After quite a bumpy start, “Dads” Season 1 bowed out on Tuesday (Feb. 11) with a double-header that ended with a surprising amount of heart for a show that was once criticized for its racist and sexist jokes.
The first episode was pure sitcom material. After Crawford (Martin Mull) drunkenly peed the couch in the middle of the night, Camilla (Vanessa Lachey) makes him give up drinking, and promises that she and Warner (Giovanni Ribisi) will join him in solidarity. All three of them struggle like they’re alcoholics (meaning they probably are). Warner and Crawford take up a new hobby of playing guitar and writing songs together, like “Raised By a Drunken Dad,” to distract themselves, but when they play a song called “Bottoms Up” at an AA meeting, they incite a riot. Oops?
Meanwhile, Edna (Tonita Castro) claims David (Peter Riegert) is stealing her change from her change jar. Which he was, but only to play a claw game in a bar to get Eli’s (Seth Green) favorite toy from his childhood to make up for making fun of him earlier. Sweet, but probably would have been sweeter if he hadn’t stolen money from Edna to do it.
It was in the second episode that “Dads” brought out the proverbial emotional guns. When Warner’s dad finally moves out and into a retirement center, it gives Eli hope that his dad might follow suit. But when David has a heart attack (and gets treated by the worst doctor ever who calls Eli a “tiny dad killer” — seriously, terrible bedside manner), it makes Eli realize that despite everything, he loves his dad and doesn’t want him to die — and makes Warner miss his dad even more.
Thankfully, David pulls through and wakes up with a new outlook on life that he shares with Eli after Veronica (Brenda Song) announces that she’s engaged. Eli is obviously upset about it — even though her fiancé is a pretty cool guy — but can’t bring himself to tell Veronica how he really feels. So after making a list of all his regrets and people he let down in his life, David tells Eli that life is short and Eli should tell Veronica the truth.
In a true rom-com move, Warner and Eli run through the pouring rain to tell their respective people how they feel. Crawford goes back home with Warner but Eli stops short of confessing his feelings to Veronica after he watches Veronica and Colt happily kiss through a window. He walks home alone, dejected, and miserable in the rain.
Certainly not the ending we expected from “Dads.” What did you think of the season finale?