Fox chairman urges viewers to be patient with Seth MacFarlane's "Dads"

The show has been dubbed unfunny and offensive based on a pilot released in May

By Prachi Gupta
Published August 1, 2013 7:45PM (EDT)
  (©2013 Fox Broadcasting Co. Jennifer Clasen/FOX)
(©2013 Fox Broadcasting Co. Jennifer Clasen/FOX)

During the ongoing summer TCA press tour, Fox chairman Kevin Reilly pleaded with critics to reserve judgment on "Dads," Seth MacFarlane's new show that predictably serves up his brand of offensive and deeply unfunny sexist and racist humor.

"‘Dads’ is a pilot,” Reilly emphasized. “You know the lineage of those writers. They come out of ‘Family Guy.’ They’re the next generation of comedy writers ... They’re going to try to test a lot of boundaries and be equal-opportunity offenders. Are all the jokes calibrated? No.”

Reilly cited the cool reception of "The Big Bang Theory" pilot, which critics eventually warmed to. "Let's have the discussion in January after we've produced a number of [episodes]," he said.

But critics will have a tough time being patient with "Dads," because there is a difference between "equal-opportunity" offenses and straight-up offensive. As ThinkProgress's Alyssa Rosenberg points out on Twitter, "There is nothing you can do to get me from zero to furious more quickly than to invoke 'political correctness' to avoid discussing quality."

The problem with "Dads" is not that it's pushing boundaries. In fact, it's pushing none -- MacFarlane's entire brand of humor relies on tired tropes and recycled stereotypes, managing only to push our buttons. As Joel Mathis of Philly Mag wrote in May, "Dads" is "a high-profile act of slut-shaming and ethnic jokes. This, it seems, is cutting-edge humor in the 21st century."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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