10 TV shows with big dad energy

Some of these shows are probably already appointment TV for your dad

Published May 8, 2022 9:00PM (EDT)

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in "Yellowstone" (Kevin Lynch/Paramount Networ)
Kevin Costner as John Dutton in "Yellowstone" (Kevin Lynch/Paramount Networ)

This story originally appeared on Mental Floss.

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While everyone probably knows a good "dad joke" or two, it can be a little harder to define a "dad show" on television. Hypothetically, any father can enjoy any type of program. But there are some TV series that have just the right blend of action, gadgets, and middle-aged protagonists to really excel at capturing your dad's attention. Shows like "Yellowstone" are probably already appointment TV for your dad — and one he's regularly encouraging you to watch, too.

If this relatively new TV sub-genre is to your tastes, check out 10 of the best "dad shows" currently streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and more.

1. "Longmire" (2012-2017)

This easygoing contemporary Western, based on the Craig Johnson series of novels, stars Robert Taylor as recently-widowed Sheriff Walt Longmire, who keeps the peace in Absaroka County, Wyoming. While Taylor plays a convincing American lawman, he's actually Australian.

Watch it: Netflix

2. "Rust Valley Restorers" (2018-Present)

This Canada-based reality series sees car restoration expert Mike Hall and his crew attempt to salvage some very brown and decrepit vehicles into (nearly) new condition. One 1968 Firebird purchased for $2000 was restored and later resold for $68,000.

Watch it: Netflix

3. "Reacher" (2022-Present)

After the hotly-contested casting of Tom Cruise as author Lee Child's pulp hero in a 2012 feature film, the far burlier Alan Ritchson has received a much warmer welcome. Ex-military cop Jack Reacher drifts from town to town, finding himself caught up in mysteries requiring his keen observational skills — and ham-sized fists.

Finding the right Reacher was a casting process that took six to seven months, with Ritchson being passed over for the part in the initial round before getting another chance.

Watch it: Amazon Prime

4. "Bosch" (2014-2021)

Titus Welliver stars as the titular Los Angeles homicide detective, who navigates an amoral universe both in and out of the police department. Based on the Michael Connelly novels, "Bosch" passes over foot chases in favor of dogged investigative work. A spin-off series, "Bosch: Legacy," will be on IMDb TV beginning May 6.

Watch it: Amazon Prime

5. "Yellowstone" (2018-Present)

Kevin Costner stars in this wildly popular drama from Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water) about ranch owner John Dutton, who finds trouble in and out of his family's tumultuous business interests. Sheridan insisted that Paramount market the show at rodeos, horse shows, and other places where it might find some of its audience. The studio balked at first, but it clearly had some effect: The show has often outranked "The Walking Dead" to become the most-watched series on cable.

Watch it: PeacockParamount+

6. "The Rookie" (2018-Present)

Nathan Fillion ("Firefly") stars as a man looking to start over as a rookie cop with the Los Angeles Police Department despite being far, far older than his peers. The series is based on a real 40-year-old who moved to Los Angeles to become a cop.

Watch it: Hulu

7. "The World According to Jeff Goldblum" (2019-2021)

Beloved film star Jeff Goldblum stars in this docuseries featuring the irreverent actor diving into a variety of subjects, from denim to coffee to RVs. The show was pitched to Goldblum after he guest-hosted National Geographic's "Explorer."

Watch it: Disney+

8. "Banshee" (2013-2016)

"The Boys" star Antony Starr headlines this gritty, pulpy crime series about an ex-con who impersonates the incoming new sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania, and promptly runs afoul of local criminals including an Amish psychopath. Series creator Jonathan Tropper has said that Cinemax originally wanted a fifth season, but that he opted to end it after four rather than risk the premise going stale.

Watch it: HBO Max

9. "Barry" (2018-Present)

Bill Hader stars in this expertly crafted dramedy about a hitman who finds his work unrewarding — so he decides to become an actor instead. In fact, it's his job as a killer-for-hire that originally leads him into the L.A. theater scene, while the underworld figures from his past pressure him to continue doing what he does best: murder people. The standout second season episode "ronny/lily," in which poor Barry has to contend with a vengeful Taekwondo pre-teen, is a standout.

Watch it: HBO Max

10. "The Repair Shop" (2017-Present)

This quaint British reality series has furniture restorer Jay Blades and company take in treasured family heirlooms and see to their restoration. Originally on BBC Two, the show proved popular enough to "graduate" to BBC One, where new episodes have been seen by as many as 6.7 million people — or one-tenth the population of the United Kingdom.

Watch it: Discovery+ via Amazon Prime

By Jake Rossen

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