Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Death of the TV Dad

Best.TV.Dad.EverLast night I watched the 100th episode of Smallville. For those of you not in the know - this is the episode when Jonathan Kent dies and I cry until my stomache hurts.

Yep, I still cry at television and it pisses me off.

Jonathan Kent was the type of father we don't see on tv these days. He was hard-working, ethical and supportive of his family to a fault. Sure he was proud and could be short tempered but these flaws made him even more real and endearing.

What upsets me the most is how absent or abusive fathers on television tend to be. The message we're sending boys is that fathers are expendable or exchangable. While promoting the strength of women and their ability to solo-parent we're taking away power and standards from men.

I grew up hearing about the absence of black fathers in our community (which is what happens when you go to a predominantly black school) and television shows us that fathers can be missing from any race or age bracket. So what do little boys expect to be their parental responsibility? Paying child support and dropping by on holidays?

Jonathan Kent showed us what a real father should be. God, I hate Lana Lang.


Elizabeth said...


It was sad.

PS--The mom (and I've suddenly forgotten her name) from Good Times refused to do the show until they broughtin/kept a 'caring' father *and* she pushed them into making JJ a better person--I thought that was really terrific of her-she actually cared about how much a role model tv characters are to some folks.

Anny said...

I know, I'm a tremendous Joss fan but he has serious father issues. All the fathers were either cruel, missing or the victims of tremendous violence.

I wonder if Jonathan Kent would have been such a wonderful character if he'd been raising Superwoman instead or if Martha would have been more developped.