'Dads': Bad show, decent ratings
September 18th, 2013
01:55 PM ET

'Dads': Bad show, decent ratings

All of that bad publicity didn't exactly hurt Fox's new comedy "Dads."

The heavily criticized freshman series debuted on Tuesday night to 5.6 million viewers, while Andy Samberg's highly praised new show, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," performed slightly better with 6 million watching.

But when it comes to critical response to the two comedies, the difference is night and day.

Whereas Samberg's half-hour sitcom about a slacker police officer at a Brooklyn precinct and his tough-as-nails boss (played by Andre Braugher) is "easily the fall’s strongest comedy pilot," "'Dads' is the new season at its worst," says Time magazine's James Poniewozik.

And everyone (by now famously) seems to agree. Although it's created by "Family Guy" veterans Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild and stars a dream team of Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green as two 30-something video game entrepreneurs with Martin Mull and Peter Riegert as their meddlesome dads, none of that adds up to a funny half-hour, critics say.

"The first sin committed by Fox’s new sitcom Dads is that it’s a comedy that isn’t funny. The second sin is that it’s flat-out terrible," says Entertainment Weekly's review. "If the show were even a little bit funny, then this could play like farce. But because almost everything these four (lead characters) say is totally dumb, it plays like tragedy."

The only reason to even watch it (if you can even call this a reason) is to be "titillated with the idea that you're watching something naughty that offends other people," says says NPR's Linda Holmes. "The seductive pitch here is that other people are stodgy and lame, but that you, however, are so cool ... Honestly, if you don't think of it as controversial, 'Dads' is just recycled from a gazillion other shows about how funny it is when old people walk around naked, use the bathroom, or otherwise act embarrassing."

E! News couldn't hide the fact that "'Dads' is still the worst new comedy of the fall," but on the bright side, "it also has the greatest potential for improvement. If you can make it past the blaringly offensive material in the first episode. ... 'Dads' has nowhere to go but up."

So what did you think? Was "Dads" as horrible as you were expecting?

Filed under: television

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Jess

    I had incredibly low expectations for this show, and it just about met them. It was funny in parts, but definitely has room to improve. Pilot episodes usually try to cram too much into it to really develop any kind of anything. I'll give it a few episodes before I make up my mind on it. Hopefully it gets better!

    September 23, 2013 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Feeniegal

    It wasn't too bad. Kinda predictable gags tho

    September 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Petunia Higgleseebum

    Such vulgar humor is certainly not intended to be viewed by a respectable lady such as myself, and I certainly do not wish to take part in the viewing process of such programs. I therefore would like to clearly state – as a God fearing woman – that this television program is unsuitable for decent men of God.

    Yours sincerely,

    Petunia Higgleseebum

    September 20, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. PNG

    The same jokes if they would appear on Family Guy would not get any attention, but coming from a person joke is offensive. I think seth macfarlane needs to stick to cartoons.

    September 20, 2013 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. dmarie217

    Finally got to watching it today...and im not impressed or disappointed...there is room to grow and the talent is there, I wish the writing would flow better and not be so obvious when they set up random jokes....the Rocky Dennis portrait was beyond classic!

    September 20, 2013 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. The Show

    We never listen too critics–we walk right over it.

    September 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Terry

    I thought the show was awesome funny and real!!! who are these critics that didn't like it????

    September 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nice Actors

      In New York we step right over a critic and keep walking.

      September 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. The Queen Rules

    These guys are too cute.

    September 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Teach

    It was a laugh riot. Easily my favorite new show.

    September 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rp

    II found it to be quite funny. People need to get over this politically correct crap. Its comedy, its satire, if u take offense dont watch.

    September 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tim

    "The seductive pitch here is that other people are stodgy and lame, but that you, however, are so cool ... Honestly, if you don't think of it as controversial, 'Dads' is just recycled from a gazillion other shows about how funny it is when old people walk around naked, use the bathroom, or otherwise act embarrassing."

    Says the stodgy and lame NPR talking head.

