With Father’s Day right around the corner, it only seems appropriate to honor the best dad currently on television: Jack Pearson.
There haven’t been enough father figures like Jack on TV. He has a huge heart. He’s caring. He’s sensitive. He cries. He loves being a dad. His kids are his world.
Jack’s not the typical dad on a drama or comedy, and that’s why he’s so special. He has shown time and again why it’s OK for a man to be a loving father and dedicated husband and to have emotions.
Far too often, men are taught that they can’t and shouldn’t have feelings. A man with emotions is seen as weak. From childhood, boys learn that in order to be masculine, they need to be tough and they shouldn’t shed tears.
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Jack Pearson was a construction worker. He liked to get his hands dirty. He loved football. Camping was his go-to vacation. He fought in the Vietnam War. These are more markers of masculinity.
To some, however, being capable of expressing himself and wanting to be a great husband and father are what makes a man manly. That’s who Jack was. The type of husband and father he was also showed the Big Three what a man should be, how he should act and how he should care for his loved ones.
Jack was the husband and father anyone would want. You could see who he truly was in how he treated his wife, Rebecca. They had difficult times, like couples do, but he loved her with all of his being. He even once declared to her, “You’re not just my great love story, Rebecca, you were my big break.” And Rebecca loved him just as much. When telling off her bandmate, Ben, in Season 1, Episode 14 (“I Call Marriage”), Rebecca explained exactly what makes Jack so phenomenal. Here’s what she said in an epic speech:
“You do realize my husband works 10, sometimes 12, hours a day and he comes home absolutely exhausted? And since I joined this band, he’s picked up all the slack at home just so I could be here. Both of my boys play football, and he leaves work early every time so he can be there for each and every one of their games. And they’re on different teams, by the way, just so they know that someone’s in the stands there to support them and love them. When we play that piano gig and he’s already gone to bed, he always leaves me a glass of water on my bedside table ’cause he’s worried I’m not drinking enough water, especially when I’m singing. So, please, Ben, please do not tell me what Jack would do if he really loved me. My husband’s a freaking superhero, and you have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Preach, Rebecca. Preach.
In some TV shows, dads hate being married, don’t want to be around their kids or have to be begged by their wives to spend time with their children, but not Jack. He loved being a dad. It was his whole entire life. Like he told Kevin once, “When I held you for the first time right here in this hospital, it hit me like a bolt of lightning. You were my purpose, Kevin.”
One of the things I personally love most about Jack is how he reminds me of my own father. My dad has always loved being just that — a dad. To this day, even though he lost a son (my brother died when he was 16), he can’t get enough of being a dad. My sister and I are both in our 30s now, and my dad is still as happy to take on the role of fatherhood as he was the day we were born.
Like Jack, my dad is also sensitive. He isn’t afraid to cry. He isn’t ashamed to express himself. He’s vulnerable. He even got up early with me to watch Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding, because that’s the type of man he is. When watching a movie, I’ll sometimes sneak a peek at him and will see him quietly crying. He’s shown me and my sister that just because a man likes so-called feminine things or is moved by Where the Heart Is, he isn’t less of a man or a person.
My dad is as tough as they come. What makes him so strong is his ability to embrace his emotions. It’s one of the many reasons why I love him so much. When I watch This Is Us and I see Jack’s emotions come through, it’s like I’m watching my own dad on TV.
We need more Jacks in this world. He’s a role model for men and exactly the type of male character that needs to be on television.