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The Family Guy Season 21 Premiere Has Fans Deeply Divided For An Understandable Reason

On September 25, the masses tuned in for some of those good old-fashioned values on which they used to rely. As part of Fox's fall lineup, "Family Guy" celebrated the premiere of its 21st season, but viewers weren't exactly immersed in the usual town of Quahog.

The new episode, entitled "Oscars Guy," is a parody trilogy that sees the Griffins and friends recreating three Oscar-winning films – 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs," 1999's "American Beauty" and 1994's "Forrest Gump."

In the first part, Stewie (Seth MacFarlane) takes on Anthony Hopkins' iconic role as cannibalistic killer Hannibal Lecter, who helps Clarice Starling, played by Lois (Alex Borstein), catch another murderer. Buffalo Bill is portrayed by Chris (Seth Green), who even recites the creepy "it rubs the lotion on its skin" line. Next up is "American Beauty," with Peter (MacFarlane) taking on Kevin Spacey's Lester Burnham, a suburban dad who becomes obsessed with his teen daughter's best friend. Finally, Peter transforms into Tom Hanks' Forrest Gump and embarks on his cross-country trek.

For the most part, the Griffins stay true to these characters, though the fourth wall is broken on occasion when they receive an award for their performance. Additionally, in each parody, the track "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors can be briefly heard, making it a new "Family Guy" running gag by the end.

"Oscars Guy" isn't your typical episode, and fans had some strong opinions about its format.

Family Guy fans are torn over the episode's three-part parody format

On its official Instagram page, "Family Guy" promoted the new episode with stills from the show. Upon learning that the Season 21 premiere is an all-parody installment, many viewers expressed annoyance that it's not a fresh storyline. @_g.a.t.e.n_ said, "Man you know they are running out of ideas when they keep doing these story episodes" and went on to describe the show's parodies as a "lazy recreation" of the original films. @ahh_its_sara said, "Dammit just end the show already if you're out of ideas. Half the episodes on these new seasons are just remakes of other stories."

Meanwhile, other viewers enjoyed the setup. @julius_sugarj hailed the episode as a "classic." @eltrappguod watched the episode and already "can't wait for the next one."

Whether or not one looks forward to "Family Guy" parodies, which include everything from "Star Wars" to "Poltergeist," they're here to stay, especially the multi-story editions. In an interview with TV Fanatic, executive producer Alex Sulkin shared, "Probably once a season, we'll say, 'Hey, we're looking to do a three-parter.'"

Much thought goes into choosing what's featured in such episodes. Executive producer Rich Appel told TV Fanatic, "We'll kick around with everybody what we chose to do. We talk about so many others because we want to find the roles that would be funny for our characters to play."

"Oscars Guy" certainly resonated with the creators and some fans, but it will be exciting to see what antics Peter gets into around Quahog next week.