So I’ve read a bit lately about how fathers are portrayed poorly on current TV shows on 8Bit Dads and Dad Blunders. I responded to Dad Blunders post saying that the solution is probably to not watch so much television. Personally, I don’t watch TV. My son doesn’t watch much TV, and when he does, it’s episodes of Dinosaur Train, Curious George, Thomas or a National Geographic show on Netflix. Occasionally, I let him screen re-runs of Star Trek TNG with me.
So here are a few TV shows with GREAT dad role models that you can watch at your leisure on Netflix.
Andy Griffith: The Andy Griffith Show
Andy Taylor is perhaps the best dad role model ever to grace the small screen. He’s smart, responsible and kind to his family and the community. We could learn a lot from him. Also, you have the added benefit of Don Knotts’ Barney Fife is hilarious. I remember watching TAGS with my grandfather and his uproarious hoots of laughter ad Barney’s antics. Great Stuff, and all 8 seasons are streamable on NetFlix.
Captain Picard: Star Trek The Next Generation
What? Captain Picard is has a long lost son? Not quite. The 8Bit Dad and Dad Blunders criticized modern TV for making father figures seem inept at relating to children and bumbling with the mechanics of child care. Well, my response is not in how one bumbles, but how one gets past the bumbling. Picard, in the first episode of TNG frets over the presence of families and children on the Enterprise, though later in the series he shows great skill in dealing with them. How? He’s a star ship captain, you don’t get to freak out over dirty diapers, you had a mission and you bloody well see it through.
Rob Petrie: The Dick Van Dike Show
I’ve actually never watched this show, so I’m going to watch episode one now before I recommend it. Hold on a sec.
Ok, I’m back. Rob is a creative, erudite, educated, talented, funny and respectful father who balances being a responsible and skilled parent with promoting his career. The only gripe i have is the cigarette. And HOLY CRAP! A glass of milk and a cupcake for after school snack!?!?!
Good vocabulary, went to college, logical voice of reason, talented and funny
“How often does my boss ask us over to his house?”
“How often is one called upon to be a responsible parent?”
Michael Bluth: Arrested Development
There are issues with Michael Bluth. His family is highly dysfunctional on the surface, and it’s easy to look at them as a failed family. While they are all more or less useless at life, Michael Bluth is dedicated to his career, his family and his son. He also acts in his own emotional self interest. which i don’t see as a fault, mostly cause I do that quite a lot a well. It’s the only way to stay sane. While Michael makes a lot of mistakes raising his son George Michael, the one he doesn’t make is letting his son know that he loves him, is interested in his life and will always be there for him. You can screw up a lot of other things and it won’t matter.
Burt Hummel: Glee
I’m not going to suggest you over sweeten your evening by watching Glee, but if you do, here’s some commentary about a dad character in Glee:
Who wouldn’t want Burt Hummel as a dad? The “Glee” character may not understand all the things his son Kurt is going through as a gay high school student, but he ensures Kurt knows he has his love and unwavering support. [Parade]
Steven Keaton: Family Ties
I didn’t watch this show much when I was a kid. Probably because it was on at the same time as night rider or MacGuiver. But it has Michael J Fox, who you kids need to know as well.
Ward Cleaver: Leave It To Beaver
While this character is far too stiff and proper for me to rally behind him too much, he’s the quintessential TV sit com dad. And he’s on NetFlix.
The Power of On Demand TV
Our kids are growing up in a world where TV guide and scheduled programming is irrelevant. If you want to watch something, you can stream it when you want to stream it. This is a great benefit to us as parents as well because for the low cost of, what, $8 or something? I don’t even know what Netflix costs it’s so cheep. For $8 you can get unlimited streaming of a limited library of content whenever you want it. TV has always been limited. As we’ve seen lately with one of the cable networks dropping some channels (I don’t care, so I don’t know the details), even the paid model comes with limitations. But Netflix doesn’t come with a schedule. And it doesn’t come with commercials. A fact I’m very grateful for in the fairly rare instance I see actual commercials on actual live TV.
The best thing is that when my kid wants to watch dinosaur train, I can put it on. Whenever and wherever we are. Who is your favorite dad to stream on NetFlix?