Guys With Kids, Epic Parental Fail

Meet your newest writer, DrunkMommy. She is a wine aficionado with two matching toddlers and has been known to watch some really lousy television. 

So there seems to be a theme to Terrible Television, and we are only two shows deep. That theme is ‘how dumb do these writers think we are?’ Or perhaps it is ‘how dumb are these writers?’ But I am trying to give the writers a little credit for perhaps looking down on us, rather than up to us. I mean, they are the ones getting paid the big bucks for network television shows, correct? And we are the mere peasants blogging about their terrible shows. For free. But don’t let that stop you from reading.

Any hoo, DrunkMommy here to shed some light on the Terrible New Show, Guys With Kids. I can hear you mentally groaning even as I type the words. I mean, the title really says it all folks, not ‘Men With Kids’, but ‘Guys With Kids’. Hilarity ensues, cue laugh track.

Well, let’s pull up a big glass of pinot (noir or grigio, I leave it to your discerning taste) and check in on how Guys With Kids delivered. I would like to refer to my scale of success for the show as the Parental Fail-O-Meter™.

As an actual parent – and not nearly as drunky as my moniker might suggest – I love shows about parents, especially parents of the wee ones. My own sweet monsters are four-year-old identical twin boys and I have to give Everybody Loves Raymond credit for being the only show that remotely approaches getting parenting twins right. As in, nothing can happen with them around, which is why you rarely saw them on the show…and why Patricia Heaton’s character always looked so tired. And irritated. So I love shows like Guys With Kids, because they are such complete pandering BS, and they always get the actual technicalities of parenting wrong.

The premise of Guys With Kids? Three semi-adult men who live in New York (in the same apartment building, because Friends!) and…wait for it…have kids!

Our main character seems to be Chris, divorced with a 9-month-old and the classic type-A, controlling, bitch ex-wife. Sheila. I identify with her immediately. Things must have been bad to get divorced with a newborn. Sleep deprivation alone would have prevented me from making that coherent of a choice.

Then we have his good buddy Gary, a stay-at-home dad with four kids and Marnie his working wife. He’s that hapless shlump who has somehow managed to not kill his small children, despite seeming about as capable as Amelia Bedelia. How have these kids not starved to death or cut off a vital limb yet? LOL LOL LOL. Ahem.

We also have Nick, buddy number three or, as I like to refer to him, The Hot One. You know, the fictional husband who does not exist in the real world. He’s married with 2 young kids and Emily, his wife, is probably getting a good Saturday morning sleep-in on a weekly basis. I hate her immediately.

I can’t possible break the show down point by point because as I watched it, trying to simultaneously sip my pinot and keep track of the salient plot points in the pilot, I realized that they crammed way too much crap into one episode for me to recount how truly terrible it was. So, I restrict myself to the most egregious Parental Fails:

Parental Fail One: The Opening Set Up  Oh goodness, here we are in a bar. Why are we in a bar? Isn’t this a show about guys with kids?

Of course all guys would bring their kids to a bar! Because that is the only place to watch sports and consume alcohol. Heaven forfend you should do that in the privacy of your own home where your children could potentially nap. And you could not annoy the bejesus out of every living person around you. (A friend wrote a whole manifesto about this concept. Enjoy.)

The Parental Fail? You always want to be in the place where napping is most possible.

Also, extra Fail points for the matching Baby Bjorn site-gag. That was just pandering. Also, I could never sit long enough to finish a beer wearing one of those things with an actual kid in it. So it is obviously unrealistic.

Parental Fail Two: Even Divorced Daddies Know About Basic Baby Care  In the bar, Chris is conflicted about giving his baby 2%, rather than whole, milk. Now, I am sure that the message here is supposed to be about how funny it is that he is such a nervous Nelly of a daddy, however…you can’t give a nine-month-old ANY kind of cow milk. Not 2%, not whole, NO COW MILK UNTIL 12 MONTHS!

Gary’s observation that kids can make you stupid is apt. Apparently it can make you stupid enough to feed your baby something that virtually any parent will tell you not to. Do any of the show writers have kids? Just a thought: hire writers who have kids!

