Father’s Day, the holiday that caps several weeks of screaming “what the hell should I buy my dad?” into the void, is nearly here. And this has me thinking about some of the most important father figures in my own life: the dads from the TV shows I’ve had on rotation this year. No offense to my actual father, who does dutifully text me every single day (about the Wordle), but as a streaming writer and avid TV watcher, there’s no denying that Jim Hopper and I are just spending more time together these days!
So what makes an amazing (or awful) TV dad? You could certainly judge them on their onscreen actions, or on vibes alone. You could discount both entirely and grade strictly on the curve of hotness, or you could look at the bigger picture and evaluate them on more than just the sum of their frequently subpar parts, like I’ve decided to do here. So, in honor of Father’s Day, here’s my ranking of the best (and worst) TV dads in my life at the moment.