All my social media feeds are full of chatter about the final episode of the TV show Parenthood.
My partner loves Parenthood. I think it’s sentimental and borderline corny. Yet I watch it with her every week. I appreciate the show’s earnestness, and how it portrays the messier aspects of marriage, raising kids, aging, and work.
What I like most about Parenthood is how it reminds me of the TV dramas and family centered sitcoms I watched as a kid back in the 80’s. Those TV shows (sitcoms included) continue to influence how I parent.
I know this seems insane. However, my actual parents were terrible, while TV parents provided for their family and interacted with their kids. Yes, they were idealized, mainstream and hokey. But they were also loving, loyal and forgiving. (They had to be, of course, in order for each episode to wrap up with a happy ending.)
Here’s a quick shoutout to my favorite TV parents of the 1980’s. These are the parents l remember liking the most back then, not necessarily the ones I would like now. (All of my favorite shows now have horrible parents. I’m thinking of the Lannisters, the Drapers, the Whites of Albuquerque, the Sopranos of north New Jersey.)
– Mr Belvedere. Not really a parent, but close enough. He was awesome. Did that show have parents in it?
– The dad from Family Ties. I don’t remember his name. He was always just Michael Gross to me.
– The Greek dad from Webster
– The dad from Silver Spoons. Not because he was rich, but because he was trying to be a real dad instead of grown up child. When are they going to reboot this series with Ricky playing the dad BTW?
– John Goodman as Dan Conner on Roseanne. A working class dad.
– Never did like Growing Pains or Alan Thicke.
– Ma from Golden Girls. The best, by far.