I love fantasy. The world building, the magic, the fantastic creatures. The escapism. Over time, I’ll discuss all sorts of things on this blog–stuff I like, stuff I don’t–but for my opening act, I’ve chosen to examine fantasy TV. And not just any fantasy. Today, I marvel at the greatest fantasy of all time. The classic TV series Father Knows Best. What’s that you say? Father Knows Best isn’t fantasy? Au contraire, my friends. This husband and father begs to differ.
Father Knows Best. Really? In what universe? I’d argue Al Bundy is closer to the modern father than Jim Anderson, who, according to Wikipedia, that fount of all knowledge, is “a thoughtful father who offered sage advice whenever one (or more) of his children had a problem.”
Sage advice? My sage advice is almost always. “Go ask Mom.” Unless it has to do with golf. Or yard work. Or what channel some show’s on. I do own the upper hand when it comes to the most important aspect of my kids lives–operating and troubleshooting their phones. That earns me some cache, just not enough to out do my wife’s seemingly endless wisdom. Let’s face it, compared to our spouses, we’re amateurs. The farm team. They have maternal instinct; we have sports metaphors. We bellow and threaten; they utter two words, and all chaos stops. Immediately.
That’s truth. It’s why, by the end of the 20th Century, Father Knows Best style fantasy faded, and we saw the rise of shows like Married with Children, Home Improvement and Everybody Loves Raymond. National Geographic’s got nothing on these shows, with their lovable, befuddled dads, too smart kids, and all-knowing Moms. Don’t believe me? Well here’s proof. The pic below is my car. That’s right. For some reason–one known only to Dads–I forgot to close my car window. In the Blizzard of 2013. Not before. Not after. During.
Father Knows Best? Welcome to the Twenty-First Century. Welcome to reality TV! Now, I’m not saying we don’t still have good fantasy on TV. We do. If I ever need to get my fantasy fix, there’s always Mad Men. Right? Right!