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platano's picture

Categories in Family Guy

I was watching a Family Guy episode where Brian Writes A Best-Seller. Brian gets upset because none of the "serious" books he has written have gotten any attention. To prove the point that self-help books sell despite the lack of content he sets out to write one. His book "Wish It. Want It. Do It." becomes very successful and he gets to go on many interviews. The first one that he goes on is at a local news-station and the conversation that took place reminded me a lot about my Non-Fiction prose class. The conversation (07:01- 07:40)


Reporter: We're here with Brian Griffin local author of the new bestseller "Wish It. Want It. Do It." Am I pronouncing that correctly?


Reporter: Now what does that mean? "Wish It. Want It. Do It.?"

Brian:Well, it basically just refers to the steps necessary for identifying and achieving your dreams and doing so in as in effective and expeditiously a manner as possible.

Reporter: Wow. And its non-fiction, right?

Brian: Yes, it is.

Reporter: Now which one is that? I always forget. Is that the one that really happened or not?

Brian: Uh, yeah.

Reporter: Okay, so this is a true story?

Brian: Well, it's not really a narrative.

Reporter: Doesn't matter. I'm hooked. And we'll be right back with sports.


Throughout the episode Brian loses sight of his reasons for writing the book, and in the end gets confronted by another reporter for setting out to make money from a "gullible audience." This relates to my non-fiction prose class because we set out the course by defining the terms non-fiction/fiction, and set forth to question how useful those categories really were. This got me thinking about the role that these categories play in the world outside of my class. Although my classmates and I have become a bit more skeptical about such terms, I wonder how the rest of the people who caught the episode reacted to this part. Maybe they wouldn't have even thought twice about that specific part, and I'm not sure I would have had I not taken this class. For me non-fiction/fiction were just categories that divided books up in the library. Now I realize that there is a lot of blurring of the lines in the division of these two categories. I'm not sure I am at the point where I want to completely do away with these categories as a classmate of mine suggested, but I do recognize why she might feel inclined to do so.


In fact, I wonder whether I'd place the cartoon Family Guy in the category of fiction. They often involve events that have happened in real life - though sometimes just for the benefit of a few laughs.


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