Seth MacFarlane Ruins the Flintstones

Sad news fell this week that “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane was about to take his potty-mouth humor and emboss it into a reincarnation of the classic cartoon series, “The Flintstones.”

Cartoon classic The Flintstones is set to return in a new version devised by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, Fox Television has confirmed. The new series, likely to air in 2013, will give a “21st Century spin” to the 1960s Hanna-Barbera animated series.

The popular show followed the fortunes of Fred Flintstone, his wife Wilma and their neighbours Barney and Betty. “The very first cartoon character I drew at age two was Fred Flintstone,” said MacFarlane said in a statement.

“So it’s appropriate that events have come full circle, allowing me to produce the newest incarnation of this great franchise.”

What a strange, self-important, worldview MacFarlane has of himself as the centering sun.  It’s as if The Flintstones were nothing without MacFarlane’s childhood doodlings.

The Flintstones were a comedic touchstone in their day.  The show used modern references and gave them a spin.  My favorite episode starred the voice of Jimmy O’Neill:

In this takeoff of the popular TV rock-music show Shindig, Fred creates a new dance craze called the Frantic when he hops around in agony after dropping a bowling ball on his foot. In a twinkling, Fred has been invited to perform the Frantic on the TV series “Shinrock-A-Go-Go,” hosted by Jimmy O’Neillstone (his voice provided by Shindig emcee Jimmy O’Neill.) Also appearing is the singing group The Beau Brummels (as “The Beau Brummelstones”, natch!), performing their hit “Laugh, Laugh”, written by Ron Elliot–which was not recorded for The Flintstones, but released as a single long before this episode aired.

What will MacFarlane bring to The Flintstones that hasn’t already evolved?  Why mess with the perfection of the original?  Doesn’t he know you can’t play the same moment twice?

The original Flintstones humor was fun and kind-spirited.  MacFarlane’s humor is condescending and cruel — and I hate to see how he decides to manifest the cramming of his ill-gotten sense of humor into the pure, and organically funny, mouths of Flintstones characters we have come to love and adore all on our own over the last 52 years.

2 comments

  • I suppose it really won’t be the real Flintstones at all but a more vulgar MacFarlane program — isn’t running three cartoons on television enough for him?

    • I think you’re right about that, Gordon. It will be mockery of what we’ve come to love about The Flintstones. Dino will have the hots for Wilma. Pebbles and Bam-Bam will be teen parents. Barney will be a drunk in the street.

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