‘$#*! My Dad Says’ Recap: Not Without My Jacket

S1E5: I just don’t get it. Why are people watching this show?

This morning, CBS announced it will renew all five of its new shows this fall — including $#*! My Dad Says. The reason? The ratings are high. So I guess I don’t blame them for bringing all the shows back, but $#*! My Dad Says is really bad. Really really bad.

With its newest installment, “Not Without My Jacket,” the show has finally found its identity. Simply, it’s a standard, run-of-the-mill sitcom. But, at least other sitcoms will muster a few laughs each episode. $#*! My Dad Says, despite a better episode last week, continues to be insufferable.

The premise of this episode is, once again, a disagreement between Henry and his father, Ed. This time around, Ed is sick of Henry taking his stuff without asking — like jackets, coffee cups, etc. And in the most predictable sitcom plot turn ever, the tables turn. Ed ends up giving away something of Henry’s — his favorite jacket. And so we spend the entire episode following Ed as he tries to chase down Henry’s jacket, just so he isn’t wrong.

Turns out, the jacket was given to one of Henry’s friends, Josh, an EMT, who ends up wrapping it around a dying man in an effort to save his life. So after a big long adventure, Ed discovers this and goes to the man’s funeral. He ends up being mistaken for the dead man’s A.A. partner, but Ed takes the family’s suspicion and assumes that they think he’s the dead man’s lover. This results in Ed giving the eulogy at the funeral.

So throughout the episode, I would say that hilarity occurred, but obviously — and this is expected with $#*! My Dad Says — it didn’t. Once again, we just had an onslaught of bad jokes, stupid one liners, and flat out uncomfortable situations. Can I just say that, although I understand this is just a TV sitcom and I should not take this as a real-life situation at all, that the funeral scene was just horrible? It’s like, because they’ve branded the show with the premise that the dad is a moron, it’s okay to make him a horrible human being. But not only that, $#*! My Dad Says is encouraging its audience to laugh at these terrible things. CBS, listen to me. Just because you’re doing a show with an idiot at its helm, it doesn’t suddenly make it okay to make jokes about gay people, or minorities, or to show a scene interrupting someone’s funeral! How is this still on TV? Or the more important question, HOW DID THIS GET RENEWED?

Ugh. I have a few hundred words left to write in this recap, and honestly, I don’t even know where to turn. What other bad things could I talk about? Oh, I know. Let’s talk about the subplot featuring two actors that no one ever wants to see — Nicole Sullivan and Will Sasso, a.k.a. Bonnie and Vince. Here’s what happened: Bonnie once had a relationship with the EMT character, Josh, and it really bothers Vince. So much, that he can’t sleep. They get in a fight, but Bonnie tries to convince Vince that it didn’t matter and Josh isn’t a good kisser. Vince refuses to believe, and has to see for himself. So what does he do? He kisses Josh.

Personally, I can’t really decide what aspect of the show is worse — the acting or the writing. If $#*! My Dad Says had talented writers, maybe they wouldn’t rely so heavily on standard sitcom plots. But then again, the acting from William Shatner and Jonathan Sadowski is so forced, nothing works together. There’s no chemistry. What makes television shows, and more specifically sitcoms, great is when everything works together successfully. The writers absolutely nail the voice of each character, the actors identify what each character is trying to accomplish, and the audience laughs. If one of those keys is off by just a little bit, everything falls apart. And in the case of $#*! My Dad Says, everything is always off. There’s no cohesion to the show, and therefore, there’s no success.

Yeah, the show has millions of viewers and that’s why it got picked up for more episodes, but I just don’t understand what’s so appealing about it. And five episodes in, I think it’s safe to say that I never will.