It's Father's Day, when our thoughts turn to dear old Dad. And if they don't, well maybe your dad was like one of these:
WORST TV DADS
DAN SCOTT (Paul Johansson, who fans of Soapdish might remember) on One Tree Hill. Fathered sons with two different women, raising one but abandoning the other, and then pitted the boys against each other. And that was just the beginning for one of TV's best prime-time Soap Bad Dads since J.R. Ewing. He also killed his brother, who was like a surrogate father to the kid he abandoned.
CORBETT STACKHOUSE (Jeffrey Nicholas Brown) on True Blood. In an effort to to prevent his daughter Sookie from being trapped in an arranged marriage to a 5,000 old vampire faerie (don't ask), Corbett took a drastic measure: attempting to kill Sookie. Well...that's...one way, I suppose.
WORST MOVIE DADS
EDWARD MURDSTONE (Basil Rathbone) in David Copperfield (1935). In what is arguably the best adaptation of the Dickens novel, Rathbone gives a chilling portrait of David's abusive stepfather. It's all the more impressive when you learn Rathbone was a decent chap who didn't enjoy being mean to little Freddie Bartholomew. (Who the hell would? I mean, it's like wanting to take a sledgehammer to a basket of puppies.)
JAMES TYRONE (Ralph Richardson) in Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962). Poor Jimmy and Edmund -- they really got screwed over in the parents department. Their mom's a junkie (as previously noted last month), and their dad is such a tightwad that he looks for the cheapest available healthcare facility when Edmund develops TB, since after all, if the kid's dying anyway, why go overboard?
OLIVER BARRETT III (Ray Milland) in Love Story (1970). I can't do better than MAD magazine's assessment of the character in their spoof "Lover's Story":
"He's a old-fashioned. You know--a throwback to the '40's"
"You mean a little like Cary Grant?"
"No, I mean a lot like Adolph Hitler."
BYRON MAYO (Robert Loggia) in An Officer & A Gentleman (1982) Usually when you think of father-son activities, they involve playing ball or fishing, or building something together. Not getting drunk off your ass and taking him with you to bang hookers. Unless what you're trying to build with him is resentment and lifelong issues with women.
TRAVERS GOFF (Colin Farrell) in Saving Mr. Banks (2013). The nicest dad on this list, like Jimmy Nolan in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, his heart was in the right place, but he was a drunken terminal fuck-up. Then again, his daughter grew up to be best-selling author P.L. Travers, so maybe if he hadn't screwed up, we'd have never had Mary Poppins.
I could probably have come up with a longer list but I had to work bothand today, which sapped up the time and energy I usually have to do these. Hopefully some of you will be able to offer prime suggestions for next year's list.
Until then, the toads are eating dinner, so it's time to go to bed.