Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Brian Dixon is a single father whose life is turned upside down when his teenage daughter comes to live with him full-time.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
In the 90's The Jamie Foxx Show was one of the most iconic sitcoms on television. It followed a trend of stand-up comedians starring in sitcoms where the main character had the same name as them like Seinfeld, Martin, The Wayans Bros., and, of course, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Twenty years later, he is back to sitcoms, but so much has changed.
Jamie Foxx is now known as one of the most talented performers of our time. He has won an Oscar for acting and a Grammy for music among other accolades. He is a dad, a one-time boyfriend of Katie Holmes, and his public persona has changed a lot. Then there is the sitcom genre that has shifted and developed so much from what was common in the 90s. But what Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! gets wrong is that it borrows too much from the 90s in its hope to bank on nostalgia, but because it does not update with the genre, it comes across as tone-deaf and outdated.
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! tells the story of Brian (Jamie Foxx), a bachelor who is a CEO of a cosmetics company and his daughter Sasha (Kyla-Drew), who comes to live with him in Atlanta after the death of her mother. The supporting characters are rounded up with Brian's father Pops (David Alan Grier), his sister Chelsea (Porscha Coleman) and his best friend and neighbour Johnny (Jonathan Kite). The first season had them tackling Brian and Sasha attending therapy, Brian’s company struggling and the living pains that they are dealing with as they get used to each other's quirks.
It's very difficult to fault Jamie Foxx because even when he is in something extremely bad, he's still Jamie Foxx and is able to charm anyone – including the audience. It is very difficult to believe him as a cringey dad, because even his embarrassing scenes seem kind of cool. He was fun, he played a few over-the-top characters, but it just seemed like he was having a good time playing a role that we've seen on TV plenty of times. His real-life daughter, Corinne Foxx, serves as an executive producer of the series, and it seemed as if it was a fun project that he did with his daughter and some other friends.
Many of the storylines felt copied-and-pasted from the 90s and early 2000s sitcoms - from Moesha to Sister Sister to One on One. Very little of the series seemed distinct to 2021 other than some of the references that Jamie Foxx's character makes.
Johnny, Brian's neighbour and best friend, is a white police officer but the relation of the police to a black family is not addressed until the very end of the season and even then it did a haphazard job of dealing with it.
The series also breaks the fourth-wall but it is done randomly and seems like something that was added later to try and introduce a sort of The Office type approach but it doesn’t make sense. Also it is done randomly so one episode might have characters do it often and other episodes no one does it. The audience's focus is already so tepid and the breaking of the fourth wall just takes the audience even more out of it.
The jokes are also dated and seem to border on racist and homophobic.
One of the highlights for me was David Alan Grier as Pops. He had such good chemistry with Jamie Foxx (both are alumnus of the sketch comedy series In Living Colour) and some of the funniest moments in the series are those involving Pops.
While it was great seeing Jamie Foxx in sitcoms again, this was not the vehicle to make his comeback in.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: