TV Dads: The Doting, the Dramatic and the Dreadful...

All over primetime TV there are fathers. Fathers who inspire and provide a steadfast guiding hand to their offspring and dads who can be mean drunks and blow of their kids to attend to their own selfish needs. Here’s a look at the fathers who populate the world of TV families on the likes of Parenthood, Modern Family and The Good Wife, just the good, the bad and the ugly.


Devoted & Doting Dads


Adam Braverman, Parenthood: A father of an occasionally rebellious teen girl and an autistic grade school aged boy, Adam is an involved dad who takes an interest in his children’s schooling, who used to coach his son’s Little League team and is supportive and loving to his wife Kristina. Adam once punched out a man at a grocery store when the guy smack-talked about his son, but it was a gesture of support and love for his kid, despite the violence involved. As of the season finale this spring, the uber-responsible Adam lost his job and learned that his wife is pregnant. And Adam laughed at the insanity of it all. When I looked over at my own husband Scott during that finale, he just raised his eyebrows, likely hoping there’d be no pregnancy surprises in our future given that we already have three kids.


Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights: The respected Texas high school football coach and father of two is the epitome of the devoted family man. Coach Eric Taylor been challenged this season as his oldest child, a teen daughter, dropped out of college and hid at home in shame after she had an affair with a married teaching assistant. In the midst of one of the games my husband was coaching for our son’s Little League team, I texted him Coach Taylor’s famous motto, “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.” It made my own Coach Taylor smirk.


Cameron Tucker, Mitchell Pritchett and Jay Pritchett, Modern Family: I love these guys. I really do. Each of these three Modern Family fathers are fabulous but in completely different ways. The adoptive dads of baby Lily, Cameron and Mitchell, Cam provides the heart and the emotional connection for the family while Mitchell provides pragmatism and overprotective caution. Then there’s Jay who already raised two kids and is stunned to find himself raising his second wife’s son Manny. But this time, Jay’s being a heck of a lot more sensitive and caring than he was during his first go-round with fatherhood.


Mike Heck, The Middle: Scott and I laugh out loud at least once during episodes of The Middle and adore the down-to-earth, sensible, loving parenting depicted by Mike Heck, a father of three. He invoked tough love when his slacker teen son Axl wouldn’t help around the house, he was supportive when his kooky middle school daughter Sue “won” an award for cross country (everyone got an award) and attempted to guide his grade school aged son Brick through his fear of bridges. Gotta love Mike.


Dramatic Diva Dads



Sometimes TV dads impart wisdom by being racist, ignorant (but also lovable!) homophobes themselves.
Archie Bunker, All in the Family.