Airs: Tuesdays on FOX at 8:00 EST
Timeslot Competiton: NCIS (CBS), Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (ABC), The Biggest Loser (NBC), The Originals (CW)
Premise: Warner (Giovanni Ribisi) and Eli (Seth Green) are successful video game developers whose lives change when their dads move in with them.
Pre-show Thoughts: Full disclosure, I am not a Seth McFarlane fan so I had very little interest in watching this show. I just don’t find his brand of humor funny at all. Even knowing that, the trailer for this show is just really bad. This is probably the new show that has gotten the most attention, the large majority being very negative and just from this trailer, it kind of deserved the criticism. It does look offensive and no matter how much FOX tries to convince me that it’s part of their brand or that it’s just the critics with no sense of humor, I remain skeptical.
Post-show Thoughts: I’ll start with critiquing the show as a television show. It’s still not very good. It was not at all funny and the audience/laugh track made it’s lack of humor that much more apparent. They would laugh at things that I’m not sure were intended to be jokes and they found the attempted humor absolutely hilarious. A show can get away with that if the audience at home is also laughing along. When they aren’t, it somehow gets less funny as a result of the live audience laughing.
Now on to addressing the claims that the show is offensive. The critics were not wrong, it legitimately is offensive. Racist comments really aren’t funny, even if they are coming from older gentlemen who look relatively friendly. Want to know why? Because there are still people who will agree with the comments. Racism isn’t some quaint tradition of the past that we look back on and laugh about how backwards our ancestors were. From the confusion over the fact that Warner’s wife wasn’t the maid to Warner’s dad calling the Chinese businessmen untrustworthy, the show was just a mess. Also, as a side note, if you are referring to a people group, the correct term is “Asians” not “Orientals”.
Then we have the bit with Brenda Song. Her face of displeasure when they announced the idea to her was pretty much an exact match of my face at the time (and what it has been in reference to the show since seeing the trailer in March). Honestly, there was so much wrong with that scene that I’m not sure where to begin. First, don’t use your employees as sexual bait to land a major business deal. That’s horrifically sexist. Second, the whole “sexy Japanese schoolgirl” concept is racist as well as sexist. It’s just not good, don’t go there.
Overall, I’d say that the critics summed it up well by calling it both offensive and not funny. I will not be tuning in to the show again.