Instead of honoring the great dads on TV (like the adorably weird Phil Dunphy or the sweet Danno) this Father's Day weekend, we decided to just be grateful that we aren't the offspring of this season's ten worst patriarchs. And believe it or not, only two guys from last time made this list, which means there were eight new terrible parents on TV in the past year.
It's not enough that he calls his daughter Liddy in a salute to Watergate crook G. Gordon Liddy (as well as Liddy Dole and his martial arts teacher Li Di) -- he also largely entrusts her care to nannies so he can instead attend to the needs of his surrogate grown-up daughter Liz Lemon. And then there's the whole "kissing your grandmother while your mother was imprisoned in North Korea" thing. With this kind of childhood, we wouldn't blame Liddy if she grew up to become a radical leftist anarchist. In fact, we'd encourage it.
9. Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Once Upon a Time)
All his son Baelfire ever wanted was for his father to be a decent human being. So when his son begged for a chance at a normal life, it looked like Rumpy might actually give up his dark powers -- but then the dastardly dad changed his mind at the last minute and shoved his son through a portal to live alone. Stay evil and abandon your kid? What a lovely happily ever after.
8. Conrad Grayson (Revenge)
He's not what you'd call warm and fuzzy; more like ruthless and calculating. This philandering father ditched the daughter he raised the instant he found out she wasn't his, in the most demeaning way possible, and he also uses his son as a chess piece in a war against his wife. That's on top of his general practice of orchestrating murders in order to protect his corrupt business interests.
7. Cornelius Hawthorne (Community)
Is the racist/bigoted attitude not enough? Then how about the way he belittled his son until his dying day, and then post-mortem forced Pierce, his friends and Pierce's unknown illegitimate half-brother to fight to the death -- well, to the video game death -- for his inheritance/approval.
6. Balon Greyjoy (Game of Thrones)
His son is held hostage for nearly a decade in Winterfell and instead of welcoming him home with open arms, he makes fun of his clothes, calls him a whore and essentially shuns him for siding with his captors. Then he gives him a crappy boat, a ridiculous mission and slaps him across the face. Admittedly, we want to smack Theon most of the time, too, but he's not our flesh and blood.
5. Arlo Givens (Justified)
His relationship with Raylan has been sour for a while now (probably since that time Arlo was going to shoot Raylan and turn him over to Miami drug lords), but this season, crazy Arlo went through with pulling the trigger on someone he thought was his son (R.I.P., hat-wearing Trooper Tom) just to protect his criminal surrogate son Boyd. Guess who's not going to be invited for Thanksgiving?
4. Nicholas Brody (Homeland)
Just because he shoots deer in the backyard in front of his kids doesn't necessarily make him a bad dad, but shopping for explosives while on a family vacation and nearly blowing up most of the entire governing body of America pretty much does, not to mention surely traumatizing his already troubled oldest daughter.
3. Walt White (Breaking Bad)
Now that the final season is approaching, Heisenberg's days are definitely numbered, which is especially bad news for Junior and little Holly. Aside from his usual shtick of putting his entire family in danger -- and being the danger -- there was the whole PT Cruiser incident and being incapacitated on his son's 16th birthday. Also, he totally let down Jesse by not go-karting with him in his time of need.
2. Stan Larsen (The Killing)
He continued to largely ignore his two remaining (and only biological) children this year, while keeping up on the whole murder-for-hire thing and leaving his kids in the care of their hooker-aunt. He's almost as great at parenting as Sarah Linden (one of the worst insults we could dole out). Then the one time he does choose to acknowledge his kid, he smacks the horribly behaved bird-killing child. Can't wait for the reunion movie in 20 years when the kid turns out to be a sociopathic serial killer.
1. Rick Grimes (Walking Dead)
He let his son get shot in the woods, then once the boy was on his feet, he let him run wild and nearly get killed more times than we can even count. Also, his wife is pregnant and he's done little to ensure the safety of that child... well, aside from fatally shooting the other possible baby daddy. And those gunshots attracted a whole herd of walkers who nearly killed his entire family and everyone with them. Oh, and he gave Carl that ridiculous hat, which is unforgivable. He and Lori truly deserve each other.
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