Seth 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?