Originally this was a competition entry, until I was told I wasn’t eligible to enter. Oh well, it works on it’s own anyway. Dads on TV eh? bunch of losers or psychos? You chose, but these are some of the ones I like watching
I have manfully, nay dadfully exercised the little grey matter and come up with my list, which is here, in no particular order:
I can’t make a list without having someone from Game of Thrones and it’s not Ned “Whoops I’m Dead” Stark either. Yes, Ned even raised his bastard John Snow but he’s nothing like Tywin Lannister. Tywin had 3 kids, twins Jaime and Ceseri and a dwarf called Tyrion. Yes, technically I suppose he was murdered by his dwarf son, which might suggest a breakdown in relationships there, but he did his best to ensure that his daughter was Queen, made sure her twin was effectively her body guard and his grand kids held on to the throne. That’s some pretty fierce dad’ing right there, even if his methods might have been a bit extreme…
Daddy Pig might seem initially like he’s just walked in from one of those annoying TV adverts where women know best and men are idiots but he does display some great Dad traits; he’s very patient with his kids, does a respectable job and hoovering up left overs at the table, and has that uncanny lack of a sense of direction that all dads must display. He’s great and while younger people may aspire to be like the Dude from the Big Lebowski, dads of my generation should rightly aim for Daddy Pig.
Admittedly I might be shooting myself in the foot here as I’ve only watched the first series of Breaking Bad but from what I’ve seen (and I’ve managed to avoid spoilers so far for the rest of the series), Walter will let nothing get in his way from providing for his unborn child, his disabled kid and his wife. Of course this isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially if you’re going to open a meth lab and shoot the odd drug dealer but it’s Walter’s sentiment rather than his specific actions I respect- despite being diagnosed with a near terminal form of cancer, he decides not to wallow in self pity but to provide for his family when he is gone. That’s dad+.
John Walton Sr.
If you’re of an age, there is a pretty good chance you used to sit down and watch the Waltons after your Sunday Roast as a child. It wasn’t because the Waltons was the worlds most compelling programme- it wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination- but it was on one of only four TV channels, and at that specific time of day on a Sunday, pretty much the only channel not showing either politics or religion. And so we all were glued to the events in Depression era America, as told by John Boy Walton, the wannabe journalist. John Walton Sr. had seven children in a time when it was somewhat difficult to make ends meet. He runs a lumber mill (latterly with the help of his kids), with some small scale homestead farming and the odd bit of game hunting to provide a bit of extra food on the table. He’s properly indefatigable, nothing can stop him providing for his family and the fact that to this day there is a website dedicated to people who want to live to the ideal sense of family as espoused by the Waltons says an awful lot about it all.
Being rich doesn’t make you a great dad but agreeing to take your nephew in and effectively raise him as one of your own. Especially when your nephew comes from a really deprived area; full of crime, drugs and violence. Philip Banks life as a dad could be the subject of a serious hard hitting drama but fortunately since his nephew is played by Will Smith and the series was called The Fresh Prince of Bell Air and is somewhat of a comedy. Phil does a great job of adapting to having his nephew come to live with him and it makes him a better dad too- obviously as a seriously well off dude he’s spoilt his own two kids a bit but Will makes him reassess his attitude to many things. It’s this ability to reassess his life and attitude, as well as his generosity to his nephew that earn Philip Banks the final place in my top 5 TV dads.
In conclusion then, you may be a bit surprised by my choice of the top 5 TV dads because with the exception of Mr Walton Snr, they don’t exactly inspire an enormous amount of confidence. However being a top dad doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a brilliant person. It’s all about doing the best with what you’ve got, which is probably why I have such a soft spot for flawed individuals (like Daddy Pig and Walter White), who try their best to do what is right but don’t quite get there.