Critics piled on as Fox introduced its comedy “Dads,' joining the schedule Sept. 17, even as Fox President Kevin Reilly asked for patience in evaluating the show. (He went so far as to read negative initial reviews of “The Big Bang Theory,' noting it took that show a year to solidify.)
“Dads' has a different problem. Besides being a generation gap comedy that's not particularly funny, it uses casual racism as a reference point. It has a real mean streak. The comedy from Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy') stars Seth Green (“Family Guy') and Giovanni Ribisi (“My Name is Earl,' “Ted,' “Avatar') as buddies and successful gaming entrepreneurs, whose fathers, played by Martin Mull and Peter Riegert, move in and cramp their styles.
Mull said if something's funny, he won't let political correctness stand in the way. (The pilot specifically knocks Asian women ie. “Orientals' and Latinas.)
“The pilot doesn't tell the full story. I feel like it's coming alive,' said Wellesley Wild, creator and exec producer.
“Now that we've got this great cast we're writing with voices in mind,' said exec producer Mike Scully. “You will see changes. This happened with “The Simpsons,' too. A lot of it is context.' He suggested the humor is like Krusty dusting off his old comedy act, which is funny to him but incredibly offensive now.'
“We've become a really careful culture,' said Seth Green.
Mull explains, “You need somebody to be a jerk in order to see the other side of the situation.' The trouble is, Archie Bunker was always made to appear the buffoon. In 2013, shouldn't these characters know better? Some of these jokes would be pushing the line in animation — and cross the line in a live action comedy.