Seth MacFarlane needs to stop. I understand his appeal. I don’t want to, but I do. Shows like Family Guy and movies like Ted have their place—it’s a filthy, sticky basement of a fraternity house, but it’s a place nonetheless. There is nothing wrong with smoking too much pot and chugging Natty Light while watching a stupid television show. But there is something wrong with this disgusting Cult of MacFarlane that just keeps helping him get more work. It’s a cult that finds nothing funnier than “black Stewie” Twitter parody accounts, that asks Yahoo! Answers questions like, “What pills does Quagmire use on women in Family Guy?”, and that sits in front of the television every Sunday to clap and cheer on a showrunner who often resorts to the same old “women belong in the kitchen” joke. Listen, if you want to be sexist/racist/homophobic or whatever, I can’t stop you, but for the love of God, MacFarlane, at least introduce some originality into your hatred. It’s so bland. You know what’s worse than being one of those “don’t watch my act if you can’t handle it” self-proclaimed offensive shock comics? Being a boring self-proclaimed offensive shock comic. That’s essentially what MacFarlane is. He’s gotten to the point where it’s hard to be offended by him, not because he’s isn’t offensive, but because everything he thinks is edgy has been done a million times before. I want to yell about his racism, but I can’t stop yawning.
Take the new show he’s co-producing, Dads, set to air Tuesdays this fall. It’s a FOX multi-camera comedy about two guys (perpetual manchild Seth Green and a slumming GiovanniRibisi) whose lives are totally changed when their fathers move in with them. It’s not the most interesting premise (and if MacFarlane wasn’t FOX’s baby, I could easily see it in the middle of a CBS comedy lineup). The preview was released yesterday and oh boy, it’s about as awful as you’d expect from the three men who last teamed up to bring us a movie featuring a stoned teddy bear who fucks hookers. For the most part, it’s all the expected jokes about deadbeat, cheap, and old fathers. But, because this is MacFarlane, we also get some truly lazy racism: Chinese people are distrustful! They hit their children with math books! The most cringeworthy moment features a “joke” about how Brenda Song (oh, honey, what are you doing?) should dress up as a “sexy Asian schoolgirl” to impress some investors. And you know what the hilarious payoff is? She dresses up as a sexy Asian schoolgirl. That’s it. That’s the joke. It makes you want to flip the channel to view the more subtle racism of a 2 Broke Girls episode. It’s stupid and it’s lazy. I know that no one is watching a MacFarlane penned sitcom in hopes of enjoying some high-brow, subversive, and wholly originally comedy. They’re watching it for cheap laughs, cutaway gags, outdated references. Not all television shows have to be intelligent, or even great, but at least give us something interesting to hate-watch, you know?
Ugh. I like you, Seth Green, but you’ve really got to pick better friends. Honestly, this trailer is even worse than what I expected from MacFarlane. But, of course, it will be successful. Of course.