The Remote: Disown ‘Mom’ and ‘Dads’

Ryan Pait

“Mom” – Monday 9:30/8:30 central on CBS

It hurts to see stars you like involved in projects that just aren’t good.

“Mom” is a perfect case of this phenomenon.

The show centers on Christy, a single mother and recovering alcoholic who’s trying to get her life together. Her world is turned upside down by the reappearance of her mother, Bonnie.

“Mom” features Anna Faris and Allison Janney as Christy and Bonnie, respectively.

They’re two likable talents who have proven their comedic chops time and time again.

I’m a huge fan of Janney in particular, who lights up the screen in every project she’s a part of with her distinctive delivery.

Whether she’s playing Juno’s mom in “Juno” or a hard-partying beach goddess in “The Way, Way Back,” she’s always just great.

That spark is sadly dulled in “Mom.”

Janney adds some class to the mostly classless proceedings, but she deserves much better than this.

“Mom” glides clunkily along from punchline to punchline, but it feels like there’s no forward motion.

It also makes the show feel like an exercise in constant embarrassment for Christy and Bonnie.

“Mom” also seems obsessed with jokes about substance abuse and casual cheating. A few were mildly funny, but most were just uncomfortable.

This might explain why the show is having trouble attracting the large audiences that CBS is used to.

This base humor also degrades the sentimental moments that the show attempts.

It’s not as offensive as it could be or as annoying as I thought it might be.

But that doesn’t mean that “Mom” is good.

It just means that “Mom” is passably mediocre.

And nothing’s sadder than a bad mom.

“Dads” – Tuesday 8/7 central on Fox

Most people love their dads.

But Fox’s “Dads” is distinctively unlovable.

The series centers on Eli (Seth Green) and Warner (Giovanni Ribisi), two man-children who co-own a video game company that produces titles like “Kill Hitler 2.”

The two find their lives invaded when their dads decide to move in with them.

It’s a premise that’s tired right out of the gate — this type of story has been done countless times now, and it’s hardly ever funny.

“Dads” doesn’t break that cycle, either.

It’s filled to the brim with offensive humor. The show plays it off as breezy and casual, which makes it even worse.

The two episodes I watched poked “fun” at Asians, Ethiopians, gay people and women.

The only group that may not be offended is straight, white males — obviously the audience that “Dads” is aiming for.

But they should also be offended because “Dads” is just malignantly unfunny.

“Dads” also loves making its characters behave like children. Eli and Warner have a “pot-off” with their dads. Warner’s wife chases him around his office when she’s mad at him.

I don’t mind this kind of humor. Adults behaving badly can be hilarious.

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “New Girl” are perfect examples of this.

But “Dads” does nothing with its juvenility. It doesn’t subvert, and it gives no underlying commentary like “Sunny” and “New Girl” do.

It does it for the sake of comedy, but it utterly fails.

“Dads” is not just light on laughs. It’s utterly devoid of them.