A new Fox comedy that has already raised the ire of an Asian-American advocacy group and TV critics is using the bad buzz to help promote the show.
Dads, which stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as the sons of two crotchety patriarchs played by Martin Mull and Peter Riegert, is described as “hilarious” and a “must watch” by seemingly average viewers who attended a show taping. A Fox spokeswoman told EW that the people interviewed for the spot were “real audience members” who gave testimonials.
“I don’t see how you can be offended by this, you just laugh,” says one woman, who appeared to have been told about a review calling the sitcom “offensive.” The promo also quotes reviews that describe the sitcom as “reprehensible” and “morally wrong,” to which other audience members say, “I think it’s just hilarious” and “don’t listen to the critics.”
The final testimonial? “It’s a must-watch show.” You can see the promo below.
Dads premieres Sept. 17.
The network took some hits for the comedy at this summer’s Television Critics Tour, mostly because of the brand of humor that was displayed in the pilot. The most talked-about scene involves Brenda Song (The Suite Life of Zach and Cody) donning a sexy schoolgirl outfit and giggling like an anime caricature to impress an Asian businessman. That scene ticked off the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), which asked the producers (one of which is Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane) to re-shoot the scene. The network declined.
At TCA, Executive Producer Mike Scully told reporters that “we don’t want the show to be the racial insult comedy show” and how it’s “a comedy about fathers and sons … anytime you’re doing a show, for the first six episodes, you’re still improving.”