Family Redefines Fall TV
From "Parenthood" to "Guys With Kids," the fall season holds a mirror up to the American family's new normal
The show: “Guys With Kids” (NBC)
After years of being portrayed as clueless, aloof caretakers, men have started pushing back against the pervasive cultural stereotype of the bumbling dad. Earlier this year, online backlash led Kimberly-Clark to retool a Huggies commercial in which the diapers were put to the “ultimate test” of the babies wearing them being left in the care of their hapless fathers. The new Jimmy Fallon-produced “Guys With Kids” seems to have grown out of the same frustration, as it depicts three friends (Jesse Bradford, Anthony Anderson and Zach Cregger) trying to prove their value as fathers, while still managing to be guy’s guys. Bradford plays Chris, the dad with perhaps the hardest row to hoe, as a recently divorced dad trying to reboot his love life while proving his aptitude as a father to his shrewish ex-wife (Erinn Hayes.) To let this show tell it, women aren’t the only ones who lose sleep trying to figure out how to “have it all.”
The takeaway: Being a dad doesn’t have to mean losing your identity.