Before Gossip Girl‘s second season premiered, the CW ran an ad campaign quoting criticism from the New York Post, the Boston Herald, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. The ads said things like “EVERY PARENT’S NIGHTMARE” over a sexy picture of Blake Lively, and “MIND-BLOWINGLY INAPPROPRIATE” over a sexy picture of other sexy teenagers. It was a great ad campaign because teens hate parents telling them what to do, and teens love being/watching other teens (fake teens) be “sexy” and inappropriate. That’s just teens being teens! Ahead of the premiere of Dads, FOX attempted the same sort of campaign– pitting negative quotes from critics — “…offensive” “…reprehensible” “…morally wrong” — against reactions from “real” viewers. (One responds,”Reprehensible? This is FOX, baby!”) (Haha, what?) Why this ad campaign — and Dads as a series – ah-doesn’t work so well is because, like Gossip Girl, it is what the critics say it is. Except the critics aren’t saying that it is “2 Sexy 4 Teens OMFG ur parents will b so mad,” they are saying it is racist, misogynist, offensive, lazy, not funny, and MIND-BLOWINGLY DATED! (And, following the thread further, this means they are advertising to those who think what the critics are panning is actually something they would be interested in.) (BUT ENOUGH ABOUT THE AD.) Although I do think it was much tamer (read: less racist) than the original pilot planned to be, Dads was still super full of awful garbage! What is more offensive than the straight-forward garbage (Seth Green telling his girlfriend-whom-he-won’t-allow-to-call-him-”boyfriend,” “Well, whatever you are, you’re terrible at it!”; Brenda Song dressed up in a Sailor Moon outfit; talk of tiny penises; Indian food breath; Seth’s Asian schoolgirl giggle; Latin maid; ETC.) is the sly garbage, the racist Shit Their Dads Say laughed at by the audience and faux-chided by the younger, presumably less racist (but still racist!) characters. As if getting away with truly offensive, early ’90s unfunny, material (for whatever reason you would want to) is as easy as throwing in an exaggerated eye-roll. BOOOO. Dislike, wish there were a dislike button. Did you watch it? I’m sorry if you did! Let’s never do it again!

Comments (78)
  1. I saw the ad and I thought hmmmm this looks 2 crappy 4 m3 to 3ven b0ther with. Thanks for taking one for the team and confirming my instincts Kelly!!!

  2. Nah, I watched the first 30 minutes of Iron Man 2, then went back to Brooklyn Nine Nine, which I had kind of the opposite issue with. It wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be, but it’s alright enough that I’ll stick with it for a few more weeks. It was co-created by Michael Schur, and P&R started the same way too.

    • I had a similar experience! Although I watched my boyfriend play videogames while going through my RSS feeds but same diff. And I agree about Brooklyn 99. One thing it suffered from was a lot of clunky exposition, I thought, so hopefully it will be better pretty soon.

    • I thought BK99 was great. Very strong for a comedy pilot, which are notoriously difficult to pull off. It actually reminded me a lot of Archer, only slightly more “real.” In that even though it’s about a high-stress, high-stakes thing (spies/murder police) it’s really about the ensemble office comedy, and everyone involved seems great and funny.

      • For me, I was mostly on board, but then was totally sold with “Sorry to disturb you, sir. I’m Detective Alwaysright, and this is my partner, Detective Terribledetective”

        • “The bad news is, yes he got away. But the good news is…I got you hazelnut!”

          • For the record, jamon iberico does not cost $6000 per leg. It is extremely expensive, but even at a fancy snobby food store the highest grade sells for $150 a pound, meaning a whole leg will sell for max $2500. Still stupid money, but c’mon, 99. Get yo facts straight.

        • I was on board the second I saw Joe Lo Truglio’s dumb face on my screen.

    • I was concerned because I thought all the promos looked kind of bad, but I will give anything Mose Schrute/Ken Tremendous does a shot and really liked it.

      Andre Braugher is the best.

  3. Dude seriously?

    (BTW I’m fine with this comment being deleted if it means the one above is, as well. Go nuts, Kelly).

  4. I did not! Because I watched Sleepy Hollow on Hulu and it was great! I was giggling with delight at how silly it was, but in the best possible way. I am excited for the Ichabod/Abby relationship (not a romantic one, I hope. just buddy cop). I have no idea how this show will sustain itself, but here’s to a million seasons of this silliness.

    When the horseman steals all the guns and is shooting everyone, I was just laughing so much. It was very old west and felt like a comic book.

    • Everyone should be watching Sleepy Hollow. Everyone!

