Dads: Is the New FOX Sitcom Worth Watching?

Dads TV show on FOXSeth MacFarlane has had great success executive producing animated sitcoms on FOX but his last live-action series, The Winner, was cancelled after six episodes in 2007. How will Dads perform? Renewed for a second season or quickly canned? Is it worth watching?

Dads follows the lives of two successful video game developers (Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi) whose lives are dramatically changed when their fathers (Martin Mull and Peter Riegeret) move in with them. Brenda Song, Tonita Castro, and Vanessa Lachey round out the cast.

Sound like fun? Well, here’s what some of the critics are saying:

THR: “As for Dads, well, there’s not much to say about this retro stink bomb that, with its overly-eager laugh track and broad-but-not-funny humor, might have been better on CBS. (Because if it was, it would make all those race-and-vagina jokes on 2 Broke Girls look like Seinfeld material.) Fox is hoping that because critics are offended by the racist jokes (they don’t really mention that we’re offended by what’s being passed off as humor), then Dads can be seen as some cutting-edge series that’s too controversial to be missed. Or something like that.”

SFGate: “OK, so Dads is the worst new show of the season, but that doesn’t mean it should be left at that: There’s the racism angle, yes, but there is also the near-tragic waste of considerable talent in the four actors who star in this disaster… Even with such dreadful scripts and the phony noise of canned laughter, the four reasons to kind of watch maybe a little of Dads are the core actors. You don’t have to watch more than a couple of minutes to know they deserve much, much better, and so do we.”

NY Daily News: “While there’s the potential for a nice, relatable human situation here, almost all the dialogue feels like setups for punch lines. Too often this leaves the actors, even skilled veterans Riegert and Mull, stranded. It leaves Brenda Song, who works in the video-game office, with little to offset her “little Asian girl-toy” scene. There’s a show here. In the first episode, MacFarlane and company haven’t found it.”

TIME: “Anyway, the list of people who should be offended by Dads is not limited to any one ethnic group. There are also conservatives, whom the show casually associates with being racist. There are old people, whom the show paints as both bigoted and clueless. There are the women characters, who so far are objects or shrews. There are Green, Mull, Ribisi, and Riegert, all of whom are better than this. And above all, there’s the audience, who has to endure the ancient someone-makes-hash-brownies-and-wackiness-ensues plot by only the second episode. There’s plenty of outrage to go around, but the biggest is that Dads is too much of a retread to deserve the effort of getting outraged over.”

USA Today: “Oh, and lest that description lead you to fall for Fox’s marketing plan, which aims to convince you the show is irresistibly wild and edgy, trust me, it’s resistible. If the two whiny sons and their equally unlikable fathers aren’t enough to push you away, the boorish childishness of the show’s obvious efforts to offend should do the trick.”

Boston Globe: “Don’t fall for Fox’s gambit. The show isn’t exactly “reprehensible,” but it is definitely “tired,” “forced,” “predictable,” “lazy” — choose your own critical adjective that means “bad.” From the too-liberal use of the laugh track to the grumpy-old-men concept and the dusty jokes, Dads is a groaner.”

What do you think? Will you give Dads a try? If you’ve already seen it, will you watch again? Is it worth watching?

Canceled and renewed TV show

12 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Ayorama says

    I only saw Dad’s for the first time last night and laughed so hard I nearly peed myself!! Martin Mull’s character describing his own food pyramid to stay healthy, and then Giovanni Ribisi’s character’s prostrate exam… absolutely hillarious.
    I’m no tv critic, but I know good laughter when I’m doing it!

  2. Tha Critic says

    I didn’t find it to be overly offensive, I just didn’t find it very funny. I like the cast though and the fact that they work in the gaming industry.

  3. ellen says

    Only made it to the 5-minute mark. When Riegert appeared on screen and said hello on the telephone, the laugh track kicked in. Saying hello is funny? I didn’t get far enough into the show for anything racist, so my comment has to be limited to “this is not a funny show or worthy of even 5 minutes.” Thumbs down!

  4. Katie says

    Dads feels like it has been sitting on a shelf since the late 90s. The style and laugh track make it feel old fashioned; the “stars” haven’t been popular since Clinton was still in office, and a lot of the jokes were racist and or sexist. The entire shtick with the Asian school girl get up was totally tasteless and unfunny. It also felt like a Disney channel/Nickleodeon sitcom. I don’t think it will make it through the season unless they do some major retooling, starting with losing the laugh track and the over eager acting.

  5. Rick says

    Total rubbish! I made it to the 20 minute mark and gave up, and deleted the episode AND the entire series off my DVR. Not a single funny moment, and so poorly acted it seemed the actors were still rehearsing. I didn’t find any of the topics offensive. What I found offensive was the wasted twenty minutes this show has stolen from me.

  6. Tina says

    I loved it! I thought it was hilarious. Anyone “offended” by it, or that can’t find the humor in it, clearly has never seen (or liked) anything with Seth McFarlane. Yes, there is some inappropriateness… anyone surprised by this shouldn’t have turned it on in the first place. I hope they keep it. It’s no more inappropriate than Family Guy or American Dad.

    • Pip says

      I agree it was trying to be edgy and inappropriate like Family Guy but the difference being it did not work and Family Guy has much better acting than in Dads. Family Guy and American Dad are hilarious.

      • Dave says

        Hilarious and WITHOUT needing a laugh track. One reason I like the animated series over some live comedies. They don’t require the (ab)use of those inane laugh tracks!

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