Dads are pretty great, right? (Right.) Your dad is probably the coolest person you know! TV dads are a totally different deal, though. They run the gamut from the platonic ideal to the complete nightmare. In honor of Father's Day, SideReel's taking a moment to honor iconic TV dads, from the sublime (Uncle Phil) to the terrifying (Tony Soprano). Check out our list and then thank your lucky stars Tobias Fünke wasn't your role model. King of the Hill : Hank Hill King of the Hill was probably the most naturalistic cartoon ever to grace the screen, and Hank Hill was its standard-bearer. As head of the household, he strove to be unambiguously normal, despite Bobby and Peggy's needs to stand out. His own father, Cotton, was everything he couldn't stand (profane, misogynistic, racist, and... well... shinless), and so, though he never quite understood Bobby, he always, always supported him—except when it came to Dog Dancing . That was every man for himself. Friday Night Lights : Eric Taylor As James Poniewozik, Time 's television critic, once wrote , Kyle Chandler's portrayal of Coach Eric Taylor was "the How to Be a God Damn Man seminar." And really, it was. Though understated, Coach is fiercely loyal to his family (yes, even awful Julie), and also serves as a surrogate father to what seems like half of the football players in Dillon. He handles every obstacle with aplomb, and has already taken his place among the pantheon of perfect TV dads. Arrested Development : Tobias Fünke And then there's Tobias Fünke. Both flamboyant and repressed, his self-absorbed whims are a perfect fit for the bizarre antics of his in-laws. He veers between forgetting he has a daughter and yearning for her respect—and in trying to achieve it uses means so totally repulsive, he only manages to drive her further away. Luckily for Maeby, raising oneself is probably better than being raised by a Never-Nude. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air : Uncle Phil There is a generation out there (and I know it, because it's mine) that wanted nothing more than to be Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air —and it had nothing to do with being able to perform the theme song. No, it was all thanks to Uncle Phil, the only real father-figure Will ever had, and the man who comforted him when he was rejected by his biological father. Tough yet fair, Uncle Phil knew when to indulge his family and when to tighten the reins, and, judging by the reactions to actor James Avery's death, Phil was inspirational in his approach to parenting. Seinfeld : Morty Seinfeld Come on, the man owns a shirt that says "Number 1 Dad." So much of the time when talking about fathers on Seinfeld , we focus on Frank Costanza, but Barney Martin's Morty Seinfeld was a terrific addition to the ensemble in his own right. As vain and spite-driven as his son, he had dreams of political dominance (in the rarefied world of Miami old-person condo associations) and saw such a strong legacy in his invention of the beltless trenchcoat ("The Executive") that he derailed a chartered trip to Paris. Besides, his devotion to the Early Bird special rivals that of his devotion to his son, so we'd be remiss if we didn't mention him. The Cosby Show : Cliff Huxtable Cliff Huxtable was probably the defining TV dad (and pudding pitchman) of the 1980s. His perfect, sweetly funny, be-sweatered family was the envy of America, and, per TV Guide , "single-handedly revived the sitcom genre." In the days of very-special-episode comedy, Cliff Huxtable was king of his fictional castle, and Bill Cosby was the king of the medium. The Sopranos : Tony Soprano Premiering at the very tail-end of the '90s (seriously, it premiered January '99), The Sopranos launched the anti-hero-driven dramas of the 2000s, and Tony Soprano, effortlessly played by James Gandolfini, was the anti-hero of our time. Patriarch of the Sopranos and the DiMeo organization, Tony's life in both was complicated enough to spawn the brilliant first season tagline "If one family doesn't kill him, the other will." Fringe : Walter Bishop Dr. Walter Bishop: actual genius, criminal genius, lover of hallucinogens, and father to two universes' worth of Peter Bishop. This is a man who crossed dimensional barriers to rescue his double's dying boy in order to save himself from despair. This act of fatherly love would be the catalyst for gruesome trans-universal crimes against humanity, a dimensional war, and a pretty damn bleak future, but he never regrets saving his son. Besides, all that LSD he ingested probably took the sting out of it. Leah E. Friedman is the editor of SideReel.com. Her dad taught her everything she knows. You can follow her musings on Twitter .
