Father's Day has come and gone, but that doesn't mean we have to stop celebrating Dad's awesome qualities. One of the many things that makes my dad "cool" is his enthusiasm for great television, which is why I love watching my favorite shows with him. It sounds so simple and mundane, but this shared interest has brought us closer together than I would have ever imagined.
I get peeved anytime I hear someone remark how television tears families apart, replaces conversation and disrupts unity, because it has done the exact opposite in my family. Television has provided us with another shared interest to discuss and bond over. My favorite shows are now my dad's favorite, and our daily conversations are loaded with pop culture references. However, it wasn't always this way. My dad and I have always been close, but it was only a few years ago that we began our TV viewing experience.
We began a few months before my high school graduation when I decided to watch the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was already a fan, having watched seasons five through seven and several reruns, but I had never seen the entire series through. I was inspired by a friend who was doing a Buffy marathon with her little sister, and by the fact that I was moving away to college and I wanted to continue something I loved to do at home. I started season one on my own and after a few episodes, I decided to ask my dad if he wanted to join. He said yes, not fully knowing what he was getting into. We started with "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and did not stop until we finished a few years later. Our viewing was interrupted when I left for college but every time I came home, we would pick up right where we left off. It was fantastic. It was a thrill to see his reactions as a first-time viewer and become a fan of the characters I adored. Once Buffy concluded, I saw no reason to end there, so we continued with I Love Lucy, Veronica Mars, Joan of Arcadia, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and Nikita.
My dad has wholeheartedly adopted my interest in television, and it shows in our dynamic. Whenever he asks me how I feel, I know he is expecting "5 by 5" as an answer, and every now and then, he jokingly asks, "Who's your daddy?" We have debates over who is the better character, Duncan or Logan, and who would win in a fight between Buffy and Faith. For the record, I believe Buffy would win; however this debate is now irrelevant since my dad finished Nikita season 1 a few months ago. He believes Nikita could beat both girls. He encourages me to develop traits like those in the strong female characters I admire, and he always reminds me to use The Force before major exams. Even after years watching television together, I have not grown tired of hearing my dad make references to our shows. The comments delight me every time, so I can't wait to hear what references he will make now that we are watching Firefly. After a slow start, he is finally enjoying it and becoming a Browncoat.
Years ago, when I become a television enthusiast, my dad could have lectured me on watching too much, but he didn't. Instead, he joined me and started an amazing father/daughter journey we are still on today. I cherish the moments we spend together laughing at Lucille Ball's antics and lamenting over the demise of Veronica Mars. My dad is my favorite viewing partner and I am so glad he said yes to Buffy years ago. He has pleasantly surprised me at how embracing he is of my love for pop culture. Thanks dad for being awesome. Thank you for being as comedic as Ricky Ricardo, protective as Keith Mars, and intelligent as Giles.