The first sin committed by Fox’s new sitcom Dads is that it’s a comedy that isn’t funny. The second sin is that it’s flat-out terrible: The pilot had a weird pace, hopscotching between at least three different sitcom concepts (workplace, wacky-family, cool-guy-in-a-bachelor-pad) and landing in talent-wasting mulch. From there, the story gets more complicated. Dads started a controversy over the summer when the show’s pilot was declared Racist by basically everyone who saw it. The primary offense: The decision to dress Brenda Song up in an Asian-schoolgirl outfit. Song is a former Disney starlet who seems weirdly destined to spend her twenties at the center of bloggish controversy. The actress defended the decision, while lead Seth Green did damage control, explaining, “Just to be fair, these are some pretty disparaging portrayals of white men.” The show is produced by Seth MacFarlane, and Green’s statement is a familiar dodge from the MacFarlane oeuvre: Make a show about white dudes making fun of everyone who’s not a white dude, and then argue that the show is actually a meta-joke about how silly and retrograde the white dudes are. READ FULL STORY
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Ahead of its premiere tonight, Fox’s father-focused comedy Dads has already stirred up a bevy of controversy, as one watchdog group called it racist and Fox followed by saying they wouldn’t reshoot its pilot. TV critic Melissa Maerz already weighed in about the kerfuffle with a sharp essay, but what about a straight-up review and grade from her? She weighed in officially in EW’s Fall TV Preview issue, so check out our official review of Dads below: READ FULL STORY
Dads raising kids — what a concept. We shall put them on TV, stat! said the network exec who uncovered this rare species. I will not be surprised if a significant chunk of the massive Duck Dynasty viewing audience sticks around for an extra half hour of feel-good scripted reality fare each week with Modern Dads. The series follows four stay-at-home fathers in Austin, Texas who like their offspring but love checking their fantasy leagues on their phones instead of watching their kids at the park. Sure, it’s a cliché, but I know zero people who cannot either relate to this scenario directly or get an eye-rolly chuckle out of it. It’s not rocket science. It’s just a princess party. A lot of people are into those too!
Highlights of the Modern Dads premiere included a 6-year-old named Joopsy, the promise of “baby wrestling” later in the season, and men who are genuinely comfortable taking a backseat in stereotypical “machoism” to their very attractive, mucho-money-making wives. On the downside, there’s the general awfulness of swingin’ bachelor Stone and a bizarrely shoehorned-in plot in which he’s peer-pressured into having a vasectomy, then decides against it after meeting a woman (who was clearly an actress) at the supermarket counter. The show’s not as hokey as NBC’s failed Guys With Kids, but it does feel almost like a badly scripted documentary of Guys With Kids in production.
Let’s meet the dads! READ FULL STORY
Seth MacFarlane makes cartoons about dumb guys. That’s his job, and he’s done it so well with clueless buffoons like Peter Griffin that Family Guy has become one of the top-rated shows on Fox. So why is his latest pilot, Dads, which he created alongside fellow Family Guy producers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, inspiring so much outrage over its “racist” humor that one watchdog group is calling for Fox to reshoot the pilot?
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