Because of Father’s Day yesterday, I got to thinking about fathers on TV. They’ve come a long way, haven’t they? In the early days of TV, we rarely ever saw fathers at work (or even knew what they did for a living). Their primary role on the series was to mete out punishment and impart wisdom to the kids, while we, the audience, never really got to know the man behind the fatherly figure.
The 70’s saw fathers (and families) changing, with Archie Bunker (All in the Family), Mike Brady (The Brady Bunch) and Phillip Drummond (Different Strokes). These fathers had more character, but they were still primarily advice-givers and problem-solvers.
In the 80’s and 90’s, we were introduced to a new type of dad – Dan Connor (Roseanne), Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) and Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor (Home Improvement). These men were human (other than Homer lol). It seemed the women ruled the household, and the men were comic relief, definitely not the idealized fathers of the 50’s and 60’s.
Then came a new century, and families have definitely changed. I don’t watch many sitcoms these days, so I can’t comment on the fathers in the shows on TV now, but I’d venture to say they’ve veered even further from the early days.
So, the question is, who’s your favorite TV dad?