Again, extra Parental Fail points for the gratuitous, women can’t resist guys with babies bit. No hot girl wants to be step-mommy to a kid who might actually need a diaper change. Her first experience with projectile vomiting or a pea-green diaper and she’ll be gone, especially if you are not paying her.

Parental Fail Three: We All Want Babysitters  Chris has a date to a Sunday Knicks game with Hot Chick from the bar. The conundrum? Evil ex-wife says ‘NO BABYSITTERS!’ And he has the kid – poor ‘Ernie’ – until Monday! Oh the humanity! What to do?

First off, no Mom says ‘no sitters.’ Unless the lack of sitters is why you got divorced and then maybe you say it just to fuck with him… which brings me again to the question of why or how these people find themselves divorced with a nine-month-old? I will most likely stay tuned to the show just for an answer to that question.

Second off, the idea that none of these people, in New York City, have nannies or sitters or some form of childcare aside from stay-at-home parents is the most patently absurd thing I can imagine. I don’t know any parental-type people who completely lack childcare. Even I have managed to find adequate, paid-for, care for my hellions.

That said, the parents-of-four did have some particularly good lines about how their kids have bled them dry of all funds. Sadly, true.

The caveat is that the mom is Vanessa Huxtable, and you know that Mrs. Huxtable would be all over babysitting her grandkids. Unless she and Doctor Huxtable are cruising the Mediterranean, which also seems possible. After all, their son-in-law is the fast food dude with the special sauce from Harold & Kumar and I would totally run away from that.

Moving on, The Hot One volunteers to babysit, blowing of a date with his wife (Parental Real Point) AND helps Chris shop for some stylish gear for his date. Ultimately he stages a very sweet Titanic-themed apology for his wife…which gets Parental Fail Points because it just never happens that way. No man is that sensitive to both fashion and a woman. Unless he is gay.

Parental Fail Four: No One With Four Children Would Live Without a TV for ANY Significant Period of Time  That is all I am saying about that.

Parental Fail Five: Lots of People Bathe their Babies in the Sink, But Nobody Bathes Their Child in a Diaper  I know it is network TV, so there is no seeing the twigs and berries of a young child BUT, if you have ever mistakenly taken your child swimming in a regular diaper, as opposed to a swim diaper, you know that those things EXPLODE when they come into contact with any significant amount of water. Not that I have ever done such a thing, but if I had, I could tell you that it is not pretty.

Which brings us to our final extra credit Minor Parental Fail Points: If Chris and his Ex could work out things as reasonably as they did in his Daddy-Grows-a-Pair Moment, they would not be divorced and if people could actually have sex in the bathroom while ignoring the cries of their small children on the opposite side of the door, virtually nobody would get divorced.

My final Tally on the Parental-O-Meter? An epic fail of 11 Fail Points. I will allow credit for exactly Two Real Points.

Phew, time for more wine. And the next episode

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7 thoughts on “Guys With Kids, Epic Parental Fail

  1. I have worn a Bjorn for an extended amount of time in order to enjoy beer(s)…ok it was an Ergo and the baby was on my back. I was swaying and bouncing in order to keep said baby asleep…until a lady came up to me and said “excuse me but I think your baby’s head (which was lolling back unnaturally) is bumping against the wall?”…I denied it of course, but we both know the truth. I switched him to the front so I could dance and sing karaoke, jeez.

  2. I see your points. I happen to know one of the writers, a single 25 year old. I’m pretty sure all he knows about child raising came from watching Three Men and a Baby and similar fare.
    I have to keep watching. He’s a friend. It could be worse. He used to work for “Rob”.

  3. I have to disagree on Parental Fail Four. There ARE parental-type people with four children who live without TV! However, they live in Vermont and home school while living off the land. They do not live in NYC. If you’re willing to live in NYC with children, you probably have a TV.

    • Yes, they exist I am sure. I mean the Duggars exist and they probably don’t watch TV with 19 children. But the people that exist in the world of this sitcom would have been down at B&H or J&R picking out a new 60″ flatscreen the moment they were without. I stand by the Parental Fail. ;-P

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