In a tale of too little too late, Dads has become significantly funnier as it inches closer to its hiatus. (Even its viewership has slowly but surely grown.) Other than becoming more entertaining, Dads has shown glimmers of the creativity that make Family Guy so fun to watch. It’s unfortunate the show spent so much time garnering attention for being controversial rather than focusing on what would make their show funny and unique.
In the episode, “Baby Face,” the dads shack up in a hotel room together. The hotel staff mistakes them for a gay couple, and at first Crawford and David seek to remedy that misunderstanding. But as a gay couple, the gay hotel staff tosses them tons of freebies and added perks. Being two cheapos, Crawford and David decide to play up their romance. In the sons’ world, Camilla goes out of town, and Warner wants to enjoy man-time time with his buddy, Eli. Eli convinces Warner to join Facebook and see what has happened to his ex-girlfriends. The plan backfires, as one of Warner’s crazy ex-girlfriends starts stalking him and wants to bear his children through artificial insemination.
The show has recently experimented stylistically in ways not normally seen in multi-camera sitcoms. Family Guy does much of the same, which is what elevates it from cartoon sitcom to ground-breaking comedy. For example, when Warner remembers something Edna said to him the night before, Edna’s head is superimposed in the upper corner of the screen. In another episode, when Camilla catches Warner lying to her, they show his past actions in an Unsolved Mysteries-style montage, resulting in an over-dramatization of his petty actions that was very funny and fresh. Even the introductory credits to the show are very touching and artistic. When you compare the intro to the rest of the show’s content, it’s a big drop off in quality.
Fox’s motto is “so bold, so brash, so Fox,” and this MO definitely fits with their approach on Dads . The series wasted its time stirring the pot by being off-color to get attention. You can see in their initial promos that their stance was “the more shocking we seem, the more viewers we’ll get.” That may have worked for the first few episodes, but shock value has a very quick burn rate. The Miley Cyrus attitude of “it’s our show, we can do what we want to/it’s our show we can say what we want to,” was a middle finger to critics in the premier episode, but turned into one directed at the viewers as the series progressed. It’s a shame they didn’t drop the circus act sooner.
Some memorable lines from “Baby Face”:
—Crawford, referring to the free gift of caviar: “This gay lifestyle really melts in your mouth.”
—Warner: “I had a question: does everyone have to post pictures of everything they eat?”
—Crawford, about his massage: “Forget about shiatsu—I’ll take he-atsu everyday.”