Happy Father’s Day. Today I’d like your opinion: Who’s the better TV dad, poker-faced but sensitive Burt Hummel from Glee, or — well, poker-faced but sensitive Coach Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights?
I looked at all the comments you made from yesterday’s clash of the paternal titans, Rick Castle vs. Phil Dunphy, and Burt and Eric came up again and again among you, so this is round two. As I indicated above, both of these fathers are rough-around-the-edges types, not accustomed to showing signs of weakness or excessive emotion. But both love their kids with a fierceness that makes them great to watch. You choose:
• Burt Hummel is a working-class guy who, we’ve come to think, has overcome what must have been a lifetime of casual conversational gay-bashing to fully accept his son Kurt’s sexuality. Early on in Glee, Burt was a red-herring character: We thought he was there to be a boorish lumpenproletariat who’d provide dramatic friction between father and son. But the producers went in another direction, one reflecting the idea that being a good parent means learning a lot from your child, as well as the other way around.
• Eric Taylor is both a parent and a father-figure to the high-school football team at East Dillon High. At home, he’s forever trying not to set off the emotional powder-keg that is his teen daughter, Julie. He takes delight in his baby daughter, Gracie Belle. Eric is a man under heavy pressure: overworked, under-paid, jerked around by the Dillon school board. Yet he knows how to modulate that yelling growl he uses on the football field to become a loving dad who loves to talk to both of his daughters.
What do you think? Burt or Eric? Someone else?