    • Yay Sleepy Hollow! Except I totally want Abby and Ichabod to smooch it up.

    • Best show of the season. I’m going to watch it again today. I was explaining to my friend how fucking weird it was and he was like “a headless horseman with machine guns and a hot good witch in a transdimensional plane that may have to do with the apocalypse? That’s awesome.” And then I explained how that wasn’t the real actual weirdest shit. Plus it’s legit funny.

      • “when were women allowed to wear trousers?” old joke, still very funny.

        • All the fish out of water jokes made me actually laugh. Loved the exchange about slavery. They figured out how to write jokes about how fucked up slavery was and still made it funny. How HE got offended was a really good flip. The Starbucks ones were very good too. And the cops talking to the headless horseman holding a machine gun. This show is weirder than True Blood and just as handsome!!

          • “Can he hear us? I mean…” I LOL’ed.

          • Totally. There is some very good writing going on with this. And the sign decapitation is a perfect sight gag.

            And can we talk about how handsome that guy is? And also Orlando Jones? And also John Cho? They are all VERY handsome!

          • Oh yes! I watched the show on the back of an airplane seat (United’s new plane! You get your own TV! ) and even with the sound off, I could follow the plot of drool over Ichabod. Now I’m sorry I didn’t put on the earphones and hear the jokes. But this way I could admire his handsomeness undisturbed. He not only does a terror face well, his eyes can cast an adorable little forlorn shade…Uhm, excuse me. I need to stopnow.

  5. This journalist did not see Dads last night, but by the tone of this post I would say that some think it is not very good.

  6. I read a book about the architecture of old-timey insane asylums and then I watched New Girl, so, no, I did not watch this show. Should I save my comments about New Girl for later? Are we going to talk about it separately?

  7. I watched the Wayward Pups back2back3back. I’m going to watch it again.

  8. Instead of watching this show I called my mom and talked to her about Breaking Bad before watching Brooklyn Nine Nine, New Girl, and The Mindy Project (which I stopped watching partway through the first season but I think I will start watching it again because it was pretty funny!) while drinking a bunch of wine.

  9. I did not watch because I had no interest in it anyway and also because someone was using the Big TV to play GTA V and I was playing candy crush on my phone.

  10. While you were busy watching scripted things, this was happening.

    Sports are great.

  11. “Villar! I said crack of the bat“.

  12. I hate anything that relies on really offensive jokes and tries to get out of any flack by having another character seem offended; especially because when you point out that it’s still garbage they always point to how groundbreaking Archie Bunker was, which a) if Archie being racist is all You got out of All in the Family you need to watch that shit again, and also The Jeffersons and Maude you idiot and b) it aired when we were still in Vietnam. It’s called “Progress” not “Stay-the-same-gress.”

    • Some Asian anti-defamation group dealie asked FOX to retape parts of the pilot because they were offended by all the Asian stereotypes. Either way this show looked bad enough from the commercials alone.

    • Cartman is the only character on a show smart enough for that analogy to work, but yup. I caught some Maude the other day. That show holds up damn well. I also love that a ton of Golden Girls jokes were cut by censors from Maude but were allowed to be said by older women — albeit only 8 years older — and often the same women.

  13. I did not watch it. I was at geek yoga. It hurts. Probably less than watching this would have hurt, but my point stands.

  14. The shitty VO of that promo was a dog whistle of warning to me. Reminded me of the “Rob Schneider is A CARROT??” VO in that South Park when Stan hates everything.

  15. Yes, I had the unfortunate experience of watching the first 15 minutes or so of this monstrosity last night. I am trying to repress memories of all the bad lazy racist jokes about sexy Asian schoolgirls, Latina maids, Asian businessmen, etc. The saddest part is Martin Mull’s involvement — he deserves to be on a much better show.

  16. too bad gabe isn’t alive to tell us what she thought about the premiere (r.i.p.) but kelly did a great job! will not watch even though it IS fox!*


  17. Doesn’t anybody on this site watch Sons of Anarchy? That’s a show that we could all enjoy talking about as a family.

    • I watched the first season because I <3 Ron Perlman but then I forgot about it and now I feel like I have way too much catching up to do and I will likely never actually watch it. But it was good!

    • Ooh! Ooh! Me, me! I love Sons of Anarchy! (By which I mean I <3 looking at Charlie Hunnam and gasping at murders).

  18. I have always found Seth Green’s nosejob far too distracting for me to be able to watch anything he is in, even if Martin Mull is in the cast (which , in this case makes me sad that he is).

    Also, creepie Sciento-eyes Johnny R.

    This article make me happy somehow, so, thank you.

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