How do you tell a story? Like when you look back on life, what moments of the story are important? Which ones must be told? Which moments are important?
I will be very honest, when I tell you that I didn’t want to watch Council of Dads, I didn’t want to watch it. I didn’t want to even come close to it. Because my Mom died and I know what it’s like to loose a parent. I know what it’s like to wake up and one day a parent be gone.
And I didn’t think that I could handle watching the show. But quarantine got me sitting here looking for things to watch and honestly things to feel. Because right now, all I feel is anxiety and fear.
So, I sat down to watch – thinking that I was so numb to everything that was going on in life. I didn’t know just what I was walking into.
We live in a time where so many things are scary but television is an escape. And when you really think about it – since the introduction of This Is Us – a lot of television is about invoking a reaction. Every single show hopes to be the next This Is Us, but in my opinion – Council of Dads isn’t aiming for that.
It’s aiming to be just what it is – something new and that reminds you that family isn’t always the people that you are born into. Sometimes they are the people that you choose and the people that are chosen for you.
The first episode of the show takes place over a year, where the main character, Scott, was diagnosed with a rare, but aggressive form of cancer. He’s an involved Dad who wants nothing more than to see his kids dreams come true. He’s the father that has devoted his entire life to his kids and he is great with that.
Because his kids, his wife – they are his life.
From the opening moments, where his son JJ is afraid to jump into the lake, we are hit with an overwhelming amount of emotion. The entire family is there to support JJ, but when he’s still afraid, Scott does what every good father should. He gets up and goes and jumps in with his son.
And when he gets out – that’s the moment that changes everything.
We can all really find the moments that changed our lives if we really think about it. A moment where everything was so carefree and the next moment – you find your entire world has changed.
And for Scott – as he gets the worst of news he still looks to his family for the best of inspiration. He’s filled with so much love, and he is given so much love, and I think that for him as he’s given the worst of news, he’s also given the best of motivation to fight.
His entire families life is about to change. Cancer changes everything. His oldest daughter decides to stay in town. His youngest daughter is afraid and wants to spend all the time in the world in her closet – hiding from the world. His son is trying to be strong but falling apart. And his youngest son is just trying to be strong and is this little pillar of strength for everyone.
And one has to look at the love that Scott has for his children and be inspired by it. But one also quickly learns the impact that he has on others around him – because people are quick to be there to help his family, without question or without fight.
Over the course of a year – everything changes. His oldest daughter falls in love, his wife gets pregnant and gives birth to a new little girl, his friends are teaching his kids the things that he can’t at that time, and he’s still trying to be the best version of himself in order to be there for his kids.
And that’s just something absolutely beautiful.
When his baby daughter is born, that is the day that he finds out that his cancer has returned with a vengenance. How can the happiest day of his life be one of the worst?
Sometimes life is just that way, I guess. It doesn’t mean it is right and it doesn’t mean that it is wrong. Sometimes it simply just is.
But before he knew that his cancer had returned, he had an idea. He wanted more than anything to impact his kids with his wisdom – the things that he would do in situations, the way that he would help them through – and for his wife this was too much.
She wanted him to be there to help them, to give them his wisdom in the moments that they needed it. But he knew that he wanted to leave behind a “council of dads.” Men who could be there as him when his kids needed guidance.
And that is where you find the beauty in the friendships that you make in life. Because the people that you have in your life, the people that have made a dent in your heart, make a dent in your families, and they find a way to remind them of all the reasons that love will always live.
Council of Dads is just beginning and there are so many characters in the show. I am sure that we will learn about the characters over time. But that is the beauty in the show.
We’re going to feel pain.
We’re going to feel anger.
We’re going to feel love.
Our whole lives will be affected by this show. Because this show finds a way to show us several great love stories – the kind where you fall in love with someone else. the love that parents have for the children, the love stories where you find love in the big and the small of things.
Our whole lives will be affected by this show, because it teaches us about acceptance. It teaches us about a child who knows that he was a boy, even though he was born a girl. It tells of a family who had all the faith and love to give.
And the faith and love that we can find in the stories that shape our lives.
Look around you at the everyday moments, the people that love you through the ups and downs, and the people that you know are the family you have chosen.
I assure you – you have your own council that reinforces the ideals of the people that have meant the most to you.
You have your own Council of Dads.
Council of Dads, premiered last night, Tuesday, March 24 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. It will return in its usual timeslot beginning Thursday, April 30 at 8 p.m. ET.