On this week’s Dads, there was a mix of love and laughter, soured by the taste of offensive jokes. If they’d just stop trying to beat the laughter out of you and drop the obnoxious humor, it might be fun actually watching this series.
“Eli Nightingale” follows a budding love story between Eli and Veronica. Veronica gets sick at work, and as Warner is a germaphobe, he insists she leaves before contaminating them all. Warner is so grossed out by germs that merely the mention of the word “vomit” makes him dry heave. (Watching him freak out is quite funny.) Eli decides to take advantage of the situation. Hoping he will gain points towards sleeping with Veronica, Eli offers to care for her while she’s sick. He lets Veronica crash at his place for the day so she doesn’t have to go all the way back home. (Eli lives in the penthouse of the building where he works.)
As his plan unfolds, it turns on him, and he sees a whole new side of Veronica. She isn’t perfectly dressed, she has splotchy skin, and she vomits a whole bunch. At first, Eli is grossed out, but then he actually gets past his disgust and begins to enjoy taking care of her, so much so that when Veronica feels better, Eli is upset and doesn’t want her to go. He tells her he will miss taking care of her. She is touched by this never-before-seen side of Eli. To thank him for his kindness, she asks him out to a restaurant on a date. He is beyond excited. The problem is, now he’s feeling sick. He sucks it up and goes on the date anyway, trying not to show it. Veronica mistakes his silence for humility, and says she actually could date a nice guy like him. Just when they’re about to reach over the dinner table to kiss, Eli vomits on the table. (Ew.) Warner shows up to the restaurant, and Eli vomits on him. (Double ew.) This causes Warner to be so disgusted he vomits back on him. They continue to vomit on each other, in what is an overdrawn, ridiculous and hilarious scene. (They didn’t put too much effort into making the vomit look realistic, which dulled the grossness for me and allowed me to see just the humor.)
Veronica now is the one to care for Eli. She takes him home, where she tries to kiss him, but Eli inadvertently outs himself, revealing his plan to take care of her so she’d sleep with him. Annoyed, she tells him off, and their romance reverts back to a formal work relationship. Eli, who has finally let himself be vulnerable, is upset.
With half a season behind them, I’ve decided that Dads would probably be much better off as a singular “Dad.” While Crawford is roaringly funny, sweet, and somehow adorable despite and because of his major flaws, David is annoying, gross, and worst of all, boring. If it weren’t for the acting talents of Peter Riegert, the character would sink what good qualities the show has. His jokes are more likely to evoke disgust than laughter. I realize there are people in the world (and probably in my not too distant family) who are like David. However, those are the people I generally hate getting stuck with at family get-togethers, so my idea of a fun Tuesday night watching TV on the couch does not include the Davids of the world. This show has stepped it up in so many aspects. Hopefully they can channel Cher from Clueless and give David a much-needed internal makeover.
Below are this week’s hits and misses. (As usual, David is responsible for most of the misses.)
—Warner, the jealous germaphobe, dropping his wife off for a massage: “Don’t go to a man, okay? And make sure they wash their hands.”
—Warner to Eli describing his UV light, “These things are amazing. It even lights up semen.” Queue Crawford entering and holding up his hand, which under the UV lights look splotchy.
—Veronica: “Stop staring at my breasts.”
Eli: “I am staring at your heart.”
—David to Eli: “What? a beautiful woman comes over, gives you her body, and it doesn’t even cross your mind to drive her home? (pause) I’ve taught you well.”
—David, when Eli comes home with Veronica: “Oh, you didn’t tell me you were bringing home Chinese.”