There’s an embarrassment of riches at Thanksgiving — on your television as well as on your plate! Let's get real: Thanksgiving meals are AMAZING, but there comes a point where you just can't eat anymore without severe pain, and you lose the ability to do much of anything but lay on the couch, rubbing your stomach, and praying for the ability to house your internal organs somewhere on the outside of your body. But there's another way! "How?!" — You. It's easy! Keep your mind occupied with some of the greatest Thanksgiving-themed television episodes ever to air! Laugh (or cry) out some of that indigestion. After all, why learn a lesson about overeating when you don't have to? Seinfeld S6E8: The Mom & Pop Store To paraphrase the dearly missed Stefon, this episode has it ALL — which, for a show about nothing, is somewhat amusing. George buys a car that may or may not have belonged to Jon Voight, Kramer gets some elderly shopkeepers in trouble, Elaine's romantic life is impeded by Mr. Pitt's whims, and Jerry agonizes over whether he was invited to a Thanksgiving party hosted by one Tim Whatley, DDS (played by Breaking Bad 's Bryan Cranston). Perhaps no other show has so fully captured the feeling of obligation that comes with what is ostensibly one of our most beloved holidays. King of the Hill S4E7: The Hank's Giving Episode I'm an unabashed, unapologetic King of the Hill fanatic, but I suspect that even if I weren't, I'd still be charmed by the mix of cynicism and earnestness in this episode. Traveling for this most American of holidays is generally a nightmare, but getting delayed due to weather (which is perfect at your destination) is heartbreaking. Getting your perfectly-smoked turkey blown up on the tarmac because it's a suspected bomb is... what's beyond heartbreaking? Heartdisolving? No, the Hills never make it to Montana, but they do spend a night at an airport foodcourt with their closest friends... and the Souphanousinphones. WKRP in Cincinnati S1E7: Turkeys Away "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." This is the episode that saved this quirky 70s sitcom from cancellation, and quite frankly, set the standard by which all sitcoms' Thanksgiving episodes should be judged. Premise: WKRP's hapless management devises a fantastic publicity stunt: a free turkey giveaway! Except, uh, these turkeys are alive, and the delivery method is a real... high wire act. Dropping birds out of an airplane? What could go wrong? Grey's Anatomy S2E9: Thanks for the Memories Season 2 of Grey's Anatomy gave its characters some much-needed breathing room after the frenetic rocket launch that was its debut. That being said, it wasn't until 9 episodes in and this Thanksgiving-centered episode that we truly saw the characters solidifying into the multi-dimensional people we came to love, hate, and mourn. Notably, Izzy's obsessive streak is fully revealed for the first time, and we're given a glimpse into George's very un-Georgelike family of hunting nuts. Gilmore Girls S3E9: A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving Expectations of attendance at four different Thanksgiving celebrations actually sounds like the perfect thing for those speed-talking, junk food-loving titular girls, and yet, as it happens, not so much ! After some endearing machinations, the most popular girls in Stars Hollow please everyone — and one even gets a kiss! And that little girl who got kissed is now engaged to the guy who plays Pete Campbell. ER S6E8: Great Expectations There was a time, children, that ER was a very big deal, and during that long-ago era, Juliana Margulies' Nurse Carol Hathaway (and her romance with George Clooney's Dr. Doug Ross) was the heart of the show (which is ironic, because she was supposed to have committed suicide in the pilot). And it is in this very special Thanksgiving episode that she gives birth to the Hathaway-Ross twins, Tess and Kate — and also brings into the show Maura Tierney's Abby Lockhart, who would eventually fill the gap created by Margulies' exit from the show. Oh, children, it was truly an age of wonder. Friends S1E9: The One Where Underdog Gets Away Despite my documented dislike of Friends , I have to give it the recognition it deserves: it really did produce excellent Thanksgiving episodes. This is the one that started it all, with the twin amusements of Joey as the face of an anti-STD campaign, and Chandler's plan to boycott the holiday (for reasons that would continue to be explored years into the show's run). But the episode's centerpiece, namely the escape of the Underdog balloon from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, that sets the plot — and the show's winning streak — into motion. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special No, it's not an "episode" per se, but not including it on this list would be an act of television critic sacrilege for which I'm unprepared. Since its premiere in 1973, this heartwarming Peanuts special has aired every single year. It features Snoopy in a Pilgrim costume and opens with Charlie Brown still unable to kick that elusive football down the field. Right, like I really need to tell you what happens here. Leah E. Friedman is the editor of SideReel.com. She will eat Stove Top Stuffing over the sink right out of the pot she loves it so much. You can follow her musings on Twitter .
