I had a really good conversation with my friend Kristin this weekend about television. We mentioned the shows we were excited to binge watch, and she advised me on what my priorities should be when I hunker down for a long evening of sitting in front of the tube.
The conversation turned to American Horror Story: Coven--a topic most of my conversations turn to nowadays. She is an expert on all three seasons while I have only watched the first (with Murder House) and the current season. We agree that Ryan Murphy's shows never allow the characters to fully deal with the situations they are given. For instance, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) was shockingly blinded by a cup of acid thrown in her face, but don't worry! Three episodes later her vision is restored just as quickly as downing a shot of Pepto. All of the characters that have been killed have been brought back to life. When Patti LuPone was shot, I never feared that her guest arc was cut short. Murphy's shows tend to succumb to this pattern. Popular (his first show on The WB) and Glee never allowed the characters to fully deal with the obstacles thrown their way.
I am not surprised that Seth MacFarlane brought Brian back to life after killing him off three weeks ago. The internet pretty much exploded when the episode aired. Even though I don't really watch Family Guy that much, it would have been better if they kept him dead. I know it's a cartoon and not a drama on a risky network like FX. For a show that seems to like pushing everyone's buttons, bringing Brian back feels like the show got neutered.