• Ólafur Darri Ólafsson is Iceland's hottest man in thriller series Trapped, just one great show at SBS On Demand. (ZDF)Source: ZDF
For every kind of dad, it's On Demand. SBS On Demand.
Christopher Hollow

2 Sep 2016 - 2:20 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2016 - 2:20 PM

Some dads brighten your day, some dads get lost on the way. So wrote Nick Bland in his telling kids book, Some Dads. As we celebrate Father’s Day, it’s time to rejoice in fatherhood with shows that run the dad spectrum – from good dads to bad dads to the things that really interest dad.


For the dad who can laugh at himself: Where Are We Going, Dad?

This is one of the biggest-ever shows in China, averaging 600 million viewers a week. Where Are We Going, Dad? puts the spotlight on the next generation of Chinese dads who, in breaking with tradition, now take an engaged role in their children's lives – however bumbling. These five dads learn how to make dinners, braid hair and try to make a genuine emotional connection with their offspring. What could go wrong?


For the dad who’s into his black comedy: Kabul Kitchen

There’s something very unique and special about daddy-daughter relationships – it can be the lynch-pin of a girl’s life. So spare a thought for Sophie, who’s been estranged from her father for 20 years. French restaurateur Jacky sees himself as a modern version of Casablanca’s Humphrey Bogart and makes no bones that his primary interest is making money. Charity-worker Sophie arrives in Kabul to do humanitarian work in a city torn apart by war. This French black comedy successfully turns the idea of Afghanistan and father-daughter relations on their head.


For the dad into his Nordic noir: Trapped

The Guardian recently screamed: “He's huge, he's hairy – and he's the hottest man in Iceland”. Sound like your ultimate dad!

As the heavily bearded police chief with a penchant for sniffing stiffs, the forty-something Ólafur Darri Ólafsson is now both Iceland’s biggest star and its most unlikely sex symbol. Trapped is Nordic noir meets Agatha Christie via family drama as this hipster cop deals with murder most foul.


For the dad who likes puzzles: Wallander

Swedish detective Kurt Wallander is your classic distant dad – a little quiet in demeanour, his clothes crumpled, quite obviously pre-occupied with other heavy events as he investigates a series of violent murders in Sweden’s stark surrounds.

Wallander’s complicated relationship with his daughter, Linda, is the heart of the show and it helps inform each major decision in "The Betrayal". Move quickly on this one. Episodes are expiring fast.


For the dads who kept their vinyl: Taking My Parents to Burning Man

One for the cool dads – a black rockumentary, if you will. Imagine taking your folks to the world’s ultimate alt festival deep in the Nevada desert. Absolutely delivers what it says on the tin, with hilarious results.


For the dad who still pines for The Sopranos: The Fear

Hmm, bad dads. There’s a long history of them on TV but "respectable" Brighton businessman Richie Beckett might have Al Bundy, Homer Simpson and even Tony Soprano beat.

As he’s getting a little long in the tooth, Richie’s sons, Cal and Matty, are taking over the murkier, more dynamic side of his business. But Richie keeps getting dragged back in and has to mix it with the Albanian mafia whilst battling the onset of Alzheimer’s. All in a day’s work for dad.


For the history-buff dad who dug Mad Men: Manhattan

Ever feel like dad is hiding something? Manhattan takes the idea of the nuclear family to the next level. A couple of dad scientists work on the top-secret Manhattan Project in New Mexico to help create the first atomic bomb. The secrets and lies dominate every facet of family life. Sound like home?


For the dad into instant karma: LennoNYC

Coming to America, Beatle-style. This doco follows John Lennon’s 1970’s life as an exile in New York – the solo records, the infamous "Lost Weekend" and the fight to stay.

A big part of the ex-Beatle’s time in NYC was about redemption as a parent – spending quality time with young son Sean, who was only five when his father was murdered. A fly-on-the-wall insight into a superstar’s life including Lennon ordering sushi and young Sean belting out an impressive rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends".


more on the guide
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If you only watch one show about celebrity fathers in China, make it this one
600 million weekly viewers can’t be wrong…
Comment: I know the stars of the Food Network better than I know my kids
In all fairness, my kids are really young and highly inscrutable.
5 ways the Food Network made me a great chef – and a great dad