A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show supports the concept of family solidarity, but any positive messaging is obscured by mocking jokes. Race and gender are also targets for jokes many will find very offensive.
Positive Role Models
Eli and Warner are passionate about their business and work hard towards success, but they engage in quasi-ironic sexism and are constantly annoyed by their fathers.
Violence & Scariness
Some of the video games that Eli and Warner put out are comically violent and described onscreen, such as "Kill Hitler" in which players can stab Hitler with a menorah.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Consequence-free casual sex and dating; one male friend tells another's date that he doesn't want to learn her name because she'll be dumped so fast there's no point. A woman is asked to dress in a sexy fetish costume at work to woo clients. She does it, then asks for a promotion and time off. There are jokes about private parts.
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No cursing, but many offensive jokes and words about race, such as when a character says a boxing game should be entitled "Punch a Puerto Rican."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters drink socially.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dads is a multi-camera sitcom created by the frequently profane Seth MacFarlane. The show is rife with jokes that mock ethnic and religious groups, as well as the elderly, gay people, and women. Many parents will find these jokes extremely offensive and unfunny, as well as inappropriate for young children, tweens, and possibly teens as well. If you must watch, do it after the kids are in bed, or watch only with older, very sophisticated teens willing to discuss what they've seen after the credits roll so parents can address the many hurtful stereotypes.
Is It Any Good?
Oh dear, does the talented cast of Dads deserve better material to work with. For every joke that lands, such as when the always charming Seth-Green-as-Eli asks a video game voice actor to try reading a line again with "a more wizardlike quality," there is a joke that will make most wince, such as when Eli demonstrates to a female employee how he wants her to cover her mouth and giggle when she dresses up as a "sexy Asian schoolgirl" for a pair of Chinese clients. Said clients later send the female employee a picture of his "tiny China penis" and the whole cast bonds by gathering around the computer and offering up deeply unfunny jokes about said penis: "It looks like something you'd pick out of a salad," says David, while Crawford offers "I see an inchworm in a little tiny fireman's hat."
Worst of all, unlike other shows that offer up less cringeworthy racist/sexist/homophobic/ageist humor, none of the characters onscreen object to the jokes. Veronica, the character who dresses up as Sailor Moon in Dads' pilot, makes a joke about her (presumably Asian) dad beating her "with a math book." Ha ha, racist jokes about Asian people are funny, you see, because she's Asian. That makes it okay! Not so much. All in the Family made that old racist Archie Bunker acceptable because everyone else onscreen argued with his offensive tirades. Having the characters on Dads not just accepting the casual racism and sexism, but also playing along with it, renders this show positively painful to watch.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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