I tried to like it, I really did. I stayed up late. I made my wife miss our nightly Young & The Restless tradition. I even taped it so I could watch it again just in case the kids woke up in between.
Unfortunately for me, NBC’s new show, “Guys With Kids”, was completely and utterly disappointing. I have to admit that I had a preconceived notion about what this show was going to be. My worry was that the Dads in show were going to continue the tradition of portraying fathers as bumbling doofuses who can’t do anything right.
As it turns out, I was only half accurate in my premature assessment. I really wanted to laugh at this show and had even convinced myself that I could overlook a little bit of the “dumb dad” stigma in exchange for the serious amount of funny I figured Executive Producer Jimmy Fallon was going to bring to the table.
The only problem with that: It wasn’t funny! Not even a little bit.
I waited and waited for the big time jokes but all I got were recycled clichés and mediocre moments of funny, which were immediately ruined by the over the top laugh track. Seriously, I don’t like laugh tracks in general but this one was completely ridiculous, chiming in at awkward moments with uproarious laughter.
The other problem I had is that my earlier worry about the Dad’s being portrayed as imbeciles turned out to be completely true. The show opens with the three Dads hanging out in a bar with their babies strapped to the chests…This is not what Dads do and in fact, I’d be surprised if this has ever happened outside of the taping of this show.
Chris (Jesse Bradford) – Chris is the divorced Dad, who seems normal enough until you find out that he is completely whipped by his ex-wife and mother of their child. He states that he loses every argument about the child to his ex because she ends them all with the line, “He Grew Inside Me”, as she rubs her belly. Not only is this unfunny and clichés but it once again paints the Dad in a weak light.
Gary (Anthony Anderson) – I thought for sure the Stay at Home Dad offered the show a chance at some great Dad moments, but they were lost in the fact that all he does is complain about how awful and time consuming it is to have 4 boys. To be fair in this assessment, his wife, played by Tempestt Bledsoe, seems to have the same attitude towards the children.
Nick (Zach Cregger) – I really have no idea what this character is all about and that is part of the problem. All I could gather is that he’s kind of dumb and will most likely be the “crazy do whatever you want with no regard for wives or kids” guy. Third Strike in the “Guys” Department.
The Kids – Almost non-existent. That’s how I would describe the role of the children in this show. This show could have simply been called, Guys, and it would have been able to keep the same premise. If the show continues, I hope there is a little more interaction between the fathers and the children.
The Wives – As mentioned earlier, Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa Huxtable) plays a mother of 4 kids and has some funny moments. Jamie-Lynn Sigler plays Nick’s wife and didn’t really play a major factor in the episode but there is room for funny between her and clueless Nick. Finally we have Erinn Hayes, who plays Chris’ ex-wife. I don’t know if it’s the writing, the acting or the fact that she is humiliating Bradford’s character the whole episode, but she is my least favourite character by far.
Finally, I will second the motion put forward by one of my Dad Blogging buddies in The Rock Father, when he described the random appearance of NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, saying “his appearance would’ve been far more relevant if it was 1980 and AIRPLANE! had just come out”. I agree sir, and I’ll add that having him fake “Dunking The Baby” was equally as tired.
I just read this whole thing back before signing off and while it may seem unreasonably harsh, I really did have high hopes for Guys With Kids and was left completely baffled and disappointed with how unsatisfying it was. I also understand the people who say, “Calm down Dad and learn how to take a joke”, I really do, but that would imply the jokes actually making me laugh, which they did not. When you add that to the fact that the Dads are also portrayed in the same bumbling way we always are, it raises my Dad-O-Meter to a high level of alert.
I really like Jimmy Fallon and think he is a comedic genius, which is the main reason why I was so upset with the finished product. It just missed the mark on too many levels for me, so I think it’s time to go back to the drawing board with this one. On second thought, let’s just sweep it under the mat instead and pretend it never happened… Sorry Jimmy, still friends?
**Photo is from Blogo Wogo**