What’s funny about FOX’s new comedy “Dads”? Absolutely nothing.
I just watched the season premiere of FOX’s new sitcom “Dads” and here’s what I have to say: I’d like the last 22 minutes of my life back. I read most of the reviews written about the pilot calling it “offensive” and “reprehensible”, but I wanted to see it for myself before I passed any judgment.
I should have listened to the reviews.
Nothing about the pilot episode made me laugh. I didn’t even feel the urge to chuckle and it was not enjoyable at all. A majority of the “jokes” were racist and sexist. The rest of them were just…well, lame.
In the first few minutes, the two main characters (portrayed by Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green) tell their employee Veronica (Brenda Song) that she must dress like a “sexy Asian school girl” so that they can land a deal for their new video game with Chinese investors.
Yeah…because the only way to seal a business deal with Chinese people is by displaying a scantily clad Asian woman in the corner who just smiles and giggles. They see her and they can’t say no!
Here are a few snippets of the dialogue from “Dads” premiere episode:
“The Chinese are a lovely and honorable people, but you can’t trust them!”
“Thanks to your beautiful maid for making all of this wonderful food!” (This joke refers to Filipina American actress Vanessa Lachey’s character who is the wife, not maid, of Giovanni Ribisi’s character.)
“That creepy translator texted me a picture of his tiny penis, so I threatend to put it online unless he convinced the investors to approve the deal.”
And in reference to the “tiny penis” of the Chinese translator:
“It looks like something you’d pick out of a salad.”
“It looks like a cashew on a shag carpet.”
“I see an inchworm and a little tiny fireman’s hat.”
In just 22 minutes, “Dads” was able to fit in stereotypes regarding Latinas as maids who speak broken English, Asian women as sexual objects, Asian men having small penises, and Chinese people as being untrustworthy. Wow.
Green defended the show saying, “There have been some groups who through their own cultural sensitivities feel that jokes that we’re making are inappropriate for television, but I don’t think any of those people have really seen the show as a whole and are solely focusing on singular jokes without considering them in the context of the entire show.”
Green, being a white male, will never understand how it feels to be an Asian American man and constantly seeing in television shows and films that Asian men are not sexually desirable. Green, being a white male, will never understand how it feels to be an Asian American woman and constantly being told by most of the white men who make up Western society that she is nothing more than a sex object to be drooled over and fantasized about. Green, being a white male, will never understand how it feels to be a Latina American woman and constantly seeing her race and gender being represented in the role of housekeeper or cleaning lady on television and film.
Green went on to say that he believes that people need to lighten up. “Everyone needs to remember, this is a comedy, it’s not about making fun of people but it’s about having fun with the situations these people get into.” He also claims that the show mocks the white characters too (I thought he just said the show isn’t about making fun of people…). However, the jokes about the white characters do not solely focus on their race or gender.
If I sound pissed off with Seth Green it’s because I am. For Green to attribute people’s disappointment and anger with “Dads” to their “cultural sensitivities” shows just how ignorant he is. And it’s a stupid statement.
This isn’t a matter of people being sensitive and not understanding what comedy is. This is simply a matter of people, specifically those of Asian and Latin American descent, who are tired of their ethnicity and gender being the butt of jokes. They’re tired of mainstream media perpetuating the stereotypes associated with being Asian and Latina. It’s getting old.
I don’t plan to watch any future episodes of “Dads”. I don’t have time for racist and sexist garbage like that. I’ll stick to shows that are of actual high quality and won’t infuriate me. It’s unfortunate because the cast of “Dads” is mostly comprised of good actors and comedians. Let’s hope they have other jobs lined up because it’s not likely that this show will stick around that long.
Did you watch FOX’s new show “Dads”? What do you think of it?
Twitter: @_Camelia & @talkrealdebate