A Show That Has to Go: ‘Dads’

by Vinnie Penn

DADS/Tuesdays at 8 on Fox (for now)

Seth Green being here makes sense. Despite the cult classic status achieved by his Robot Chicken and riotous turns as the offspring of Doctor Evil in the Austin Powers franchise, a sitcom has been waiting for Green like therapy for Amanda Bynes.

Martin Mull, despite his deadpan always as delightful as it is welcome, will never be enough to carry a series, however, and Peter Riegert manages to arch an eyebrow only for those who bothered to purchase Animal House on Blu Ray, or who never moved on from that kidney shot to the zeitgeist in the first place. In other words, he’s hardly a get. Riegert signing on to this latest Fox fumble didn’t exactly result in “In his first sitcom role!” headlines in Variety. Maybe an Animal House: Where Are They Now piece for HuffPo.

And so, here, on Fox’s utterly hellacious Dads, it is only Giovanni Ribisi who deserves better. Much, much better. Sure, he gets hottie Vanessa (Mrs. 98 Degrees) Lachey as his wife, but her acting is as bad as the “zingers” the writers cobble together for him, the video game developer with Green as his bestie and dad as his roomie.

Ostensibly wooed to the project by executive producer Seth Macfarlane, who gave Ribisi a juicy role in the hilarious feature Ted (that Ribisi, to his credit, totally ran with), I hate to think he must be at that “do it for the paycheck” crossroads in his career, despite standing tall in films that were wobbly (Boiler Room and more recently Gangster Squad). It’s too bad; he’s even done far better sitcom work, from playing Phoebe’s long lost creepy half brother on Friends all the way back to the NBC sitcom My Two Dads. Yeah, this is one “Dad” too many, Giovanni.


Vinnie Penn (@VinniePenn) first hit the airwaves as co-host to Glenn Beck. By 2001 he was a regular on Howard Stern, and his work has appeared in national magazines such as Maxim, Hit Parader, and Cracked. He currently writes for MSN. Visit his website VinniePenn.net.


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