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The Simpsons crossover highlights gulf between the cartoons

ONE of TV's most celebrated shows has returned with a suitably momentous episode.

'The Simpsons Guy' is Family Guy's 45-minute crossover episode with The Simpsons, a key source of inspiration for the adult animated sitcom; and some would say that's putting it mildly.

Those people might even include Family Guy's own writing team, who have so accurately depicted all the ways in which The Simpsons is superior to their own work, you wonder where they found the motivation to get up the next morning and write the rest of the 13th season.

The Griffins turned up in Springfield after dad Peter's jokes were deemed sexist in their Rhode Island home (something Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane should know all about). The Simpsons initially welcomed their new "albino friends" but grew progressively disenchanted.

These guys are just cruder (Stewie's rape joke disgusts even Bart), more violent (Homer and Peter's fight makes 'Itchy and Scratchy' look mellow) and more derivative.

Of course MacFarlane has a loyal following built, arguably, on precisely these qualities, but with the recent box office flop of his movie Ted 2, there's a danger that BBC Two has cottoned on just as everyone else is losing interest.