Welcome to another installment of “5 Questions and 500 Words,” The Boob Tube Dude’s approach this year to reviewing the sundry pilots that will be unspooling over the course of the next few weeks. Given the glut of shows, and the glut of reviews that will be published for these shows, I’m keeping things short and sweet. This is for your convenience and my sanity.
“Dads,” premieres September 17 at 8:00 pm ET on FOX
Can this really be as bad as I’ve heard?
It’s…pretty terrible. Of the two episodes screened for critics, I may have smiled twice, and laughed a grand total of zero times. Since this is ostensibly a comedy, that seems like a huge problem.
Is that because it’s offensive?
Nope. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being offensive, so long as the offensive material is presented in a context that justifies the offensive elements. “South Park” is offensive. “Arrested Development” is offensive. “The Jeselnick Offensive” is, unsurprisingly, offensive. But that doesn’t make any of these entities bad, since all three have something to say with the offensive material they present. “Dads” isn’t bad because it features crude ethnic, sexual, and ageist humor. “Dads” is bad because it’s intellectually lazy, which means all the offensive elements exist on a surface level with nothing to support their inclusion.
But there has to be something good about this show, right?
Well, like most “comedies,” it’s only 30 minutes in length. So if you watch via DVR, you only have to spend 22 minutes or so of your life watching it. That’s 22 minutes in which you could be doing anything better with your life, but it’s a free country.
But I thought FOX told me I should listen to the studio audiences, and not critics. Why should I trust you?
Hahaha. That’s funnier than anything in the first two episodes of “Dads.” As some critics have noted, FOX uses critics’ words when it benefits them, and dismisses them when they don’t. That’s hardly a FOX-only practice, and is all part of some strategy to make it a subversive act to watch “Dads”. I’d love to watch a subversive multi-cam comedy. This show isn’t remotely subversive, relying instead on the charms of its talented cast to carry the entire load. The jokes aren’t funny, the sets look cheap, the pacing is completely off, and the blocking is non-existent. Besides that, it’s really great.
Why is this review drastically shorter than 500 words?
Because life is too short to waste more time talking about shows like this.