/Response: Your Favorite Movie and TV Parents

easy a parents

(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about their favorite movie and TV parents. We then opened the floor to our readers: who are your favorite film and television moms and dads? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question, in honor of Alien: Covenant: what single movie scene terrified you the most and why? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

Dill and Rosemary Penderghast (Easy A)

Typically in teen sex comedies, the parents are the “bad guys.” But not in Easy A. Dill and Rosemary Penderghast treat Olive like she can make her own decisions. They never seem worried by the rumors Olive keeps mentioning – they know it will all work out for her in the end. It’s what happened for them, after all.

They also are just great people, presented with a hilarious “dad joke” style of humor. The bit where Dill (Stanley Tucci) acts upset because his adopted African-American son knows that he is adopted is great. The same goes for Rosemary (Patricia Clarkson), who has a very frank discussion with Olive towards the end of he movie.

One of the most important aspects of parents in movies is that they need to be believable, that they would actually be a couple. Dill and Rosemary are just that, thanks to Stanley Tucci’s and Patricia Clarkson’s excellent performances. It helps that Tucci’s comedic timing is just always on point. (Alex Johansson)

boy meets world

Amy and Alan Matthews (Boy Meets World)

My favorite TV parents have to be, without a doubt, Amy and Alan Matthews from Boy Meets World. They were such supportive, wise parents. They always knew what to say to their children – even if Cory or Eric didn’t want to hear it. I love that they saw Shawn Hunter as another one of their children, essentially becoming surrogate parents to the point that Alan even offered to adopt Shawn at one point. On more than one occasion, they found a way to pull at my heartstrings – especially in season 6 with the troubled birth of their fourth child. Their love, hope and faith that everything would be all right was inspiring to watch.
I recently did a re-watch of all sevens seasons of Boy Meets World and it struck me how real and down-to-earth they felt, even on a 1990s ABC sitcom. The actors’ performances felt so authentic and three-dimensional – I could tell there was history to their own relationship beyond what the show gave us. They also never felt annoying or grating, as some sitcom parents can be. Thank God for Amy and Alan Matthews. (Willoughby Dobbs)

everybody loves raymond

Frank and Marie Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)

I grew up adoring sitcoms. From Home Improvement to Seinfeld, I couldn’t get enough. One that really resonated with me was Everybody Loves Raymond. A big reason for that was Ray’s dynamic with his parents. Played brilliantly by Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle, they were annoying and eccentric, but believable enough that they could be real.

They were often the best part of the show, and helped launch Raymond into the upper echelon of sitcom legend. What really made them endearing to me was that they had a lot of similarities with my own grandparents. My Dad even looks like Ray Romano and was my grandmother’s favorite child (according to his siblings.) The parallels were obvious to me throughout the whole run of the show. It was probably why my Dad didn’t find the show funny – it hit too close to home.

Some of the best moments in the shows history involve them. They backed their car into Ray’s living room. Marie interrupted Robert’s wedding. Frank pretended to go to a psychiatrist, but really went to gamble on horse racing. They weren’t the ideal parents you put on a pedestal, and they could get ridiculous, but they were played with such sincerity that it made me realize that your parents do a lot of seemingly crazy things out of love for you. (Matt Vernier)

veronica mars

Keith Mars (Veronica Mars) and Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)

At risk of being the Veronica Mars guy, you can’t go wrong with Keith Mars for TV dad. And while she’s a little unconventional, Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls was an incredible influence on her daughter, Rory. They’re both single parents and as such have incredibly close relationships with their daughters.
Lorelai became a mother a little earlier than she’d probably planned, but you’d never know it. Granted, we miss out on the earliest years of her mothering, but we see her help Rory become a smart, interesting woman. Their relationship vacillated between best friends and frenemies, like any good mother-daughter relationship should. Lorelai knew when a firm hand was necessary, but guiding that hand was always love. Besides, who else can keep up with those two in a conversation?
“Who’s your daddy?” Keith Mars says this often and he’s the only TV dad who can even hold a candle to Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights. With offspring as independent, fearless, and intelligent as Veronica, Keith had a lot on his hands. Keith is dogged in his support of Veronica, even when she may not deserve it. He also knows when she needs to be called out. The love between the two is palpable and it’s clear that his love for Veronica is reciprocated by her admiration of him. He’s the kind of dad you know you can rely on. Spoiler alert, but man is he dependable. (Seth Finck)
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