Seth MacFarlane's new show Dads, which premieres on Fox this Fall, has been getting quite a lot of buzz. The premise of the show is two drastically different best friends, Warner (Seth Green) and Eli (Giovanni Ribisi), who together own a video game company that they founded in college. Their fathers David (Peter Riegert) and Crawford (Martin Mull) respectively, move in with their sons and invade their established and not so established lives. The concept of the show seems as though it could have the potential of a feel good, pithy comedy. However, the trailer is awful and it seems to be an overly cheesy sitcom rife with terrible jokes.
On top of the fact that the jokes are just bad, they have a very strong racist undertone to them, especially towards Asians. The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) sent a letter to those in charge at FOX entertainment asking for the racist scenes to be reshot before the pilot premiered. Guy Aoki, the president, stated in the letter, "Fox has an opportunity to fix fatal flaws in the pilot and to improve the show's chances for success when it premieres next month. We are asking you to reshoot the inappropriate scenes of the pilot. Considering the consistent feedback from our community and television critics in general -- and the creators saying they hadn't properly defined their characters nor gotten used to their actors when they shot that first episode -- this sounds like a no-brainer."
The MANAA are well intentioned, and raise a good point. However, this is a creation of Seth MacFarlane, who is known for his outrageous humor. His biggest successes being Ted and Family Guy. Both projects were extremely rude and crude, Ted was a massive grossing hit and Family Guy is a cult favorite. A colleague of mine brought up a great point: it's much easier to get away with this kind of humor when its hidden by a talking baby or stuffed bear. That doesn't mean that a talking bear makes what's being said okay, but without this mask, his comedy is harder for an audience to swallow, especially within the context of a show that's disguised as a family sitcom.
It's no news that exploiting stereotypes, racist jokes, and sexism sell. The proof is in the ratings, and it applies to the majority of television we watch. If we didn't watch it, producers wouldn't make it. Period. Obviously, MacFarlane doesn't see the need to change his formula and the chances of him reshooting these scenes are zero, because people will probably watch Dads. The onus really lies with the audience. MacFarlane will tweak the show based on the audience's reactions. If his ratings drop, he'll most likely tone it down.
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Marky Mark must wuv his teddy bear.
Mr. Wahlberg is currently in final talks to star in Seth McFarlane's -- creator of Family Guy -- upcoming feature directing debut, Ted.
The project, written by McFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild, tells the story of a grown man whose lovable old teddy bear comes to life because of a childhood wish. McFarlane will voice the bear.
Nothing is final yet, but it's an interesting choice for Wahlberg. And it actually might work quite well, because surprisingly, he's actually a pretty funny actor. Anyone remember his character in I Heart Huckabees? Plus, this past summer he stretched his comedic side even further with Will Ferrell in The Other Guys. And on top of that, he's always good in his Entourage cameos. Here's the thing about Marky Mark and being funny. The key to his success is to not take himself too seriously because whenever he does -- see The Happening -- he's pretty awful. (And I mean, really, really bad).
Plus, with this being McFarlane's project, I feel that he'll handle directing Wahlberg successfully. For example, anyone else remember when Family Guy mocked the "annoyed and confused" Wahlberg? I'm pretty sure McFarlane knows exactly what makes the seasoned actor funny, and will no doubt exploit that. And if Wahlberg decides against it, they could always cast Andy Samberg to take his place.
Deadline.com reports that Universal Pictures has acquired the $65 million Ted, an R-rated comedy that will mark the feature directorial debut of Seth MacFarlane.
The film, which was developed by Media Rights Capital, is a comedy about a man and his teddy bear.
The feature will mix live action and CG with MacFarlane also co-starring and providing the voice for the title character. The Hollywood Insider blog says the story centers on a seemingly normal man who, as a child, made a wish that he could talk to his bear, only to have his bear come alive.
The bear grows up alongside the man but one day the man's girlfriend poses an ultimatum: her or the bear. Sources told HI that MacFarlane wants to cast Mila Kunis, who has voiced Meg Griffin on Family Guy since 1999, as the girlfriend.
MacFarlane wrote the script with Family Guy cohorts Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. He will produce with MRC, Scott Stuber and John Jacobs.
Deadline says the plan is for the film to go into production this year.