television", but said that it did feature some entertaining jokes.

References

Baby Not on Board Wikipedia


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