The PopWatch Confessional (Vol. 20)

Mcshane_lHaving shared the ways we’ve bonded with our mothers through entertainment, it’s only right that we pay tribute to our fathers as their day approaches (June 17). I feel like I’m not the only one whose relationship with Dad is slightly more complex…

• Growing up, no matter what movie my mother, sister and and I were watching, my dad would always come home during the sex scene. I can still hear him saying, “Is this what you people watch?” I, however, have managed to block out what he said the night he arrived to find me watching My Own Private Idaho. I was sitting on the couch, and he was facing me instead of the TV, where Keanu Reeves was having relations with some actress I would never see again. Instead of distracting my dad until the scene ended, I, for reasons I still cannot explain, said: “Look at how artistically this scene was shot, Dad. It looks like a series of still photographs.” WHAT?!

• My dad loves Westerns. Pale Rider, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales — he’s always watching one of them. Went I went home recently for his birthday, I thought we could experience Deadwood (pictured) together for the first time on DVD. I warned him about the excessive use of c—s—er, and pressed play. Five minutes into the first episode, he proclaimed it “worse than porn.” I know this makes him sound like a prude, but he’s not. The man once mailed me an interview with Sylvester Stallone from Playboy. Which brings me to the portion of the tribute that might actually make my dad proud…

• If I’m channel-surfing and stumble onto any of the following movies, I phone my father immediately to make sure he’s watching, too: Any Rocky (other than V), any Rambo, the first Die Hard, or the first Jaws. I love that my dad remembers small moments in Rocky II that I don’t. That the first thing I grabbed when he went into the hospital a year ago was his VHS copy of First Blood: Part II (and that I have this great memory of my sister and I watching it with him while every other room on the floor was silent). That he still quotes Hans Gruber. And that he’s had the autographed Roy Scheider picture I got him hanging in his office — next to a photo of JFK, who inspired him to get into politics — for nearly 10 years now.

• I also secretly love that Disc 2 of George Strait’s 50 Number Ones is the one thing we can agree on listening to when we’re driving. (He’s exercised control over the stereo since my Immaculate Collection tape got stuck in his car years ago. Good times.)

Your turn.


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  • jessica

    my dad passed away when i was a teenager and one of the last times we hung out together we went to see the batman movie with the riddler. (batman returns?) we sat in the front row and giggled about how cheesy it was. i can’t see a second of that movie now without missing my dad.

  • Daryn

    My friends STILL laugh at the image of my dad (the WHITEST man alive), standing at the top of the stairs with his back to us, saying “Check out my ba-donk-a-donk…I got my hair did…is that what Missy Elliott says, girls?” And continuing to shake his flat ba-donk-a-donk for us like a true Fly Girl. He’s special, but I love him…

  • Andrew

    My dad would laugh ten minutes before the “Putting on the Ritz” bit in “Young Frankenstein,” citing “I know what’s going to happen, but I just can’t help myself. It’s not even on and I’m laughing.” It was always a go-to, make him laugh stunt of mine to just yell a gargled “PU’INONARIZ!” out of nowhere. Love you, big guy. Miss you tons.

  • Lesley

    I remember once, on the annual snow day we have in our area, my father decided to take me to the movies as a surprise. As we were going to the theater, Bryan Adams “Have you Ever Really Loved a Woman” came on the radio. My father was almost 60 years old at the time, and I swear to god, he started to air guitar to the song as we were driving down the icy road to the theater. He was air guitaring to Bryan Adams. I never listened to the song all the way through before that day, but now when it comes on the radio, I think of my dad and smile.

  • Caitlin

    My dad is an ex-Marine and a volunteer police officer in his spare time. Despite this tough exterior, I still come home to him watching Meet Joe Black on WE or Oxygen. What a softee.

  • Deb

    One summer when I was home from college, my mom and I started bickering at each other daily because I thought I knew everything and she was getting on my nerves. One day dad said, “Alright, Itchy and Scatchy, cut it out.” I cracked up; I had no idea my dad watched The Simpsons. Mom had no clue what he was talking about. We started watching The Simpsons together after that whenever I was home; the Halloween episode was a must-see every year. He’s no longer with us, but every time I watch an episode with Itchy and Scratchy, I laugh and think of him.

  • Jean

    When I was 12, my dad and I were running errands when “I Want Your Sex” came on the radio. I was so embarrassed that I pretended to fall asleep in the car.

  • Jean

    Also, my dad is a huge fan of musicals. Every year, he used to take me to see the double-feature of The Wizard of Oz and Singing in the Rain at the Brattle Theatre in Boston. To this day, they are still two of my favorite movies.

  • Rahul

    My Dad loves the Bond movies. His favorite Bond was Roger Moore (don’t ask me why).
    He also worships at the altar of Al Pacino. He inspired my love of ‘The Godfather’ movies.

  • HB

    Whenever TBS or TNT have a James Bond marathon, my dad and I are so there. We might do other things throughout the day (ok, weekend), but Bond stays on.

  • No Brand Woman

    I don’t actually know my father (parents divorced when I was 4 and I haven’t had any contact with him since) and I’ve never had a great relationship with my step-father. However, I will give him some small credit for my upbringing when it comes to movies. My step-dad is 64 now, 10 years my mother’s senior, so he watched a lot of the classics in the theater. Before he met my mother, he had amassed this huge collection of movies taped from TV. Of course, he liked the classic stuff so I was submitted to many movies with Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Jimmy Stewart, and many others. Most of them were in black and white. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but I’m really glad I had someone to show me those things at a young age. I feel like it gave me a little more acquired taste for cinema that my peers in high school didn’t have.
    Although, the movies being taped from TV meant it was a running gag to not see the end of a movie as the VHS usually cut off too soon.

  • RonMwangaguhunga

    During some Thanksgiving dinner a few years back the tv was on background as my family was catching up with their laives, what should come on cable but “Whale Rider.” I had never seen this excellent film, so I kind of really got into it. About an hour and a half in, surrounded by family, I just get all weepy as the little girl is doing a recital that her grandfather refuses to attend because the whales have chosen her the Whale Rider. I had to immediately excuse myself to weep in the bathroom. Totally embarrasing.

  • Lise

    When I was a teenager my dad and I took advantage of my mom and little siblings all being out of town to sneak into the city and watch Mission Impossible together. We didn’t make the early screening and ended up going to a 10 pm show… only to be busted by my furious mom who had arrived home a day early to an empty house. Every time I hear the M.I. music it reminds me of that great night of bonding with my dad.

  • No Brand Woman

    Oh, and my step-dad hates The Wizard of Oz. Can’t stand it. I guess being born in 1943 means you’ve been subjected to it just a few too many times to care anymore.

  • Cristina

    My father and I used to bond over the original King Kong. He would get so excited at the scene where King Kong eats people. When they started cutting that scene out, he would get so depressed. We stopped watching it together after that because he would get seriously bummed. So for Christmas one year, I bought the uncut version of King Kong and gave it to him. He was so excited and asked me (n bated breath) if this is the one “where he actually eats people?” We spent the whole day watching King Kong on Christmas Day. The phrase “where he actually eats people” has become a catch phrase in my family!

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