My husband (I somehow roped him in) and I are breaking down the Dads episode "Funny Girl." This show is about two sons who live with their respective fathers. It takes place at their homes and at the sons' company which seems to develop video games.
Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of this show, and I don't hide that. However, that doesn't mean that I think that this show is irredeemable or that I can't learn something about television writing from it or anything like that. I don't like it--it's as simple as that. This may be entirely about my personal preferences rather than objective standards about what is good or not. Consequently, what follows is my opinion...I hope that's obvious.
I'm trying to approach this as a television viewer who just happened to tune in so I didn't look up actor's names or anything like that.
Plot: [Spoilers]The way the main story progressed wasn't very logical. First, Eli's trying to be intimate with his date without his father around. Next thing you know, he's locked in a argument about whether his father is right about another date's annoying tendencies. Two stories have been stuck together here.
This reminded me of animated shows like The Simpsons or Family Guy. The first act rarely had anything to do with what came after and was just an excuse to waste time with random jokes before they got to the actual plot.
That doesn't work here. I'm being asked to genuinely care about the plight of these characters. How can I do that if what's happening in the story doesn't actually matter? If there's no cause/effect relationship, then the characters' actions don't really mean anything. If that's the case, then why would I stay engaged in the story? I'm not able to follow along and participate and anticipate what will happen.
Also, at some points, the characters just kind of act and react without rhyme or reason, just because the plot says that a particular thing needed to happen. For instance, Eli bemoans the fact that he'll never get to have enough privacy in his apartment to have sex. Veronica, out of nowhere, announces that that's too bad because her friend has just broke up with her girlfriend. Why would she offer up a friend (without asking the friend first) to someone she doesn't seem to think much of? Why would she do that when he seems to be just after sex? How does what he said prompt her to say what she said in the first place?
Another example: Eli is established in the beginning of the episode as caring more the sex part of a relationship. Yet later, he's acting as if the only thing keeping him from wanting a relationship with Ann is her bad comedy.
Okay, one more: Anne just agrees to move in with Eli because...well, that would make things more complicated, you know?
I struggled trying to figure out the character's motives for what they did. Because of this, the events just didn't seem to connect as well as they should have.
Moreover, there were many times that the plot just stopped so that the characters could deliver a joke that didn't tie into the story at all. But, at least the story lines came together at the end there, right?
Here's the Plot Breakdown. I only focused on the story and left out the jokes or character work if it was irrelevant to the plot.:
|Act||A Story||B Story|
|One||Scene 1 - Location: Eli's Home|
|Scene 2 - Location: Work|
|Scene 3 - Location: Eli's Home|
|Scene 4 - Location: Warner's home|
|Scene 5 - Location: Eli's Home|
|Two||Scene 6 - Location: Eli's home|
|Scene 7 - Location: Work|
|Scene 8 - Location: Anne's Apartment|
|Scene 9 - Location: Work|
|Scene 10 - Location: Eli's home|
|Scene 11 - Location: Work|
|Scene 12 - Location: Eli's home|
|Tag||Scene 13 - Location: Eli's home|
|Scene 14 - Outside of elevator|
Next up: the jokes and funny business.