Brian Griffin Is Back From The Dead Now That Family Guy’s Publicity Stunt Worked

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Family Guy Brian and Stewie

Three weeks ago the Internet freaked out  (as it's wont to do) over the death of beloved cartoon dog Brian Griffin on Family Guy. While some fans pulled an “I'm moving to Canada” and refused to watch the show again after this disappointment, others (including me) were more skeptical. People started theorizing about how Brian would be resurrected or saved, and episode descriptions pointed to a character return. No matter the result, this move had “shark-jumping” written all over it. Fans don't like to be messed with like this, especially when all they want to do is unwind with a few fart jokes on a Sunday night.

As predicted, last night during the Christmas episode Brian made his miraculous return to the show. As many people theorized, it involved Stewie running into his time-traveling self and using a return pad to go back in time and save Brian. So his death was never meant to be permanent, and this was all just a big publicity stunt. It seems to have worked too, at least temporarily. Last week the show's ratings were up 18%, and FOX's animation domination had its best night in over a year. On top of that, people who didn't even watch the show were talking about it and wondering what all the fuss was about.

Seth MacFarlane, the show's creator and the voice of Brian Griffin, would have us all think this is some heartwarming Christmas lesson about appreciating what you have and blah blah blah they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

Ouch. While I personally don't take Family Guy very seriously and will keep watching as long as it keeps me entertained, I bet a lot of fans aren't too pleased with this stunt. It brings to mind the recent trend of pop culture hoaxes, from Jimmy Kimmel's twerk fail prank to Elan Gale's fake airplane argument. I think it's only a matter of time before people grow tired of being manipulated and a backlash starts.

And even though Brian is back, this storyline might not even be finished. There's still the question of who hit Brian with a car in the first place, and if it was intentional. So this stunt might have more legs than we first predicted. Meanwhile, you can watch Stewie save Brian below.

(Image: IMDB)