Dads Review: "Heckuva Job, Brownie" (Episode 1.02)
Between more banter about Eli feeling unloved by his paternal figure and awkward moments where Warner isn’t able to draw the line with his father, second Dads episode has the very unoriginal premise of “let’s get our dads high to make them less annoying people.”
It all begins with the sons at work, Warner wearing a hipster-ish tie and Eli in his American Apparel hoodie (it seems like he has one of every color). Warner reminds Eli that he needs to get high to think of another amazing video game idea fast, otherwise their business is screwed. Eli is over smoking pot, and wants to think of an idea sober, but Warner and the Ghost Child Games assistant, Veronica, are doubtful, and send Eli home with a pot brownie.
Eli goes home. One odd thing here: his Latina housekeeper, Edna, seems to always be hanging around. She chats pretty casually with Eli’s dad, David, but even though she may likely be a full-time maid, she and Eli never really exchange dialogue.
At home, Eli’s dad accidentally eats the brownies. Turns out when David is high he’s a lot less judgmental (doesn’t have a problem with Obama or gays). He is so happy, he tells Eli he loves him, and gives him his typical kiss on the lips. But when Eli asks him whether or not he loved Eli’s mom, David answers flatly, “no.”
In the meantime, chez Warner Warner is up late in bed freaking out about his life going under because Eli isn’t going to get high and come up with a new video game idea. To calm him down, his wife begins to “cheer him up” under the sheets, only to be interrupted by Dad.
When Crawford asks his son and daughter-in-law whether or not they were having sex, they awkwardly answer, “no,” and Dad delivers a rare funny line: “The competition’s not having sex, so you’re just screwing yourself.”
Inspired by Eli’s dad being more vulnerable through weed, Warner decides that maybe drugging his own father will lead to an uninterrupted night of lovemaking with his wife. So he leaves a hash brownie for his own dad out on the kitchen table (luckily one of his kids who is never onscreen didn’t eat it). Warner’s wife, Camilla, apparently watches a lot of porn, which, when Warner sees her grabbing her laptop and dismissing herself to another room, leads to Warner saying in a hopelessly romantic voice, “No, let me be your laptop tonight.”
When the sons finally admit to the dads that they were getting high, the dads say they knew all along, noting they were around in the ’60s. The dads challenge the sons to a pot-off. Everyone is in, except for Warner, who finally buckles under the peer pressure from his dad and grabs a pot brownie, noting that he is indeed cool, and quips, “Do you have a glass of milk.”
The high dads are less funny high than not high, because as is commonly said, one must be drunk to enjoy another drunk person’s jokes, and similarly one has to be high to enjoy another high person’s jokes.
Eli and his father enjoy a bonding moment, bragging that they’re better at getting high than Warner and his dad, who are tweaking out. When asked for the umpteenth time whether he loved Eli’s mom, Eli’s dad answers, “I never really loved anyone, until the day you were born.” Though this saccharine answer is supposed to be sweet ‘awww’ moment, the response makes David sound more like someone with borderline personality disorder instead.
Getting high doesn’t work, Eli can’t think of a new idea, so finally, back at work, Veronica threatens Eli, frightening him into a new, cool, idea then walks off saying, “fear, the new pot.”
While an improvement from last week (some jokes actually landed and there wasn’t as much unfunny racism), the show’s back and forth scenes are predictable and repetitive: Have issues with dads at home, come to work and make jokes about dads, go back home to dads for more issues.
The series tries to be emotional and heartwarming, but it jumps over many opportunities. Warner has kids which are never shown, which is a pity because they could add some humor and depth through Warner unravelling with his dad by dealing with his own children. Eli has a housekeeper that is a constant fixture in his house and could have a weird but funny mother-son relationship with, but they rarely exchange a line of dialogue.
Thus, the show of all white dudes and few women had somewhat better jokes, a smidgen of character depth, and hopefully some improvement for next week.