The Television Critics Association (TCA) is in the midst of its annual press tour, wherein the critics watch episodes of upcoming shows and then interview the people associated with different programs.
On Thursday, TCA hosted a panel about “Dads,” the new Fox sitcom that doesn't premiere until Sept. 17 and is executive produced by Seth MacFarlane. And suffice it to say, the critics had a field day lambasting “Dads” for its offensive content — just the kind of controversy that is nothing new for MacFarlane-affiliated projects like "Family Guy" and the 2012 Academy Awards.
"That it's offensive is hard to deny,” Esther Zuckerman reported for The Atlantic Wire. “Jace Lacob of BuzzFeed tweeted: ‘The worst part of #Dads is that it is casually racist AND horrifically unfunny. Which is not a good combination, really.’ NPR's Linda Holmes explained that ‘it's mostly nasty about women of color.’ Even the show's format works against it, with Todd VanDerWerff writing: ‘Dads is actively hurt by the multi-cam, live-studio-audience format. Having people braying at “ironic” racism makes it real racism.’ … You really don't need anymore context.”
Grantland’s Amos Barshad wrote, “Before even so much as a pilot has aired, the cast … and the writers — Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin, who come from ‘Family Guy’ and also did ‘Ted’ with MacFarlane — were defending the show from accusations of laziness, crudeness, and, that old standard, the mining of stereotypes for cheap laughs. Hey, ‘2 Broke Girls’: It looks like you're no longer America's No. 1 racist punching bag!”