    September 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ProperVillain

    "Family Guy" and Seth McFarlane= Most over rated and unoriginal things of all time. Family Guy is nothing but a bunch of recycled jokes and random pop culture reference strung together. The fact that America seems to mistake vulgar and insipid for clever says more about the culture than it does about some idiot hack who couldn't write his way out of a paper bag...

    September 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. darthatect

    The premise was fine, the joke were fine...the presentation and acting was terrible. I turned it off half way through. It looked like it was done on the cheap...cheap sets...as if they didn't expect to hang around long enough. If it was done with the panache of Big Bang, even with the very un-PC jokes, it would work. I was terribly disappointed. The movie 'Ted', was hysterical.

    September 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Grumpygundy

    Dad's was a excellent show I loved every minute of it. I wish it was an hour long. The Brooklyn nine nine was one of the worst pieces of %#^$ Ive seen in years. Where do these critics come from some other planet or something Dad's was so much better then BNN which I wont waste my time watching again. Dads is going to be a regularly watched show for me.

    September 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Max Chacall

    I liked the Asian girl as Sailor Moon.

    September 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Meh

    Let these idiots who tally up the ratings know how you feel...DONT WATCH TV. When nothing has ratings, there wont be any funding to produce more junk. GO FOR A WALK. TAKE A CLASS. SOMETHING, ANYTHING...just bring back Firefly at least

    September 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  17. ali

    I thought it was hilarious.
    Laughed the whole 30 minutes. Maybe all the critics come from perfect families, and just don't get the jokes.
    What else would you expect from the Family Guy writers?

    It's great, I'll keep watching it. It's programmed in the DVR.

    September 19, 2013 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  18. Mike

    Like most of the new shows, it had it's moments. Or, should I say, moment, and that was in the previews, when Giovani was in the 'fridge, that was funny

    September 19, 2013 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  19. M.A.P.

    Lamest show EVER! Seriously Seth Green is NOT funny and hasn't been for a long time. If MAcFarlane is behind the writing then that explains the lack of originality. I like American Dad though, mainly because of Roger and Francine. South Park has mastered being offensive and funny and educational all tat the same time. This was a failed attempt at that South Park humor – which I love.

    September 19, 2013 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  20. Poolchick

    It was ok. There were a few funny parts that made me chuckle. I think that the ppl offended, need to relax. It's all done in humour and some ppl are so hung up on playing the race card and taking offense. There are jokes about every race and that's what they are......a joke. Life is too short to be complaining about a sitcom when there are more things to worry and debate about.

    September 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kane

      Its racist to only certain types of ppl and culture. It whould be different if it made fun of all ppl equally. Its not even eop, its all white and Asian girls running around add a Spanish maid.

      September 21, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  21. lioneld3k

    This is the problem with the politicizing of everything. This show isn't bad because of any racist or offensive jokes – nothing worse than on most shows – it's bad because it's simply not funny. If people really are watching it only to prove a point that "those evil liberals can't tell us what to watch," enjoy yourselves. I can think of more productive ways to spend my time.

    September 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  22. metalhead65

    I only watched because it was so offensive and got the pc police in a uproar and I will continue to and so will everyone I know who refused to told what to do by liberals. there is this thing called the remote and if you are offended by something use and do not watch it.

    September 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • It's True

      Liberals hate choice unless they are using the term to describe the murder of a baby...

      September 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      @It's true – and do you consider a sperm to be a baby too? Then you should NEVER mast-urbate because you would be "murdering" hundreds of thousands of babies.

      September 19, 2013 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      Can you conservative morons give it a rest with your stupid political comments? This is about a tv show.

      September 19, 2013 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • The Reverend Shal Arpton

      M.A.P. is a F.A.G

      September 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Snorlax

    The rating were only good because people tuned in for the car crash value. To see what all the fuss was about. Now that everyone knows how stupid it is, it will be gone by Halloween.

    September 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Kim

    I liked it, and thought it was funny. I dont know why everyone is so affended. How could you expect more the creater and writers of Family Guy?

    September 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |

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