Did Fox's King of the Hill get dropped for ABC's The Goode Family? It's well known that Mike Judge has wanted to retire King of the Hill since at least season eight. The show has a whopping 13 seasons under its belt, the last one being a Canadian roast titled "Uh-Oh Canada". If you head over the to King of the hill forums at FOX you will see a lot of chatter about the topic of wheather or not the show will come back for a 14th season.... Read More...
King of the Hill will draw its 13-season run to a close on Sunday, Sept. 13, in a one-hour series finale, Fox announced. The animated sitcom's conclusion is technically two back-to-back episodes. In the first hour, "The Boy Can't Help It," Bobby is on the prowl for a date to the homecoming dance. The second - and last - episode, dubbed "The Honeymooners," finds Hank's mother marrying a man she has recently met. The broadcast of these episodes is a change in tune for the network, which had said at its Television Critics Association panel last week that none of Hill's remaining six episodes would air. The unaired episodes will go into the syndicated run of the show. Source Here
Prison Break - I gave up on PB after season 2, and I have mentioned previously, never thought it lived up to the excitement of Season 1. That being said, I know PB has had a big following on SideReel...so were you guys ready to see it go? Were you satisfied with the somewhat shocking ending? 4 seasons aired. Sit Down, Shut Up - This show seemed to have a pedigree for success - from Arrested Development writer Mitch Hurwitz and with voices of Development faves Will Arnett and Jason Bateman (and other funny people too), this animated show even had what could have been a funny premise: self-centered teachers working in a small Florida fishing town (and as a born and raised Floridan...I know there's humor here somewhere). Somehow though, all of these combined forces still amounted to a show that wasn't very good. 4 episodes aired. King of the Hill - I don't think we should be too sad about this show's demise, as it lasted for an impressive 13 seasons. Hill always existed somewhat under the radar as it aired in conjunction with the widely-praised and unending The Simpsons , but it too was an accomplishment in the world of cartoons. Again, 13 seasons aired. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - I'm guessing that this show's cancellation will draw the most ire amongst the SideReel community out of any canceled show from any network this season! In fact, in a sitewide poll, more of you wanted TSCC saved than the now-saved Chuck on NBC (which also mirrored the results of E!Online's very popular Save-One-Show Campaign). There is not a doubt in anyone's mind that this one was canceled too soon, so it will forever have to live on as a member of the brilliant-but-canceled community. 2 seasons aired. Which FOX cancellation has left the biggest hole in your heart?
From The Hollywood Reporter: "After two episodes, Fox is pulling Mitch Hurwitz's animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up from its post-"Simpsons" slot Sunday nights. Starting next week, "Sit Down" will air at 7 p.m. instead, a low-rated hour that's only considered "primetime" on Sundays. Repeats of "American Dad" will fill 7:30 p.m. The remaining episodes of the final season of King of the Hill will ride to the rescue, filling the 8:30 p.m. slot. The rest of Fox's lineup remains unchanged. Source
I've read nothing about King of the Hill whatsoever for years, and now all of a sudden there's this outpouring of information: King of the Hill is getting canceled after it concludes its 13th season. Or not. It's possible that ABC will pick it up as a companion piece for "The Goode Family" - a midseason show from Hill co-creator Mike Judge. And the latest: Cartoon Network has nabbed the cable rights to the show (all episodes), which will begin airing in its Adult Swim block at 10PM in January. Source - THR
There's an outside chance that Fox's canceled veteran animated series " King of the Hill " could reign again. Sources say ABC, which is rolling out midseason animated comedy "The Goode Family" -- from "Kings" co-creator Mike Judge -- is eyeing the veteran Fox toon. A spokesman for producer 20th Century Fox TV would only confirm "another network is interested" in the show. ABC had no comment and, to be clear, this is still the discussion phase. read more
Fox has announced that King of the Hill will conclude its run at the end of its 13th season. It should be noted however that due to various delays (sports, etc.) and advanced production of animated programs, the show is currently airing episodes from only its 12th season. Episodes from the 13th season won't even begin airing until April, so it's currently unclear when exactly Hill will finish up its run, but probably not until sometime during next TV season (2009-2010). In other animated FOX TV show news, American Dad! has been renewed for a 5th season. Sources: MSN and TV Week Update: ABC might be interested in picking up the series. Why does ABC like leftovers so much (re: Scrubs , interest in other shows that didn't pan out...)?
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