Father’s Day just last weekend and the passing of Eight is Enough’s Dick Van Patten got Gildshire in the mood to reminisce. Who would we have wanted to be our Dad if we were to choose one from TV?
It isn’t an easy choice. Some of the Dad’s on TV had some fairly serious character flaws, when it comes right down to it.
Believing the best way to raise kids is to choose discipline measures not including beating them, some ostensibly good dads had to be left out. Andy Griffith for one, Ricky Ricardo for another.
(No we never saw Ricky whale Little Ricky, but the way he used to paddle Lucy tells us all Gildshire needs to know.)
Let’s take a look at what we found. We will offer the flip side later in the week.
5. Ned Stark: Game of Thrones. Played by Sean Bean, Ned Stark was a good-hearted, wise and loving dad to his daughter Arya. Which means, of course, he had to die. He would actually be higher on the list if some of his heroism hadn’t resulted in the death of other children. Hero is one thing. Foolhardy is another.
4. Sandy Cohen: The O.C. Played with a pair of the most impressive eyebrows in television history by Peter Gallagher, Sandy Cohen was a great Dad. He took in stray troubled young men, gave them a place to stay in the pool house (still nicer than any home I’ve ever had) and hosted a gala nearly every week. The big bash was meant to relieve some of Sandy’s friends of their money, all to the greater good. He also loved a good bowl of cereal and a $250 prix fixe meal at equal measure.
3. Eric Taylor: Friday Night Lights. No one plays controlled fury like Kyle Chandler. But Chandler’s fury was limited to his football team, and only because he cared. At home, Eric Taylor never made his wife get up for her own popcorn. As a father to a lovely daughter, he was sometimes confused (who isn’t?) but he was a loving Pop throughout. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
2. Howard Cunningham: Happy Days. Raising Richie and Joanie was practically a breeze, but Howard and Marion Cunningham later took in Arthur Fonzarelli as well. Howard was a master of the ironic understatement, but he had a sharp wit. Besides, who wouldn’t have wanted to find his sunny smile beaming over the breakfast table?
1. Phil Dunphy: Modern Family. No man in the history of television has ever borne so much and with such good grace. He has one child with excellence neurosis and another with a loose hinge in her hips. He has a son who looks to be getting a little more off-kilter every season. Besides that, his wife Claire (played by the fetching Julie Bowen) is practically a psychopath.