These Are The Best & Worst Parents On TV Right Now

Mother's Day and Father's Day have already passed this year, but there's still another holiday to honor parents this month. Parents' Day is July 23 this year (it falls on the fourth Sunday of July), and while it doesn't get as much press as Mother's Day and Father's Day do, there are really never enough days to honor your parents for giving you life, right? (Plus, "Parent's Day" is way more inclusive.)

Ahead of the holiday, we've rounded up some of the best — and worst — parents on TV right now. There are plenty of nurturing moms and dads here, but there's something to be said for the "bad" parents, too. After all, no one's perfect — and sometimes, watching ridiculously bad parenting on TV is a great form of escapism. (Don't we all need to sit in front of the TV and zone out every once in a while?)

There's no right way to be a parent, and the definition of family is different for everyone. And while their experiences are very different, what all of the most endearing TV families have in common is their love for each other. Click through to read our list of the best and worst TV parents on the small screen right now — and let us know your favorite TV moms and dads in the comments.

Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about kids or not, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.

Read These Stories Next:

The Best British Shows You Should Be Watching

See The Kardashians & Jenners As Disney Princesses (You Know You Want To)

The True Story Behind This Scary Meme

Best: Rainbow & Dre Johnson, black-ish

The Johnsons are one of TV's most endearing families, and it's not hard to see why. Both of the parents at the family's helm are far from being stereotypes of what parents should be, and their kids are more open-minded for it. Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) consistently serves as an example of a strong, professional woman, and Dre (Anthony Anderson) learns as much from his kids as they do from him. (And Pops and Ruby are pretty great parents to Dre, too.)
Worst: Hiram & Hermione Lodge, Riverdale

To be fair, we haven't seen Hiram on Riverdale yet. But so far, he definitely doesn't seem like a great guy. The desire for wealth seems to motivate all of his actions. And even if he's doing what he does so his wife and daughter will be well off, he's still screwing over a lot of other people along the way.

And while Smithers (Tom McBeath) tells Veronica (Camila Mendes) that Hermione (Marisol Nichols) is nobler than her dad, we haven't seen much evidence for that in the first season. Hermione consistently tries to get Veronica to do things that are mildly unethical and probably illegal — and when she refused, Hermione even forged her signature. Oh, and she suggested that Veronica "sexually manipulate" Archie (K.J. Apa) to help Hiram buy Andrews Construction.

I won't be too harsh on Hermione, though — most of the Riverdale parents are pretty suspicious, and it's not like she's Clifford Blossom (Barclay Hope).
Best: D.J. Tanner-Fuller & Kimmy Gibbler, Fuller House

Netflix's Fuller House is a pretty standard reboot of the original Full House — a wholesome show about family dynamics. But D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure) isn't the only stellar parent this time around — Kimmy (Andrea Barber) has a daughter, too. And while D.J. is an awesome mom to her three boys, it's Kimmy who really steals the Fuller House show. She's conflicted about her own relationship with her ex-husband, but she always puts Ramona (Soni Bringas) first. Kimmy's definitely not a conventional person or a conventional parent, and that only makes her all the more endearing.
Worst: Cyrus Beene, Scandal

In 2015, psychologist Donna Tonrey, Psy. D., told Vulture that Rowan (Joe Morton) was the worst parent on Scandal, and on all of TV. And while Rowan's hurt Olivia (Kerry Washington) plenty of times over the years, Cyrus (Jeff Perry) is still a worse parent. He only became a dad in the first place because he knew that a baby would be an effective bargaining chip against James (Dan Bucatinsky). And until he needed Ella for his political benefit again, Cyrus almost never spent time with his daughter, at least not on screen. Other people are disposable to Cyrus, his own offspring included.
Best: Joyce Byers, Stranger Things

Is there anything as painful as having your child kidnapped? Throughout the first season of Stranger Things, Joyce (Winona Ryder) becomes more and more unhinged as she searches for her lost son. There's plenty of crying involved, but Joyce never loses hope, and she doesn't rest until Will is safe at home again.
Worst: Selina Meyer, Veep

In the same Vulture article, Tonrey notes that Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is "really narcissistic" and is "only taking care of herself." That's not a great way to behave toward her daughter Catherine, who needs her parent's love, even if she doesn't always ask for it directly.
Best: Jane Chapman, Big Little Lies

Jane (Shailene Woodley) trusted her son, even when no one else did. And even though Ziggy's (Iain Armitage) father was, spoiler alert, a really bad guy, Jane always stays strong for her son to give him the best life she can.
Worst: Chris (Laird Macintosh) and Poodle (Tricia O'Kelley), The Mick

Teaching your kids that throwing money at a problem is a good way to solve it probably isn't the best life lesson to impart. We don't see much of the Pemberton parents in season 1, but it's clear from the way the kids behave — and how they interact with the other adults in their lives — that they've been pretty neglected throughout the years.
Best: Jane, Jane the Virgin

Even though she wasn't planning to become a mom just yet, Jane (Gina Rodriguez) has been an incredible parent to Mateo. She takes parenting techniques seriously, but she always has compassion and patience for her son.
Worst: Pretty Much Every Parent On 13 Reasons Why

You can tell a lot about a teen show from the way it portrays the characters' parents and how they interact with their kids. The parents on 13 Reasons Why are clueless at best and harmful at worst. Clay's mom probably should have put her grieving son ahead of a career opportunity — conflict of interest much?

And while some of the microaggressions Hannah experienced from her classmates were overblown in her mind, one of the most heartbreaking things she went through was the guilt she felt for losing her parents' money envelope. Yes, their business was struggling, but kids make mistakes — and she even offered to replace it with her own paycheck. Plus, maybe Bryce wouldn't have been quite so horrible if he weren't forced to essentially live as an adult because his parents weren't around.
Best: Jack, This Is Us

The Pearson family patriarch was always there for his kids. Even when Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) fought, they always put the Big Three first, even naming Jack's construction company after them.
Worst: Lori Anne Schmidt, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

As Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) learns through therapy, kidnapping isn't the only thing from her past that affects who she is today. She also has a lot to unpack with her clueless mom, Lori Anne (Lisa Kudrow), who left Durnsville and didn't seek Kimmy out after she was rescued.
Best: Ramesh & Nisha, Master of None

Aziz Ansari's real-life parents are the perfect addition to the hit series. They don't always agree with Dev's (Ansari) decisions, like his choice to eat pork, but they always love and support him.
Worst: Carrie, Homeland

Mental illness obviously shouldn't disqualify someone from parenthood, but Carrie considering drowning her child in a bathtub doesn't exactly make her Mom of the Year.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of celebrity news, fun takes on pop culture, and trending stories on the Refinery29 Entertainment Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Show More Comments...