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TV Review: ‘Dads’ – ‘Pilot’

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Dads is a pilot in desperate need of a parachute. The pilot of Fox’s newest sitcom begins modestly enough. Eli (Seth Green), son to David (Peter Reigert), works at Ghost Child Games, a video game development company. His friend Warner (Giovanni Ribisi) also works there. Warner comes into the office bemoaning the latest issues he has with his father, Crawford (Martin Mull).

Warner’s Dad lives with him, and he’s a tremendous slob. Warner’s wife, Camilla (Vanessa Lachey), isn’t too fond of having her father-in-law living under their roof. The problem is that Warner just cannot find it in himself to put his foot down, so his Dad continues to walk all over him. Eli’s problems with his Dad stem from his father being a burden on Eli’s free-wheeling life. David’s had a bad marriage, and now he’s moved on to irritating his son.

Dads’ controversial joke about an Asian co-worker (Brenda Song) dressing and behaving stereotypically for Chinese investors, is not worth protesting over. This B plot lasts about five minutes in total. It’s five minutes of unfunny jokes. Is this the kind of humor we are to expect from two veteran comedy writers?

Dads’ premise has the makings of a decent comedy series, but when the time came  to toss out some jokes, Dads doesn’t really work. Dads trades in humor that would be considered taboo or controversial, but comedies like Louie have tackled race in far better ways. Simply having old people spout outdated racial terms does not count as a good, yet tasteless, joke. Even if your aim is for cringe humor, you have to dig a bit deeper with your material.

If Dads wants to have any future at all, they need to work at all of its comedy, not just its racial humor. I’d also like them to abandon that hideous dinosaur of a laugh track, but I know that will stick around. I certainly will not.

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  • upperhanded

    ..with the fine acting abilities of the cast members I expected more. alas…its just another sitcom trying too hard..when a semi-hard would work… and did they need to hit every focus group to be included in the show…I was waiting for an Ethiopian midget with touretts to finalize the deal…Ribisi looks bored and way too thin..the gal who plays his wife isn’t believable as his wife..
    Seth Green is naturally more funny than this.. he lags…Martin Mull knows whats funny..he needs to be included on more script meetings..and please no more skin!!…I doubt this show makes it 13 weeks..if they need a creative director..I’m available…lol ..too bad really it had promise…

    • I think they included diversity in this show just to make jokes about it- or attempt to make a joke, in the case of Dads. I don’t feel like a lot of focus testing was done for this show.

      You’re right. A lot of good people are on a very unfortunate show.