This ad by Wells Fargos, I hates it.
I like Sydney and the song. I hate the guy at the end. When the banker asks the husband and wife (assumption) what they want help financing, at the same time, the wife says remodeling and the husband says motorcycle. He then makes the little motion of revving an imaginary bike when his wife isn’t looking.
From the beginning, when I hear Sydney playing on her guitar, I grit my teeth because I know what’s coming. That husband with his selfish quest to get a motorcycle at the expense of (in my imagination) needed renovation in the family home. That husband, who reminds me so much of the bumbling dad trope.
The bumbling dad is the lazy, inept father that’s pretty common in sit-coms. Think Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, or Al Bundy. In additional just being the most annoying part of these shows for me (not that I think Married With Children has many redeeming qualities), it’s a harmful stereotype that minimizes the roles of fathers in families, encourages men to know little about parenting. So the guy in the commercial might be infertile for all we know, his selfishness and lack of self-awareness reminds me much of this stereotype.
Why is the media still promoting this crap?
So, in honor of this ad, here are my favorite TV dads:
1. Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show.
I shouldn’t even have to explain this.
2. Martin Crane from Frasier.
Down to earth when his kids are living in a fantasy world. I love it when he shoves it in those smarty pants’ faces.
3. Frank Costanza from Seinfeld.
Really, again, and explanation should not be needed. But in a word, Festivus. NB: this list isn’t dads who I wold want to be my dad. Just ones that are my favorite to watch on tv. This one’s hilarious. Not so much bumbling as dear God, what are you thinking?!
4. Darrin Stevens from Bewitched.
So he might actually fall a little into the bumbling dad category, but it wouldn’t be his fault. His daughter’s a witch, and he’s trying his best.
5. Dan Connor from Rosanne.
I see him as more of an everyman than as bumbling and would wonder if any criticism of him as a bumbling dad might be classism. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen the show. It was always such an event in my house. My bedtime was later on nights Rosanne was on. One day, our power went out. My dad got out the generator so my mom could watch, back in the days before most families had generators, I suppose. And of course, the Halloween specials were excellent.