Film & TV

5 timeless TV shows every dad loves

TV shows
Written by Steven White

Here are the top TV shows that every dad loves to watch, from cartoons to quiz shows and dramas.

Being a dad is a full-time job, one that often must also be balanced alongside being a husband, employee and unpaid DIY maintenance expert. While sometimes it can feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to fulfil the myriad dad duties that are par for the course, any dad worth his salt is an expert at kicking back and relaxing whenever he gets the chance.

It’s the reason dads go through the trouble of building man caves and pencilling in a sacred time of the week where their only objective is to be left alone in peace to chill out. While every dad has a different activity of choice when it comes to relaxing, some things are universal. Most dads are pretty consistent when it comes to a penchant for craft beer, 80s rock music and, of course, good telly.

There are some TV shows that have such a consistent demographic that they can reliably be called “dad shows” – shows which appeal to every father in the land as the optimum entertainment experience.

Breaking Bad 

This epic tale of a suburban father turned international drug lord is one that had every dad glued to their TV screens throughout its five-year run. There are countless choice quotes that have entered their way into the Lingua Franca of most dads. The best are here:, but, “I am the one who knocks”, growled by Walter White as he asserts his new position as meth kingpin of the southwest, has to be one for the ages. 

Mad Men 

Putting the ongoing debates over the rampant sexism in this period drama aside, Mad Men appeals to dads for many reasons. Everyone wants to be the show’s main protagonist, the smooth-talking, whiskey imbibing, no-nonsense ad exec Don Draper, while the absolutely gorgeous cast of leading ladies (and men) always makes this seven-season extravaganza worth re-watching. 

Deal or No Deal 

Not very many game shows tend to make it high on the list of preferred dad viewing options. However, the classic game show Deal or No Deal, particularly the US version featuring glamour models carrying suitcases worth hundreds of thousands, makes for ideal weeknight viewing.

The adrenaline and tense negotiations featured in the show have inspired countless spin-offs, with the show now existing in dozens of countries and in the form of a popular online casino game, Deal or No Deal: The Perfect Play, now available at The suitcase holders may be gone, but the tension and the jackpots are still there to be had.


Plenty of cartoons make for good viewing, but Archer beats them all. This animated espionage comedy centres around a spy agency and features all of the martini-drinking, guns-blazing, politically incorrect action you could possibly hope for. While there are now hundreds of episodes, each one only runs at about 18 minutes in length, making Archer ideal for some sneaky viewing in between household chores and picking up the kids from school.

Peaky Blinders 

Despite the lamentable fact that this show convinced an entire generation of men that they look good wearing a flat cap (leading to countless style guides like this:, Peaky Blinders truly is the show that has it all. Set in grimy 19th century Birmingham, the series features extravagant violence, touching comedy, high glamour and stellar performances from the show’s award-winning actors. What more could you want?

If you think there are some timeless TV shows for dads that have been missed from this list, then let us know.

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