The first episode moves quickly, covering about a year of families story. Time is marked by the changing of seasons, and the birth of Hope, their fifth child. But just when all seems to be going well the bottom falls out. Dad, goes in for his check up, and while having a scan Robin goes into labor. Both are reunited for the birth and then the results of the scan. While it isn't said, you know the cancer is back. Cut to commercial.
When we come back, from commercial, we learn of Scott's passing and we're introduced to the heart of the series, Council of Dads. Earlier in the episode, Scott, begins contemplating his own mortality and asks the question, who will be dad, when dad is gone? In letters, Scott recruits three men, introduced in various ways throughout the episode, Larry Mills played by Michael O'Neill, Dr. Oliver Post played by J. August Richards, and Anthony Lavelle played by Clive Standen. Each one brings something different to the family, something that the family will need. They arrive at the house on the day of the funeral, like three stoic heroes ready to fight off a battalion of bad guys.
It's also at the funeral that we learn a little more about the family dynamics as we discover that JJ, a first grader, self identifies as a boy, news that apparently does not sit well with the grandmother. The episode ends with Luly's wedding to Evan Norris, played by Steven Silver, whom she meets while attending a cancer support group.
Council of Dads, a concept that has been around for a while, gather group of men to speak into the hearts of your boys, in this case all your children. It's an idea that has been floating around church-circles for a number of years. We see it as churches work with men's ministries to create the elusive "right of passage" to help boys become men. We see it, as in the case of the show, as a widowed mom must now raise her children without a father figure. Men of the church are encouraged to step in, not to replace dad, but to serve as a role model and support for the family. And yes, we see it in women's ministries as women step in to support and help dad's as the raise their kids without mom.
I love the concept of the show, and as I watched Council of Dads, I had this reoccurring hope of, 'let this be a show that portrays the family in a positive, healthy, and encouraging way.' So many shows with the family theme have opted to portray the family as a dysfunctional gathering of wayward souls, wondering haphazardly through life. The parents are seen as fools, the dad is seen as an idiot, kids rule the roost, and everything and anything is okay. But here we are, at the start of a show where mom and dad love each other, the family, while not perfect, is certainly not a dysfunctional mess. And, yes, there are issues, and of course the storyline will touch on some of the cultural headline of the day. But instead, we see the significance and importance of the husband and the dad for and in the family. I am anxious to see how the role of Council of Dads will play out. Will we see the portrayal of strong, loving, supportive, wise, father figures, or will we see the show devolve into the usual dramas/sitcoms that get wishy-washy when it comes to family and the roles of husband and wife, mom and dad?
I know we won't see strong Christian themes in a show like this, but I do hope to see themes of a strong family, solid and healthy roles of mom and dad, supportiveness and hope for the family, and a call back to see family dramas that focus on the family and not the drama.
I thoroughly enjoyed the pilot episode, and I am looking forward to the next episode scheduled for April 30. If you haven't watched the pilot episode, I would encourage you to take a few minutes and watch. Keep the tissues close. You'll find that you will connect with this family pretty quickly. And as for what's to come, we'll just have to wait until April 30th.
I'd love to hear your thoughts? What do you think? Will you continue to watch? What do you think about the idea of Council of Dads? Share your comments below.
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.