A&E launched a new look at fatherhood last night in their latest series, Modern Dads. The show follows four stay at home dads from Austin, Texas. This new series will follow their exploits as they navigate their lives; juggling the requirements and social expectations of being both a ‘modern man’ and ‘modern dad’ while their significant others are off at work. The dads all in their late thirties to early forties cover ever stay at home dad category; you have Nate (the new dad), Rick (the veteran dad), Sean (the step-dad) and Stone (the single dad). Where is the dad who is trying to write a recap of a new show while a three year old is trying to climb on him? Maybe next season.
Each of the dad have their own unique quirks. Nate is raising his son Cormac and while he comes off a little nervous and smothering, he is really good at what he does and his wife really appreciates all he does. Especially keeping their son in clean diapers. Stone, who is divorced and shares custody with his ex-wife, sees lots of similarities between dating and raising his five year old daughter. “The puppy dog eyes, the mixed messages and I pay for everything.” Sean, who has been raising his girlfriend Rachel’s two kids since their birth father left the family a few years ago. He doesn’t think biology makes someone a father, involvement in a child’s life does. And finally there is Rick, who has four kids including a pair of one-year old twins. having school age kids looking for backpacks and babies getting into everywhere make every morning an adventure.
Rick’s wife discusses having a birthday party for the twins. Rick says that he can handle it, and he’d get some help from the guys. She was a little skeptical. So when the guys and their kids meetup at their local playground. The men brainstorm ideas, Rick is really into a Godzilla themed party. But cooler heads prevail and a princess party is being planned.
Meanwhile the group is encouraging single guy Stone into getting a vasectomy. Especially since he claims to be done with babies and marriage, but still has his hands full with the ladies. Stone thinks that they are just jealous of free lifestyle. There probably is a shred of truth there. While at the supermarket with Rick looking for cakes, Stone picks up a very pretty young lady who has a friend who makes cakes. Of course she does. Stone does go talk to a urologist, and while the surgery seems very minor. He chooses to think about it for a while.
Its now party day. The park is being decorated. The girl from the store is delivering cakes. And everything is perfect. Even the stocks that Sean tried to make, which his girlfriend eventually had to make since he isn’t very good with power tools, came out great. Rick’s wife Meghan was so impressed and said that she couldn’t have put the party together this good.
So the mundane and lonely parts of parenthood (even for those of us who have other parents to hang out with) have been excluded from the show, but Modern Dads is a TV show and fun and exciting things need to happen to keep the show going forward. The dads have their faults but are shown in a good light; they adore their kids, they are competent and are not insecure about being their kids’ primary caregiver.