Cast: Martin Mull, Peter Riegert, Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green
Why wait for the TV Guide? Let's start reviewing new TV shows now! Also, if you are here because you heard my guest round on the Podquiz Podcast 430, good on you!
Here is "Dads". Go to this link, watch the trailer and come back:
It's nice to see Ribisi not play a fringe-y character. He was great in "Friends" and "X-Files", so it will be nice to see if he can pull off being a straight guy. Same goes for Seth Green.
Here is where we run into some old tropes: "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and "South Park" employ a similar comedy axiom: if you want to say something outrageous, don't give those lines to folks that look like your target audience. MST3K had robots do the dirty work. "South Park" has the kids do most of that.
This year, it's the older folks. As evinced by "The Millers", older folks are getting to say the politically incorrect (one of these days I am going to post how I feel about the kvetching about the constrictions of political correctness) and the base. Hey, it worked for "Golden Girls", so why not?
As with the Millers, parents show back up, with all of their faults, making their children miserable. I like this cast, although Tonita Castro does seem to end up as a domestic worker more times than I'd like to see. The chemistry in this trailer is better than "The Millers", but the writing is bugging me.
Well-worn cliches: Pop-culture (heh, sorry!) references. They got it out of the way fairly early, but if you're going to make one that is twenty-six years old, either don't tell me what it comes from, or use a more famous quote, so you don't feel the NEED to tell me where it comes from. "Modern Family" used one and didn't feel the need to explain it and I thought it was hilarious. A party was being planned and two fellows come to the door that were hired to play animals. With very deadpan expressions, this was the dialogue:
1st Guy: Hey.
2nd Guy: Hey.
1st Guy: We're the monkeys.
...and then the show continued. You either get the reference and laugh, or you don't get it and, guess what? You STILL laugh, because these guys have no energy at all in their delivery. "Modern Family" didn't break an arm patting themselves on the back. "Dads" did.
Another cliche is the line gone too far. "Don't use the bathroom between three and four, that's my 'go time'", is unnecessary. Perhaps, "Don't use the bathroom between three and four. Trust me." I know what goes on in a bathroom.
And we're on to stereotype two: smart Asian AND Asian-taking-pictures.
I consider it an insult if someone asks me a question, to which I say "no", at which point the asker decides to rephrase the question hoping for a yes, on the off-chance that I didn't understand.
I see very little difference between "Dads" and "The Millers". I hope I'm wrong.