We won’t be mentioning Coach Taylor or Charles Ingalls. This is a competition to find the best dad on television shows that are not cancelled or finished yet.
Cameron Tucker - Modern Family and Mitchell Pritchett- Modern Family. These two go together, obviously. Cam’s fun approach compliments Mitchell’s worried, actual-parent approach. But we’re going to count these guys out early because of the creepy clown antics and the fact that they are always fighting. Yeah, it’s funny, so you hardly notice, but think about it. Most of their plots involve some petty disagreement. The writers need something new to do with these characters. Lily’s kind of unlikeable too.
Bobby Cobb - Cougar Town. Grayson isn’t in the running, since he just found out that Tampa exists. Andy? Well, Stan is a demon child. So that just leaves Bobby. Travis is an alright little guy and Bobby is his dad. Still, Bobby is bad at everything. He always crashes his son’s college place, lives on a boat, named his dog Travis, Jr. because the dog reminds him of his son, and thinks the best activity in the world is throwing pennies in a can. Bobby is fun and occasionally doles out good advice (worded badly, but the heart of it is usually good), but we’re going to bet that Travis turned out well in spite of Bobby and because of Jules. Still, we love him, so he deserves a mention.
Phil Dunphy - Modern Family. We thought of him instantly because of the way he pals around with Luke and this season’s episode where he found out that Haley lost her V-card. This might be the most adorable dad on TV right now, while also the most traditional. He makes an effort to please Claire (part of being a good father is being a good husband) and bond with Alex, even if it just ends with Alex vomiting. His cluelessness works against him in this contest, but as of right now, he’s a strong contender for best dad on TV. He may be the funniest character on the whole dang show too.
Dexter Morgan - Dexter. Dexter turned out to be a much better dad than we had anticipated. Dexter makes sure his son has a good nanny, worries that Harrison will turn out like him, rushes to save Harrison when he is kidnapped, hugs him, talks to him, and provides for him. But Dexter loses major points for the…you know…whole serial killer thing.
Tom Mason - Falling Skies. This father and his sons are the heart of this show. Tom does a lot to save and protect his offspring from alien invasion. But we’d like to give the award to a dad with a little more personality. Personality goes a long way. You want to actually hang out with your dad and enjoy it. Our dads are weird, but they’re better than Tom because they aren’t boring. And we’re sure they’d do alright protecting us from aliens. They both have enough guns.
Tywin and Jaime Lannister - Game of Thrones. Bah haha. Just kidding. Tywin's too mean to Tyrion. Since Ned and Robert left, there aren’t that many dads on this show. Jaime? He has incest babies. Has he even seen them in the last couple of years? We’re not giving the award to someone who pushed someone else’s kid out the window.
Randy Marsh- South Park. He’s a contender purely for hilarity’s sake, and you have to admit that he’s better than Kenny’s dad.
Dr. Walter Bishop - Fringe. He’s made some major mistakes, but he would do anything for Peter and he’s so sweet. He’s not going to beat Phil Dunphy, but we thought we’d at least put him on the list.
Tad Horvath - Girls. He’s on the list for cutting Hannah off from his bank account, because that’s really the best thing for that girl. You can totally be the voice of your generation, Hannah. We think you have what it takes, but get a job while you’re at it. We know Tad is always there if Hannah really starts drowning, but tough love is necessary. Plus, it’s hilarious that he’s secretly gay, according to Hannah’s gay ex. But then we saw him go to town on his wife. Secretly bi maybe?
Mark Sloan - Grey’s Anatomy. Derek couldn’t even do his baby’s hair, so he’s not the pick from this show. Mark has been at this longer, and he’s always into it, all the time. He’s always wanted a baby (remember how sad he was about Addison’s abortion) and now he has one. He stepped up to it enthusiastically, even taking some BS from Arizona in the process. Plus, he's a doctor so he will likely push hard for his daughter's education...and he'll be able to fund it.
Marshall Erikson - How I Met Your Mother. It’s early, but we’re sure Marshall is going to be a cool, kick-ass dad. He’s a good husband, friend, and lawyer, after all. But he named his son Marvin Waitforit Eriksen and then took his baby on his first outing…to a bar. That’s not a good start, but we know Marshall will make up for those things.
Don Draper - Mad Men. You know Pete won’t get the nomination. But Don has been staying in his kids’ lives after his divorce, letting them come over when they need a break from fat Betty. He took Sally as his date to his awards party, he works hard, he gave them a good stepmom, and he insisted that Sally take off her hooker boots and get rid of the makeup. He’s protecting her innocence like any good, square dad would. He's not good at marriage, but he's not ditching his kids.
Burt Hummel - Glee. Stop the contest. This is the winner. Just kidding. Maybe. Burt’s best moments came last season. This season, it seems like he’s been too busy being a Congressman, and he also made us watch him do the "Single Ladies" Dance. Still, this is every gay guy’s dream dad and the heart of this increasingly shallow show. Also, this speech: “"For most guys, sex is just always this thing we want to do...But it’s about more than just the physical. When you're intimate with someone in that way, you're exposing yourself. You're never gonna be more vulnerable, and that scares the hell out of a lot of guys... For you, it’s worse. With two guys you've got two people who think that sex is just sex. It's gonna be easier to come by and once you start, you aren't gonna want to stop. You gotta know that it means something. It's doing something to you, to your heart, to your self-esteem, even though it feels like you're just having fun...When you're ready, I want you to be able to do everything. But when you're ready, I want you to use it as a way to connect to another person. Don't throw yourself around like you don't matter, because you matter, Kurt…That’s it, for now. Can I make you some toast?"
Crosby Braverman - Parenthood. We usually don’t compliment Crosby, but the guy really stepped up this year. He got Jasmine back, which should be great for Jabbar. Crosby also opened a music studio this year. Jabbar is still the cutest, nicest kid ever, even if he lost patience with Max this year. And who was around to help Jabbar handle the Max situation? His dad, Crosby, who is really growing up.
Jimmy Chance - Raising Hope. Jimmy is doing his best and, as it turns out, his best is pretty good. And hilarious.
Byron Montgomery - Pretty Little Liars. He put the smackdown on the Ezra situation. Well, he tried to. That’s really all he’s got going for him. He cheated on Ella, had Aria keep his cheating a secret, had no idea what his son was doing last season, lost his marriage, and is now hanging out with Meredith. Objecting to his teenage daughter sleeping with a grown man is less a good-dad move and more of a cave man’s knee-jerk reaction. ONLY I MAY SLEEP WITH YOUNGER WOMEN.
George Altman - Suburgatory. He gets points for understanding his daughter. He loses points for making her move to the suburbs. Overall though, this is an exceptional TV dad. And those of you who are George/Tessa shippers: stop it. Please. It's super creepy.
Martin Bohm - Touch. Martin will stop at nothing to communicate with Jake and make sure Jake is happy, healthy, and fulfilling his purpose. Martin leaves no stone unturned in the mystery of why Jake is the way he is and what patterns Jake sees. Martin runs frantically all around the sitting doing Jake’s mystic errands. He’s a little impulsive, can't fight like Jack Bauer, sometimes makes rash decisions, and he has a short temper, but he’s always gentle with Jake. Touch only works because Martin’s a devoted father, and he’s definitely in the top three on this list.
Chris Brinkley - Up All Night. The good: His relationship with his wife and the way he stays home and takes care of his baby. The bad: Chris is going to embarrass that poor kid SO MUCH in her teenage years.
We’re giving it to Martin Bohm this year. Congrats, Martin! Who’s your pick?