Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19. We join the chorus of appreciation for dads, fathers, bonus dads, father figures, and anyone else for whom this day is special.
We would also like to use this space to gripe about one of our pop culture pet peeves: the absent-minded sitcom father.
This was especially prevalent in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, which brought us sitcom fathers like Tim Taylor in “Home Improvement,” Ray Barone in “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Jim Orenthal in “According to Jim,” Bill Miller in “Still Standing,” and Hal (no last name) in “Malcolm in the Middle,” just to name a few.
Each character came from the same mold: loving and well-meaning, but most times clueless and inept. Their ignorance about the needs of their significant other and the operation of their household played over a laugh track, while their seldom serious moments of comfort and vulnerability were greeted with an “aw” from the audience.
Television has shifted away from this stereotype in recent years, thankfully, but no show has really quite captured the full picture of what it means to be a dad. Fathers are also multi-faceted, multitasking parents.
They are not “babysitters” when their significant other has “a night off.” They, too, juggle the never-ending kid taxi queue, scheduling of sporting events, and domestic duties, most times to only receive partial credit or disbelief at their capability.
We hope to continue to see more Dre Johnsons, Coach Taylors, and Jack Pearsons represented on television, fathers who are invested in their children, the partner, and their household in easy measure.
Happy Father’s Day to you and yours.