I know, I know, different show but hey, it looks like they really have killed off popular Family Guy character Brian the dog. And unlike the irrepressible Kenny from South Park, we don’t think Brian will just keep magically reappearing.
Apparently the episode has just aired in the USA. Called "Life Of Brian" the episode shows family pet Brian Griffin go to the big dog kennel in the sky after being hit (quite graphically, I thought) by a car.
I wouldn’t say I was massively affected by this news initially, never having watched the show, but I did know who Brian was and have to say the death scene (below) nearly had me in tears. OK, it did have me in tears. Anyone who has lost a dog is going to find it a tad upsetting, even if it is just a cartoon.
I don’t know why that scene has pulled at my heart strings so much. Complete with final words “you’ve given me a wonderful life” followed by clips of said life while all the family stand around his death bed (vet table), it is quite a heart wrenching clip. Is it a little too realistic? Or are we just upset that a favourite character, dog or not, should be axed. And anyway, shouldn’t cartoon dogs live forever. The only drawback of loving a dog in real life is that we outlive them. We want our cartoon dogs to be different.
So, assuming this is not a prank or some kind of PR stunt, the Griffin family may be looking for a new companion. I was busy thinking how great it would be if they adopted a rescue dog… yay. Even better an oldie, but I can’t see that happening. As long as they don’t all go down to the local pet shop, I will cope.
And hey presto, the MTV website Family Guy: Major Character Killed Off says that “the family's much-loved pet has already been replaced by another dog obtained from a rescue centre.” They also say that new dog Vinny is “more earthy than his cocktail-loving predecessor.” As Brian was a member of Mensa with a penchant for dry martinis and dumb blondes, I don’t think any dog could top that, so “more earthy” sounds like quite a change. For the better? Or are you peeved at this turn of events?
Show executive Steve Callaghan told E! they are "very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters.”
What do you think about why and how it was done?
Update - 16th December 2013
We have all been duped. Of course they didn't kill off Brian. Well they did but the intention was always to bring him back to life in a future episode. So fans asking for Brian to be revived have had their wish come true.
Brian returns in the "Christmas Guy" episode. Stewie travels back in time to rescue his best friend by stopping the fatal accident from happening. After the episode aired in the US, creator Seth MacFarlane tweeted "You didn’t really think we'd kill off Brian, did you?"