Photo Credit: Fox
If Vegas placed odds on the first new show of the fall TV season to get cancelled, the safe bet would be to put your money on Dads. That may seem prematurely mean -- the sitcom makes its debut tonight at 8 ET on Fox -- but insulting the audience's intellect is also pretty rude.
On paper, Dads should be a no-brainer hit. It's produced by Seth MacFarlane, who knows a thing or two about creating TV series that appeal to the masses (or at least the world's masses of 15 year-old boys ... and everyone who acts like 15 year-old boys). MacFarlane's specialty is bumbling patriarchs; check his animated comedies Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show.
Even the premise of the live-action Dads could very well be a storyline stolen from one of his other series: Two successful, 30-something best friends reluctantly invite their down-on-their-luck fathers to live in their homes. Seth Green stars as the perpetually stoned Eli, and Giovanni Ribisi is the uptight Warner, who together founded a video game company. That's meant to be a signpost that these guys are edgy and cool, but forcing your Asian-American assistant (Brenda Song) to dress up like a "sexy Asian schoolgirl" to win over potential investors is so exceedingly distasteful (and sexist, and ignorant), it's impossible to like these guys. At all.
If only the misguided attempts to shock ended there. Throw in a few poorly executed laughs at the expense of "old people," and you have yourself the most critically loathed new show on television. Check out a clip here:
MacFarlane would be better off sticking to dads who are literally two-dimensional.
If you're still in a betting mood, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET, Fox), from Parks and Recreation’s Dan Goor and Michael Schur, is in contention to be the first new series picked up for a full run. Check out a clip here:
It stars Saturday Night Live’s viral-video prodigy Andy Samberg in his first lead TV role, playing a hot-shot cop who inevitably butts heads with the squad's grizzled new boss, played by Andre Braugher. It's a relationship we've seen a million times before, but Braugher brings levity to his trademark gravitas, and Samberg displays surprising depth in a character that could too easily come off as smug. And while it will be exciting to see how the leads play off of each other throughout the series, the most fun may be watching the backstories of the secondary characters unfold, particularly Terry Crews as a tough guy cop who is suddenly skittish now that he is the father of twin girls, Cagney and Lacey.
Bet that made you laugh more than a played out racial-sexual stereotype.