Bobby Cannavale as Connor, Bokeem Woodbine, and Bill Burr in 'Old Dads'

‘Old Dads’ Trailer Breakdown: Old School Clashes With New School in Netflix Original Comedy

Our synopsis and response to the trailer for Old Dads  — written by, directed by, and starring Bill Burr.

The trailer for Old Dads — a Netflix original film directed by and starring Bill Burr — dropped on September 20, 2023, and it’s clear that the film is aiming to ruffle some feathers (but it’s all in good fun). As he narrates in the trailer, Burr stars as a father who took “46 years to make [becoming a dad] happen.” So, let’s just say he’s not a 20-something-year-old millennial pops with his Instagram notifications turned on. 

The trailer opens with Burr’s Jack telling his son — who looks no older than five or six — to rub some dirt on his elbow wound. Then, in walks a messy-haired, glasses-wearing young man who says that a little Neosporin would be a wise idea, as it’s common knowledge that the ointment will keep the cut clean. With an overtly old-school mentality (that is as antithetical to subtle as possible), Burr notes that he’s trying to “raise a little man here, not an expletive p*ssy.” He tells the younger gent to take to Twitter and “share the story where [he’s] the hero.” We’re only 20 seconds into the trailer, and we’ve got a battle of the generations brewing.

Jack also has two best friends who face the struggles of a world they don’t recognize alongside him, played by Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine. Cannavale, however, in one scene, does all in his power to appear “hip and with it,” using the phrase “fleekity-fleek” — while conversing with a nonchalant millennial who is palpably uncomfortable — as if such a phrase is or ever was an expression of coolness. Cannavale also boasts a scene in which he explains how awesome he once was, reminiscing about his glory years with a sense of bittersweet longing. He’s perfectly cast in this role, as he’s the handsome guy transitioning out of his DILF years and into the Silver Fox demographic. 

These three pals now work for a young boss who is definitely a bit ageist and reeks of coastal elitism. The youngster with a currently-trending middle part informs them that their corporation is “now a gender-neutral, carbon-neutral, 21st-century lifestyle brand,” to which Jack responds with utter confusion, “I don’t know what any of that means.” 

From fighting with new-wave principals to hopping on city scooters and dealing with social justice warriors, the comedy is bound to entertain, while commenting on the social and cultural divide between millennials and Gen X. However, the film seems less interested in the political aspect of this divide, and more focused on the day-to-day difficulties that such polar perspectives catalyze. In avoiding policy and focusing on the personal, the film will hopefully be a relatable and bridge-building piece that accomplishes the mighty goal of unification via humor and empathy. The upcoming movie was co-written by Burr and Ben Tishler (Hate To See You Go). 

Old Dads is scheduled to premiere on Netflix on October 20, 2023.

About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.