Family Guy/Chick Cancer
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Chick Cancer is the seventh episode of the fifth season of Family Guy, and the eighty-seventh episode overall.
The traditional male-dominated hiearchy of the male-female relationship take center stage in the show's main plot, where Stewie reunites with child actress Olivia Fuller and eventually "ties the knot" with her. The subplot features Peter's (ahem) "attempt" to make a "chick flick" ... to the usual disastrous results.
Guest Stars: Drew Barrymore (as Jillian)
Stewie learns that Olivia Fuller, his old flame from acting school, is about to retire from the acting business. That suits Stewie just fine, and when he learns that Olivia will be making an appearance at the mall to christen the grand opening of a new Brat Pack Kids store, he goes intending to ridicule her. Instead, Stewie realizes he is still in love with her and tries to rekindle the relationship. However, Olivia does not share the same feelings for Stewie as he does her and lets him down easy.
Stewie goes to Brian for advice in dealing with his feelings. Brian tries telling him that he should forget Olivia and move on, but when that fails, he then says — perhaps being sarcastic and not intending Stewie to take him seriously — that women like men who treat them mean. But after they witness a half-nude woman fleeing Quagmire's house after she spurned his sexual advances (she returned after the two argued, to avoid creating a disturbance), Stewie takes the advice to heart. Stewie, donning a leather jacket and a James Dean persona, does just that ... and Olivia buys into it! After a courtship, Stewie and Olivia are "married," the two move into their own "home" (a cardboard box), and all seems like happily-ever-after for the couple, right?
Wrong. The relationship quickly degenerates into the traditional male-dominated hiearchy, with Stewie and Olivia bickering all the time. Things go from tense to bad when Stewie argues with Olivia when, at a party, she talks with another old acting friend of hers, Victor (a well-dressed characature of either Jay Leno or Alan Alda). It grows steadily worse when the two, who have accompanied Brian and Jillian on a date, begin arguing at a fancy restaurant, all over Stewie's increasingly possessive behavior. Things finally come to a boil when Stewie returns home and catches Olivia with Victor in the kitchen. After Stewie takes Rupert and walks out of the house, Olivia tries apologizing to Victor about what just happened. They then smell smoke ... Stewie has set fire to the cardboard box, and Olivia and Victor are trapped inside! The scene ends with Stewie walking away and laughing, and no indication that Olivia and Victor had escaped, leading to the reasonable conclusion that both tots were burned to death.
In the epilogue, Stewie and Brian (apparently unaware of what really happened) relate the moral of the failed relationship — don't grow up too fast! Although Stewie admits that he could have done everything he did with Olivia with one of his "buddies," which prompts Brian to explain what it is like to be a homosexual. "Oh yeah, I could really get into that," Stewie muses as the scene ends.
Peter grudgingly goes along with Lois to a showing of "Autumn's Piano" at the movie theater. Instead of being annoyed, Peter somehow becomes deeply moved by the plot of the movie. So much so that he wants to recapture the experience and feeling ... by making a "chick flick" of his own. Recruting his friends, Peter creates a movie called "Steel Vaginas," a non-descript film about a self-centered man (Peter, who also serves as the narrator) who hates women until his wife gives birth to a daughter, Vageena Hertz (played by Lois). Vageena's life is played out, the climax coming when she nearly drowns, is rushed to the hospital, and dies of an infection to her reproductive system. The finished product is poorly produced, and that added to the offensive storyline, equals flat rejection by his friends and family.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
- Woody Allen movies - Several references are made to the works of Woody Allen throughout this episode:
- Annie Hall - Stewie and Olivia fill the roles of Allen and Diane Keaton in the people watching scene from the 1977 romantic comedy.
- Manhattan - The people-watching scene segues into Stewie and Olivia watching the bridge at sunset, taken from the 1979 movie starring Allen and Mariel Hemingway.
- Crimes and Misdemeanors - The character of Victor - a pompous individual who uses a cassette recorder to record "interesting" story ideas for future use - is directly patterned on Alan Alda's character, Lester, from the 1989 black comedy.
- Chester Cheeta - The mascot of Cheetos is seen snorting a substance (said to be "cheese powder") before saying his signature lines in a cutaway gag.
- Flintstones Chewable Vitamins — Olivia remarks that she starred in a commerical for the children's vitamin line, and even makes the product's advertising pitchline: "Ten million strong ... and growing!"
- Gap Kids — The Bratty Wrap Kids store is patterened much like Gap Kids and other stores selling children's versions of adult fashions.
- Good Will Hunting - Brian's attempts to persuade Stewie that he is not at fault for the failed relationship with Olivia mirrors that of the 1997 movie starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Robin Williams
- Juicy Juice - "Tasty Juice" is play on the Nestle brand of fruit juices marketed to children. The commerical featuring Olivia as the spokesperson features a comment making a claim that its consumers have to frequently use the bathroom after drinking Tasty Juice.
- JonBenet Ramsey — One of names Stewie uses to insult Olivia is "JonBenet," alluding to Olivia's pagaentry background, the same as the 6-year-old child beauty queen who was killed in 1996 (just like Olivia apparently was in the climatic scene).
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs — Autumn's friends in the movie "Autumn's Piano" — Sassy, Pouty and Suicidal — are parodies of the dwarfs from the children's tale and iconic 1937 Disney movie.
- Steel Magnolias - The title of Peter's attempt at making a "chick flick" (Steel Vaginas) is a pun of the 1987 off-Broadway play and 1989 movie starring Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine and Dolly Parton.
- Time-Life Music - "The Mayor of Comedy" pitches a series of compact discs called "Sitcom Punchlines of the '80s" and "Sounds of the '80s: Studio Audience" (cliches and canned studio responses compiled on a series of albums), complete with a "celebrity endorsement" by Howard Hesseman. The advertisement is a parody of Time-Life commericals for various popular music compilation albums (one of which was "Sounds of the Eighties").