In honor of Father’s Day, John Hall, professor of writing and film studies at Boston University’s College of Communication, joined Boston Public Radio Weekend to discuss the importance of the dads we see on TV.

Hall discussed how the idea of the television dad started out as the "sitcom dad," the idealized father stereotype. 

“We stuck with that sort of sitcom era father for awhile into the 90’s at least," he said. "That all changed after the network era started to change with the rise of cable. Specifically I’m thinking of The Soprano’s and Mad Men.” 

In "Mad Men," the connection between Don Draper, Jon Hamm’s character, and Sally, played by Kiernan Shipka, as she grows up causes Draper to face some of his identity issues head on.

“Well it’s deconstruction of the original version of that father type who’s the successful urban ad man whose home life is really a mess and that would never have been depicted before," Hall said. "But that's what's so interesting about him. All of the mysteries of his character come out to play in these urges that he has that affect his whole family.” 

Hall also remarked that the future of the TV dad is continually evolving with the changing dramatization of families.

“We are not in just the the straight white TV dad’s era either," he added. "We have the LGBTQ fathers ... in Transparent, and Modern Family has their own version with the gay fathers."

John Hall teaches writing and film studies and is the director of the Com Writing Center at Boston University. You can follow him on Twitter @johnhallbu. To hear the rest of their conversation, click the audio player above.