Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Assembling the Council

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It looks like NBC has found a show to replace This Is Us in its hiatus.

If you're looking for another family show to pull on your heartstrings, you're going to want to watch Council of Dads online as soon as possible.

Council of Dads has it all: a talented and diverse cast, family values, and an intriguing premise bound to pull in viewers.

Scott and Luly - Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1

On Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1, we meet Scott Perry and his family. He's married to Robin, who's played by the amazing Sarah Wayne-Callies, and together they have five children. 

They're not all biologically related, but they're a family just the same. 

The creators of Council of Dads took note of Randall's storyline on This Is Us and ran with it. 

So far there hasn't been any mention of feelings of being an outsider from their adopted daughter Charlotte or Luly from Scott's previous relationship, but it wouldn't be surprising to see a storyline like that in the future.

How do you tell the story of a family? Through everyday moments, and life-changing ones and the people who love you when things fall apart.

Luly

This series premiere was jam-packed with exposition, so it feels like we haven't really gotten to the heart of the actual show yet. This episode was much more focused on setting up the storyline that launches the show into action.

Going into the show, it's clear that Scott's going to die. The entire premise is centered around the "Council of Dads" he's setting up is a back-up plan, so that plan will have to go into effect at some point. 

The show did a great job of introducing each member of the council. One of the highlights was how well-paced it was.

Cearly divided by each season of the year, by the end of the year our patriarch Scott was gone.

Scott talking to Luly - Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1

We had just enough time with him to understand why his absence will have such a big impact on these character's lives. He was very earnest and kind in the same way Jack Pearson is. 

But where Council of Dads and This Is Us differ is that we're not going to be flashing back and forth through time with Scott. Of course, only one episode is out thus far, but it seems like Scott's absence will be felt as much in the show as it is in the character's lives. 

It's up to the rest of the ensemble cast to keep people tuning in each week, and so far it seems to be working. 

The chemistry between the family flows with ease. You can feel the love through the screen. 

We got a little glimpse of each individual kid and what their personalities are like in the premiere.

Luly at Work - Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1

We have Luly, the eldest child. Out of all Scott's children, she got the most screentime, which makes sense considering she's also the narrator. We watched her relationship with Evan blossom into a marriage.

She wants to move to New York and follow her dreams of being a writer, but her dad's illness sidetracked her a bit. 

Now that he's passed, it seems her storyline will be taking her away from her family and into a new life in a new city with her new husband. I'm not sure how that'll work with her narration of the family's story, but I'm sure they'll find ways to tie her into the Council of Dads' plotline.

And then we have Theo, who is your typical angsty teen. He keeps failing his driver's test and is angry at the world for his dad's illness. 

He interacted the most with Larry, Scott's AA sponsee,.

Larry and Theo - Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1

They're already working towards forming a good relationship and I'm looking forward to seeing where that dynamic goes in the future episodes. 

Larry sticks out as a favorite already, but it is hard to unsee him as the shooter in the hospital from Grey's Anatomy

His devotion to the family and the reveal of why he feels so indebted to Scott were particularly heartwarming in an hour full of heartwarming moments.

Larry, when it was clear that cancer was going to win, you showed up. Now, I ask you to keep showing up.

Scott

Charlotte, Scott and Robin's adopted daughter, wasn't given too much time to shine, but her interactions with Scott provided some great comic relief in such a serious show. 

Charlotte: I'm thirteen.
Scott: And in the blink of an eye you're gonna be fourteen. And then someones gonna say 'Hey Charlotte, you wanna vape? It's cool.' And when that happens I need you to think of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Did she vape? No. Is she cool? Yes. RBG! RBG! RBG!

There were hints towards her bonding with Oliver the most out of the Council of Dads, especially considering her friendship with his daughter.

Scott's fourth child, JJ, was the biggest surprise. At Scott's funeral, JJ came out wearing a dress, holding hands with his grandmother. 

The grandmother explains how she thought it would be easier for JJ to just wear a dress to the service, but Robin rushes to his defense. 

Robin on Porch - Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1

It's revealed that JJ is transgender and that Robin's mom isn't accepting of it. She believes he's too young to "make a choice like that."

Anthony, Scott's best friend, explains how JJ didn't choose to be a boy, he just is one. 

It sucks that a transgender storyline has already started with some transphobia, but it was incredibly refreshing to see how the entire family rallied around JJ.

Anthony Reading Scott's Letter - Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1

It's very rare to see a transgender child on primetime television, so this is a great step forward for NBC. I just hope they continue to handle this storyline with compassion and consideration.

It has the potential to make a big impact, as long as it's done correctly. 

And come on, JJ is the cutest kid I've ever seen. He deserves a good storyline!

School starts tomorrow. Then after that, I'm going to be busy. Then I'm going to be eight. And after that, I'm gonna be old and after that, I'm gonna be dead! It has to be today.

JJ

Last but not least, Robin and Scott's new baby, Hope, was born. It seems like every new baby on television lately is being named Hope, but at least the show acknowledged how cheesy it was.

With five kids, it makes sense why Scott would want to assemble a Council of Dads to help his wife take care of them. 

It'll be interesting to see how the show is formatted going forward, especially if they're sticking with the timeline of the Council of Dads only helping out for the year after Scott's death. 

Will there still be time jumps, or was that just to move Scott's health crisis along?

Has NBC finally replicated a family show that'll achieve the success of This Is Us?

Make sure to give Council of Dads a try, it has great potential!

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Pilot Review

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Jillian Pugliese is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

How do you tell the story of a family? Through everyday moments, and life-changing ones and the people who love you when things fall apart.

Luly

School starts tomorrow. Then after that, I'm going to be busy. Then I'm going to be eight. And after that, I'm gonna be old and after that, I'm gonna be dead! It has to be today.

JJ