'Dads' Pilot Recap: Eli And Warner Both Deal With Unwelcome Visits By Fathers
Dads, the new sitcom from Seth MacFarlane staring Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi premiered Tuesday night, setting up the complex father-son relationships as both Eli (Green) and Warner (Ribisi) were forced to let their fathers move in with them.
The pilot began with Eli and Warner, two old friends who now own a successful video game company. Warner is stressed: his father, Crawford (Martin Mull) a shady and tactless businessman, lost everything and is living with him. His wife, Camilla (Vanessa Lachey), is less than pleased with having Crawford as a guest – he refuses to clean up after himself and she thinks Warner doesn’t stand up for himself enough.
Crawford is trying to get back into business, and ends up ruining an important deal for Warner with a Chinese company after he barges into the office and begins spouting racist statements, cautioning his son against trusting the "Orientals" without a written contract.
Eli isn’t faring much better with his father, David (Peter Riegert) who invited himself over during his visit for Eli’s birthday. David shows up on Eli’s doorstep and mistakenly tells Eli about his surprise party, forgetting that it is, in fact, a surprise party for Eli and not Warner. Eli reluctantly accepts his father into his apartment, but, at the surprise party, he gets angry with him. First, David offends Camilla, assuming she is Warner’s maid and cook instead of his wife, and then he gives a less than enthusiastic toast to Eli. In fact, in the toast, David almost claimed not to be Eli’s biological test, recounting how he had a paternity test done when Eli was born. Eli is hurt and makes a scene, recounting all the areas in which David failed as a father: he was absent, he was a playboy and Eli feels that David is constantly rooting for him to fail. Eli walks out of his birthday party and, later, gleefully drops him off at the airport.
What Eli doesn’t know is that David does not have a home to return to. After spotting his father in a cab while driving back from the airport, Eli finds David at a hotel and finds out that David failed to make payments on his condo and had hoped that he could stay with his son until he got back on his feet. That was, until he showed up and found that they really didn’t get along so well. Eli decides to forgive his father and invites him to stay with him.
Meanwhile, Warner comes close to telling Crawford to stop showing up at the office, but loses his nerve when Crawford says how happy he is that they have such a strong father-son bond after witnessing the blow up between Eli and David.
At work, the deal with China is saved by Veronica (Brenda Song), their Chinese co-worker, who, on Warner’s request, had dressed up as a sexy Sailor Moon for the meeting with the Chinese businessmen to seduce them into giving the company money.
The Chinese translator at the meeting was so taken with her, he sent her a picture of his “tiny penis” and Veronica used it to blackmail him into convincing his bosses to reconsider the deal. The episode ends with Veronica, Warner, Eli, Crawford and David all huddled together examining the photo on her cell phone.
Dads continues with episode 2, “Heckuva Job, Brownie,” next Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Fox.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong