negative hype, the Seth MacFarlane-produced live action sitcom “Dads”
— starringGiovanni Ribisi, Seth Green and Vanessa Lachey
— premiered last night on Fox to a solid 5.6 million viewers.
But the half-hour comedy was just as racist and inappropriate as the trailer.
But Fox president Kevin Reilly knew the backlash was coming and warned media at the Television Critics Association press tour in August not to judge the show based only on the first episode.
“The thing about ‘Dads’ that I really ask you to put in context. That’s a pilot,” Reilly pleaded. “You know the lineage of these writers. They come out of ‘Family Guy.’ They are the best writers. These guys are going to try to test a lot of boundaries. They are going to try to be equal-opportunity offenders.”
And offend they did.
Critics had a field day describing just how terrible and offensive the “Dads” pilot came across. In fact, we couldn’t find a kind review in the bunch.
Read a round up of the most scathing reviews below:
The Wall Street Journal, Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Dads’ Is Bad — But Could It Have Been Worse?
“What makes ‘Dads’ so deeply and fundamentally racist is that it is MacFarlane’s entitlement fantasy, in which the only castmembers of colour are women who exist to serve and service the spoiled little boys’ club at the show’s core.”
Mother Jones, “Is ‘Dads’ the Year’s Most Racist Sitcom?”
“If you’d like my personal opinion of ‘Dads,’ I’d say that the real problem does not lie with any ethnic or racial stereotypes, but with the fact that it is unoriginal and often a painfully unfunny, lazy waste of production space.”
AP/HuffPost, “How Bad Is ‘Dads’? Is Seth MacFarlane’s Fox Comedy The Worst Of The Season?”
“The truth is, viewers who celebrate MacFarlane as well as those who revile him should be equally dismayed by ‘Dads.’ It’s just a mediocre multi-camera sitcom, complete with formula humour and unearned laughtrack. It’s not even the worst newcomer on the fall schedule (that teeth-grinding honour would probably go to CBS’ “The Crazy Ones”). Did MacFarlane really have a role in ‘Dads’? His hand in the squalid process is barely noticeable.”
The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s Not Just Fox’s ‘Dads’ – Can Any Show Bank on Patience in This TV Landscape?”
“In the case of ‘Dads,’ the pilot is terrible … Not only is the show not funny, it has heavily racist overtones for Asians … There’s a stink to it. It’s multi-camera on a network that doesn’t really do multi-cams. The laugh track is annoying.”
USA Today, “‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ vs. ‘Dads’: Go with the cops”
“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.”
E! Online, “Seth MacFarlane’s New Fox Show Dads Is Awkward and Offensive — So Why Are We Laughing?”
“A funny thing happened on the way to writing this review eviscerating Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Dads’ as the worst new comedy of the fall. Fox sent a screener of the second episode of ‘Dads’ and the unthinkable happened: I laughed. Out loud. Twice. I then had to shower, burn some demon-evicting sage and take a long, hard look at myself in the mirror to make sure I had not been possessed because there really is no way to dispute it: ‘Dads’ is still the worst new comedy of the fall…
The show makes every attempt to shatter political correctness at every turn. But instead of feeling provocative (like maybe ‘Girls’ or ‘Louie’) this network-TV version has taken MacFarlane’s deeply edgy humour and combined it with a laugh track (say whaa?), making it feel like an awkward 90’s sitcom.
New York Times, “Comparing ‘Mum,’ on CBS, and ‘Dads,’ on Fox”
“Material that is meant to be anarchic mostly comes across as obvious and boorish.”
The Wrap, “‘Dads’ Review: Hitler, Jew Jokes and Asian Schoolgirls, but No Laughs.”
“You’ve probably read by now about how offensive ‘Dads’ is. That’s giving the show too much credit. To offend, you have to be taken seriously, and there’s nothing in ‘Dads’ worth worrying about. The dads say racist, sexist, anti-Semitic things, but they’re so pathetic and helpless that it’s impossible to care .. That leaves us with nothing to laugh at in ‘Dads.'”
Entertainment Weekly, “So, just how racist is Fox’s ‘Dads’?”
“You could argue that ‘Dads’ is also a cartoon about dumb guys — but the difference is that we’re asked to laugh along with them, not at them … The show ends up reinforcing the same stereotypes that make these misguided old guys look stupid.”
A.V. Club, “Dads: TV review”
“What becomes rapidly clear is that ‘Dads’ may be racist and sexist, but it’s not racist and sexist by design. Instead, bad execution makes it so … A dog of a show.”
LA Times, “Is Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Dads’ worst-reviewed show of fall TV season?”
“Give Seth MacFarlane credit for uniting America’s cranky TV critics. They all seem to hate his new sitcom ‘Dads.'”
Here’s the trailer for “Dads,” which features much of the controversial material seen in the pilot. Judge for yourself:
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