Giriş Tarihi : 19-06-2022 17:13

From 'Schitt's Creek' to 'This Is Us': TV's Best Father & Son Relationships

The complexity of the father/son relationship is one TV has been exploring for decades. Here are some of TV's best father/son relationships.

From 'Schitt's Creek' to 'This Is Us': TV's Best Father & Son Relationships

The depiction of families on television goes all the back to the invention of the TV itself. One of the most dynamic family representations seen on TV is that of the father and son. Think about the types of father and sons the world of television has explored. Over the years we have seen the classical dramatic representation between Ned Stark (Sean Bean) and his sons in Game of Thrones, the comedic super dad approach of Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) in Modern Family and the more disturbing in Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) and his son Harrison (Jack Alcott) in Dexter.

No matter the genre, modern television portrayals of the father and son have captured a more realistic essence of the relationship. The very best connections recognize the strengths and weaknesses of both, allowing for a more complex, yet authentic portrayal of the father and son on television.

Taking a closer look at this depiction, here are 8 of the best father/son relationships on TV.

Rick and Carl Grimes in The Walking Dead (2010-2022)
The Walking Dead is not a show that immediately comes to mind when you think of the intricacies of the father and son relationship. In a world full of hungry zombies maneuvering through a post apocalyptic landscape is a difficult tread. Yet, when it comes to The Walking Dead, the writers have always focused on the human characters and their attempt to keep their humanity. There is no better case of this than Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his son Carl (Chandler Riggs). As their relationship grew, what made them special was their outwardly expressions of love. In a world full of coldness their relationship provided a beacon of hope. While Rick spent the better part of the early seasons trying to protect Carl from the world around him, he soon realized that his son had turned into the young man he always wanted him to be. For many fans of the show, Rick passing his famed hat to Carl will always be a watershed moment in their relationship.

Sandy and Seth Cohen in The OC (2003-2007)
On the surface, a teen drama set in an affluent area of California filled with troubled but privileged youth may not seem like the ideal background for a solid father/son relationship. However, Sandy (Peter Gallagher) and Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) proved otherwise. In many ways it felt like Sandy, the patriarch of the Cohen family, was misplaced in the world of The OC. Sandy acts as the conscience of the show, a Brooklyn native turned California attorney trying his best to not let the superficial world around them affect his son Seth, and Ryan (Ben McKenzie), the troubled teenager he brings home. The relationship between the Cohens' was the heart of the show and when Seth comes to Sandy for advice on sex in Season 1, the earnestness of their relationship comes to the forefront. As The OC progressed its storylines would veer into the campy, but Sandy and Seth's relationship remained the focal point of the show.

Uncle Phil, Will, & Carlton in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
To many, Uncle Phil (James Avery) came across as the epitome of tough love. It was always obvious that he loved his children, and was never afraid to tell them the stone-cold truth about life. Phil’s relationship with his son Carlton (Alfonso Riberio) and nephew Will (Will Smith) demonstrated that even though the trappings of Bel Air might make it seem like you didn’t have to work for success, hard work was a must. One of the most lasting memories of the show is the episode where Will’s father abandons him again, and he cries into the arms of his true father figure, Phil. His relationship with his son Carlton may not have been as defined as his one with Will, but his father’s ability to use words to stand up for what is right was a key part of Carlton’s progression into college. The thing about a father/son relationship is that sometimes they are not defined by a key moment but through a series of small understandings.

Johnny and David Rose in Schitt's Creek (2015-2020)
Johnny (Eugene Levy) and David Rose (Dan Levy) are perhaps the most relatable father/son relationship on the list. There is an earnest quality to their relationship that is mirrored by the Levy's real-life bond as father and son. Like any honest relationship, it is the growth of their relationship that endears viewers to their story. The events of season one help the duo realize that they were not as close as they believed and this was due to the lavish lifestyle they were living. Money became a block between them, and when they lost everything, they gained a new perspective on what their relationship meant to each other. Their connection focused on the important small things – the look on Johnny’s face when David opens the Rose Apothecary told the story of a father and son who went from being related to blood to related by bond.

Jack, Randall, & Kevin Pearson in This is Us (2016-2022)
This is Us is a television show that strives on creating emotional waves for its audience. The ups and downs of the Pearson family has brought out more tissues than any other television show in history. The series is not afraid to focus on the flaws of the Pearson family in order to portray them in a realistic but sympathetic way. Jack Pearson's (Milo Ventimlia) relationship with his sons Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) exemplify this realness. While the show does focus on bigger issues within the family, it is the small things that spotlights Jack’s heroism as a father. His relationship with Randall, his adopted son personifies his unconditional support. Growing up, Randall questions his identity and place in the world – it is Jack who reminds him that as he makes his way in the world, he will never have to question his place as his son. Ironically, Jack's relationship with his own father is severely strained, but through this hardship he is able to become the father he never had.

Fred and Archie Andrews in Riverdale (2017-)
I’m not sure if there is a harder job in all TV then trying to be a good parent on Riverdale. For a show that started as a teen drama and the turned into, something, more the relationship between Fred (Luke Perry) and Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) kept the show grounded. An underrated aspect of their relationship is that Fred truly understood what it was like to be a young person growing up in Riverdale. He had a degree of empathy for his son that you do not often see on TV. Take the pilot of the show for example, where Archie confesses that football is not for him but also, he has no interest in taking over his father’s business. Instead of getting upset or challenging his son, Fred is completely understanding and provides nothing but support for Archie – the true sign of a positive father.

Andre and Andre Jr. Johnson in Blackish (2014-2022)
Andre “Dre” Johnson (Anthony Anderson) is a modern TV dad who shows love and support for his sons in his own unique way. Dre is a straight-up dad who is a staunch defender of his culture and black history. He ensures that his sons are educated in what it means to be a young black person in America. Dre teaches his sons that they should take great pride in who they are and that whatever dreams they have will only be achieved through hard work. His relationship with his eldest son Andre Jr. (Marcus Scribner) can be seen as problematic in nature. The two of them couldn’t be more different, and for the viewer their dynamic explores intricacies found within black culture that the rest of America may not be aware of.

Homer and Bart Simpson in The Simpsons (1989-)
Homer (Dan Castellaneta) and Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright) are not your traditional TV father and son. In fact, since The Simpsons premiered in December 1989, the pair have been the catalyst for breaking the father/son on screen mold. Bart became a symbol of the 1990s for his carefree attitude and Homer developed into a television icon. For the two of them, the glaring differences between them have led to a deep love for each other. Homer’s parenting techniques are never going to win him a father of the year award and Bart constantly referring to his father by his first name is always going to be a sign of defiance. But somewhere in all that chaos are some of the most tender moments between a father and son in television history. The season 3 episode where they bond over the building of a soap box is the epitome of a relationship that goes beyond words and the commitment a father/son relationship can have.