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Terrible Parents Make for Excellent Television

By Genevieve Burgess | Miscellaneous | May 17, 2015 |


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Television revolves around conflict. If you don’t have conflict between characters or between characters and their environment, you have no drama, no narrative arcs, no action. This is one of the biggest reasons why healthy, happy relationships are so rare on television; couples who have a healthy relationship are dramatically boring.

To that end, Vulture sat down with a psychologist who specializes in family therapy and ranked some infamous TV parents based on how terrible they are to their kids. Most of them are individual parents highlighted for being particularly damaging to their offspring, but The Americans gets the sole team slot on the list.

I don’t think any of the parents who appear on the list could be mistaken for GOOD parents, but hearing exactly how they’re screwing up is interesting in a way. And, obviously, they left out huge swaths of terrible television parents, so feel free to contribute your own opinions on that.


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