Father's Day 2013: 6 Of the Best (and Worst) Dads on TV

Dads do many things around the house, but one of the most consistent dad-like activities is to prop up in front of the television.

These dads represent the best and worst of fatherhood on TV which means they are unimaginably perfect or overwhelmingly awful. Either way, there's a good chance that your dad probably watches one or more of them.

But before you get angry at all the dads left out of the list, note this is just a small list inspired by a similar one on NBC News.

1. Best: Burt Hummel (Mike O'Malley, Glee)

Back when Glee wasn't ridiculous it had a lot of heart, and much of it came from Kurt and Burt's relationship. Burt's acceptance and whole-hearted defense of Kurt's sexual orientation was one of the most salient aspects of the show's earnestness in the beginning. Burt Hummel, Glee, and similar TV shows have influenced voters to be more accepting of gay marriage. If only Glee could recapture some of its early vulnerability, and not be trying to check off every social issue.

2. Worst: Walter White (Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad)

Vulture called Walter White the "ultimate absent father," a high insult for Breaking Bad's central protagonist. Walter started as a father trying to provide for his family but he quickly let the whole druglord thing go to his head. Walter even manipulates his protege whom he clearly likes more than his own son. 

3. Best: Danny Tanner (Bob Saget, Full House)

Bob Saget may be a filthy, filthy comic, but he was a brilliant actor for portraying the lovable, OCD, single dad on The Full House. Danny Tanner was committed to raising his three daughters, D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle and to a spectacular house. The tall, lanky, and awkward Danny always put his girls first and knew how to summarize a moral at the end of every episode. Nonetheless, that didn't stop haters from calling Danny names. Bob Saget had fun with it though.

4. Worst: Don Draper (Jon Hamm, Mad Men)

Don Draper has never been the model gentleman. But he's an especially terrible father for pretty much ignoring his kids entirely. Jezebel goes into extensive detail about the many ways in which Don focuses on the only person he unconditionally loves - himself. His kids are never his concern, which makes you a little sympathetic for Betty. Just a little bit. 

The best summary of Don's relationship with his children is from this excerpt:

Betty: "Did you look at Sally's face? I think she has a bruise."
Don: "I didn't see it."
Betty: "On her cheekbone, under her eye."
Don: "I thought that was ketchup."

5. Best: Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights)

Eric Taylor may be better known to non-Friday Night Lights TV aficionados or Mitt Romney fans as Coach Taylor for his "clear eyes, full heart, can't lose." Taylor's crowning glory isn't just getting his rough-and-tumble football team but also for managing his emotionally chaotic teen daughter and doting on his newborn baby girl.

6. Worst: Frank Costanza, (Jerry Stiller, Seinfeld)

Frank Costanza could be single-handedly responsible for George's internalized self-hatred. Frank was always undermining and humiliating George and openly favored Kramer more than once. Knowing Frank is to understand George's consistent ability to screw things up for himself. In the hands of a more loving man, Festivus could have even been a good thing. 

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Shwetika Baijal

Shwetika is PolicyMic's first columnist and writes for the Millenials and the Media column. She focuses on how the media frames policy and cultural issues, how the media's framing effects public opinion, and in turn how public opinion affects the policies and issues under discussion.

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