Special Connection Crosses All Boundaries; TELEVISION {Julia Keller Charts the Rise of the Father and Daughter in TV and in Hollywood}

Article excerpt

Clinton, Bush, Obama. Not just the US's three most recent presidents - but three dads.

And not just three dads: three dads of daughters.

So maybe it's a clue. Maybe the obvious joy these otherwise wildly dissimilar men take in their relationships with their daughters was the nudge to writers.

Maybe it's part of the reason fathers and daughters began showing up with regularity on TV series and films and in books.

Presidential papas and their well-adjusted female offspring may partially explain how the father-daughter dance has become so ubiquitous in the arts.

In TV series such as the Seven Network's Castle and the W Channel's Shark, on Foxtel, the primary relationships of the cool dads played by Nathan Fillion and James Woods are with their daughters, Alexis Castle (Molly C. Quinn) and Julia Stark (Danielle Panabaker).

In Bones, also on the Seven Network, the recurring interaction between Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her father, played by Ryan O'Neal, blossomed into an important plot point.

The same was true of the tight bond between Jordan Cavanaugh (Jill Hennessey) and her father (Ken Howard), a retired police detective, in Crossing Jordan.

In the 2010 film Edge of Darkness, it is the close connection between Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) and his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) that lights the fuse of the explosive plot.

Taken (2008) shows the lengths to which a father (Liam Neeson) will go to save his daughter.

The Lovely Bones (2009), based on Alice Sebold's 2002 novel, highlights the love between a father and his daughter.

And we would be foolish (and instantly on the receiving end of 10,001 livid emails with frown-faced emoticons) to neglect to mention one of the most successful father-daughter tandems in TV and music history: Hannah Montana, the Disney Channel show featuring Miley Cyrus and her real-life father, Billy Ray Cyrus, playing the made-up Miley Stewart and her father, Robby, who in turn play the made-up Hannah Montana and her manager and ... oh, never mind.

What's behind the surge of fictional father-daughter teams? …


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