Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the hit animated show Family Guy(and the voice for most of its characters), has become something of a Renaissance man. In 2012, he directed his first feature film, Ted; in 2013, he hosted the Oscars, arguably the sweetest emcee gig in the business (and one for which he paid a heavy media price). Now, he’s added “published author” to his growing list of trades.
The ever-controversial writer and comedian’s first novel A Million Ways to Die in the West, isn’t your typical mainstream-fiction fare. Centering on an unlikely hero’s quest to win back his girlfriend, the novel is a play on the Western genre, complete with duels, saloons, things taking place at “high noon,” and rattlesnakes. We’re excited to see what MacFarlane will do with this classic, if time-worn, genre. And now that he’s jumped into the book world, let’s see him immediately follow up by playing around in one of these genres.
MacFarlane would kill at writing YA fiction. We already know from Family Guy that he understands the plights of the American teenager, and he’s expert at blending supernatural and realistic elements—a prerequisite for any successful YA story. Is it time to give poor Meg her due by turning her into a Katniss-like heroine? We think so. Suggested title: The Hungry Games.
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As we can see with A Million Ways to Die in the West, when MacFarlane decides to tackle a genre, he doesn’t skimp on detail. We’d love to see him perfect the standard Regency romance formula. We’re talking castles with moats, heroines in corsets and ballgowns, two-faced dukes, and hilarious (but secretly steamy) sex scenes.
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We’ve seen enough sci-fi in both Family Guy (with their hilarious Star Wars parodies) and American Dad to know that MacFarlane lacks neither the imagination nor the creativity to execute a seriously out-there story. Considering all the time-travel ringers he’s put Stewie and Brian through, we’re thinking a comic remake of The Time Machine is in order.
Let’s be honest: Eckhart Tolle is great and all, but we like our self-help with a sharp edge of humor. MacFarlane, no stranger to the brutal dose of reality, could write the book to shake us out of our funk for good.
For the same reason we’d love to see MacFarlane take on romance, we think historical fiction is right up his alley. MacFarlane could capitalize on America’s love of all things old and British and do a classic Tudor drama. We’re also not opposed to an all-out war saga.
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We’re not really huge fans of the term “chick lit” (unless we’re talking a book about baby chickens), but MacFarlane could do wonders with a satire on the concept of the genre, and all the stereotypes and expectations we attach to it. Jennifer Weiner + Seth MacFarlane = gold.
As Family Guy ditties like “The Freaking FCC” have proven, the guy can pull off ribald humor with lyrical flair. We’d love to see a collection of hilarious, pop-culture-centric verse.