Pilot Perception: Dads

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Dads, Fox in the U.S. and CityTV in Canada, Tuesdays at 8/7c

The Pedigree: The show was created and written by Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin (Family Guy), who executive produce along with Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, etc.). The pilot was directed by Mark Cendrowski (The Big Bang Theory).

The Cast & How You Know Them: Dads stars Seth Green (Buffy, Family Guy), Giovanni Ribisi (Ted), Martin Mull (Arrested Development, American Dad), and Peter Riegert (Damages, The Good Wife), along with Vanessa Lachey (The Bold and the Beautiful), Tonita Castro (Go On), and Brenda Song (The Suite Life, New Girl).

The Premise: Dads is about two thirty-something video game developers and best friends whose aging fathers move in with them and complicate their personal and professional lives.

A Taste:

What Works: Um . . . not much. Well, the basic concept isn’t terrible, and there are some decent actors here. These could be interesting actual characters, if they were allowed to be characters rather than one-dimensional vehicles for unfunny, offensive jokes. I’ve seen several critics say the second episode is better, but I haven’t seen it and can’t personally vouch for that.

What Doesn’t: An inordinate amount of the “humor” here is racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic, and generally offensive. (And it’s also not funny.) To some extent, this is MacFarlane’s thing, and it’s really not for me. Even those who usually like his work, however, seem to agree that the humor was executed poorly here – he says he’s making fun of racism, say, but this just seemed racist.

Our Favorite Line: “I can’t yell at him. It’s like yelling at a Golden Retriever with a briefcase.”

You Might Like This if you like MacFarlane’s other work, like Family Guy, or multigenerational sitcoms like $#*! My Dad Says, and can stomach the racism and other problematic elements in this pilot.

If You’re Interested: Fox is rerunning the pilot on Thursday at 9/8c and Sunday at 9:30/8:30c, or you can catch it online on the Fox site or app, Hulu, or CityTV. Then tune in next Tuesday at 8/7c for episode two.

(Photo courtesy of Fox.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *