Seth MacFarlane's 'Dads' ends rookie season

Peter Riegert and Seth Green in Dads. (Photo courtesy Fox)

Peter Riegert and Seth Green in Dads. (Photo courtesy Fox)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:24 PM ET

Fox chairman of entertainment Kevin Reilly told TV reporters recently that, “I think Dads has come a long way.”

Interesting theory.

Bottom line for now is that Dads, the controversial sitcom executive-produced by Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane, has its rookie-season finale with back-to-back new episodes, Tuesday, Feb. 11 on Fox and City.

When I say controversial, I don't mean Dads is controversial in a cutting-edge sense. When I have seen Dads – which stars Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, Peter Riegert and Martin Mull as two sets of fathers and sons - I actually have found it to be too juvenile to be really offensive, if you know what I mean.

Nonetheless, in last week's episode alone, there were tons of jokes about stereotypical Italian mobsters with ridiculously over-the-top accents, Asians, Mexicans, strippers and short people.

“We made our bet with Dads in the time period,” Reilly continued. “If you’ve actually watched the show - and secretly I know some of you (critics) are, because I’ve heard from a few people who have quietly admitted that it’s actually kind of funny - it is funny.

“Those guys have done a really good job turning themselves into showrunners. The cast is as good as any on television. It makes me laugh. Look, it is what it is. It still takes lots of potshots. But I think they’ve smoothed out some of that choppiness that they had in the pilot. I think it’s a show. These multi-cameras are very hard to grow. I just want to see that show all the way through.”

Well, Dads has made it through an entire first season without being cancelled, which many would not have predicted.

MacFarlane's involvement with Dads surely is limited, but it is odd to compare Dads to Family Guy. Say what you want about Family Guy, and I know some people love it and some people hate it, but it is unquestionably sharp and tight. Always has been. Dads, well, just the rhythm of the humour makes it hard to believe it comes from the same creative mind.

Of course, MacFarlane also is involved in the upcoming Cosmos project on Fox, which is a new take on the classic science series. When MacFarlane was asked at the Television Critics Association tour if he tries to balance more highbrow projects such as Cosmos with, um, shows such as Dads, he cracked up the room by replying, “I would submit that the question is flawed.

“We have differing opinions about certain things,” MacFarlane continued. “But no, I get myself involved with shows and people that I’m enthusiastic about and who I trust. (Alec) Sulkin and (Wellesley) Wild (Dads co-creators), who I wrote (the movie) Ted with, are two of the funniest comedy writers I’ve ever worked with, so it made sense to do a (TV) show with them. For me, it was a great move.

“So no, it’s not a matter of balance in my mind, because I don’t see it that way. The projects that I choose to be involved with are projects that I’m enthusiastic about and I’m enthusiastic about the people.”

Enthusiasm for Dads is in the eye of the beholder. Kevin Reilly says it has come a long way. Depends on where you started out, and where you ultimately want to end up, I suppose.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


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