25 TV Dads we wish were ours

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Photo: ABC

Jason Seaver – Growing Pains

Even before the tragic news of Alan Thicke’s sudden death, he was sort of a legend among television dads. The Seavers were the ’80s answer to all those midcentury dads (like the next one on the list), but sometimes episodes of Growing Pains would veer into the “very special” territory. The show took on drugs, suicide, and alcohol.  Even thought most of the episodes were G-rated (by today’s standards, anyway), we always felt like Jason was down for whatever his kids could throw his way.

Thicke’s character, Jason, moved his successful psychology practice inside their suburban house, so his wife, Maggie, could return to work outside the home. There were initially three children: girl crazy Mike (Kirk Cameron), overachieving Carol (Tracey Gold), and precocious, baby Ben. Later, little curly haired Chrissy would come along, and then Luke showed up,  played by a plucky, adolescent Leonardo DiCaprio.

Long before dysfunctional and complicated families were trendy, the Seavers were a picture of the squeaky-clean American family. Jason was the dad we all wanted because he was understanding and compassionate, yet still a little inept at the new family situation. He just always made it seem like everything was always going to be okay.