Confession One - I haven't seen "Orville" yet but I will say I was excited by the trailer because it looked like Galaxy Quest and while I can honestly say I like Star Trek only because it gives me something to complain about and I don't totally understand the tropes, I loved Galaxy Quest.
Confession Two - I genuinely enjoy American Dad. It's not on my regular line up of shows to watch, but if I'm on Hulu and nothing strikes me, I'll turn on American Dad, watch an episode or two, then keep it on in the background while I do chores or whatever. The characters on the show are written in such a way where they're both very two dimensional but also have this depth to them that I can't put into words.
Those two confessions out of the way . . .
I don't think I'd ever say this out loud, in a normal conversation, but I see a little of myself in Seth McFarlane or a little of Seth McFarlane in myself (I don't know which is which). He is a man who clearly enjoys things. He enjoys music and big band music in particular (or so I'm told). He enjoys pop culture and self referential humor. He enjoys politics and current events. He enjoys history. He enjoys a lot of things and he tries to share his enjoyment with others and put a lense onto things he appreciates by creating music, movies, television shows, etc. I think the problem he has though, is two fold, and both of which I have problems with (though I'm much, much less talented than him) in that just because he enjoys something, it doesn't mean he has a thorough understanding of it. At the same time, just because he's able to create, that doesn't mean what he creates will necessarily be good.
I think with Family Guy, he was at the right place and the right time and got a lucky break. I think his fans have continued to demand more from him and he, in an attempt to not get burned out, tries new things and uses the capital of his name to do new projects. I've heard from multiple people, in casual conversations though I've never varified myself, that Seth McFarlane is tired of Family Guy and would have quit doing it years ago but Fox keeps wanting more episodes and as long as they're willing to pay him, he's gonna keep on doing it. Cleveland Show, American Dad, that awful western comedy, his big band album, this new show, I think this is him trying to keep from getting bored and I think he's in a tough spot, because instead of creating for the sake of creating, he's also creating for the sake of keeping his brand going and I just can't imagine that'd be a lot of fun.
Seriously. Sometimes creating something and trying to make it good not because you want it to be, but because it's expected to be, takes a lot of fun out of it.
As an aside, I also feel for Stone and Parker. From what I've been told by my friend who is a huge fan of South Park, they'd be doing other things by now and quit that show years ago. The paycheck is what keeps them doing it. Though, on the flip side, I guess it saves us from movies like Baseketball.