Ruining the joke
A new series starring comedy giants disappoints
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The prospect of In Living Color castmates Jamie Foxx and David Alan Grier working together again has drawn heavy viewership to Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! Movie-reviewing duty alone, though, kept me from turning off the popular, new Netflix TV show (rated TV-14) after two minutes. Foxx’s bull’s-eye impressions of Al Pacino and Barack Obama exhaust what’s recommendable in a bland and blasphemous script.
The story centers on single dad Brian Dixon (Foxx) raising his teenage daughter, Sasha (Kyla-Drew), after her mother dies. Brian gets help from friends and family members, including Pops (Grier), his father.
The first and third episodes peddle humor in incest jokes, drug use, and generic generation-gap gaffes, with misuses of God’s name. Even the laugh track seemed halfhearted. The second episode’s theme of religion was altogether unexpected—almost intriguing to see how it would play out.
“Black people … we go to church,” Brian declares. Everyone gasps when Sasha says she doesn’t believe in God but finds “salvation” in yoga.
“Has your yoga ever hung on a cross on Friday, and risen on Sunday?” Brian snaps. If only he stopped there. “And then had Easter bunnies?” Amid understandable lampooning of televangelists, endless profane bits undermine the few righteous reflections. In all, Foxx and Grier only embarrass themselves.