It’s Father’s Day at the time I write this, and it’s an appropriate subject: if not for my father, neither one of my blogs would exist (I mean besides the fact that I would not exist). My dad is responsible for turning me on to both science/fantasy fiction and the world of libations. I owe a great deal of my literacy to my father–He had me reading Lieber, Alexander, LeGuin, and Heinlein at a young age. He introduced me to Arthurian mythology, sword and sorcery, and, most importantly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He also is to blame for my fascination with craft drinks–he made me my first negroni, introduced me to my mentor in wine, and taught me about South-East Asian Cuisine. So much of what I love in this world now is due to OMF.
So, Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Much love. It’s your fault I’m a nerd with a wine habit.
In honor of this day, I give you the best dads in nerdy TV. Interestingly, they are all single fathers; apparently Hollywood doesn’t like to present awesome dads that are still married. Though I have yet to see Modern Family–I bet that dad would make the list.
Giles (Buffy The Vampire Slayer):
Not technically Buffy’s father, but close enough. In the third season, Giles is fired from the Watchers Council for “Having a father’s love for [Buffy]” (Helpless). Later, in season 4, Buffy asks Giles to “be the one to give [her] away” at her (magically influenced) marriage to Spike, and Spike even calls him his “father-in-law”(Something Blue). Man, what a fantastic episode.
Giles acts as replacement for her absentee father, guiding her with his gentle wisdom and care. He even knows when the best time is to let her walk on her own, leaving her in season six for a time so that she can grow, though his heartbreak in having to do so is apparent when he sings “Standing in the way” in the season 6 musical episode Once More with Feeling (Man, what another fantastic episode).
While I’m a little disappointed with how Ripper is handled in Season 7, they eventually repair their relationship in the finale, and Giles is still a wonderful father figure
Keith Mars (Veronica Mars):
It’s admittedly been a while since I’ve watched Veronica Mars, but I still remember that the father/daughter dynamic that is Veronica and Keith Mars makes the entire show. Their connection, their banter, their entire relationship is genuine and delightful. It’s arguably the best father and daughter relationship on television, ever. Enrico Colantoni and Kristen Bell are two underrated actors, in my opinion. Here’s hoping the Veronica Mars kickstarter movie works out.
Michael Bluth (Arrested Development, Seasons 1-3):
Michael Bluth may not be the paragon of father figures; he often ignores what his son George Michael is really telling him, he occasionally sacrifices their relationship for his job, and he lies to his son about sleeping with his ethics teacher. But still, given who he was raised by, Michael does a bang up job. He puts his son before himself constantly, and is willing to sacrifice anything for the kid’s well-being, even if he doesn’t always know what is best for George Michael.
You’ll notice I specified seasons 1-3, but we’ll get to that later.
Richard Castle (Castle):
Castle is the consummate “Cool Dad”, even referring to himself in that way: he plays laser tag with his daughter, convinces her to relax a bit when she stresses out about school, picks up her and her drunk friend from a party without scolding, etc. If anything, their relationship, the cool dad and perfect daughter, is a little too perfect to be believable, but hey, it’s a procedural TV show. The reason it still satisfies is that Nathan Fillion and Molly Quin bring heart and charm to it. While the script doesn’t shine with the naturalness and depth that Veronica Mars‘ does, the actors make up for it. My desire to have a daughter stems equally from Castle and Veronica Mars.
William Adama (Battlestar Galactica):
Bill and Lee Adama’s relationship is probably the darkest of this list, plagued by responsibility, guilt, and blame. Still, when it comes down to it, William Adama is an amazing, strong, moral father, not just to his son and all-but-adopted daughter Kara Thrace, but to the entire fleet. He and Roslyn are the father and mother to the survivors of the human race, and he shoulders that responsibility with strength and dignity. Edward James Olmos is fantastic at playing upright, moral characters, and Adama is no exception.
So say we all.
Next I plan on writing on the top five worst fathers of nerdy TV, but that is for another day.
Happy Father’s Day, again.