- 4 Seasons
Major Dad is an American sitcom. Without commercials, each episode is 24 minutes long. A product of its era, it follows the ups and downs of a modern family trying to make the two career couple thing work in the face of extra special circumstantial challenges. Major John D. "Mac" Macgillis (Gerald Raney) is an oh so serious career bachelor and also career military officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. Polly Cooper (Shanna Reed) is an opinionated, free spirited reporter and single mom with three daughters. Both of their lives change radically when they fall in love with each other and, following a whirlwind romance, get married. Polly's free spirit and strong opinions must be reigned in a bit to accommodate Mac's career and Mac's character must soften some in deference to suddenly being a middle aged father of three. The sitcom has a little something for everyone. It combines military humor, workplace comedy, and blended family shenanigans with more serious dilemmas revolving around the conflict between national security (his career and passion) and freedom of information and speech (her career and passion). The stark contrast between the lives they each lived before meeting and marrying creates especially extreme examples of the types of conflict found in these various genres of situational comedy. The show also explores questions of women's lib. This occurs not just through Polly's career dilemma's as a new military wife with an established career who now faces being uprooted for hubby's career but also through other female characters. For example, one recurring character is Gunnery Sergeant Alva Bricker (Beverly Archer) a career woman in the Marines and Mac's coworker. She has spunk and looks very much the part of a dour, serious career Marine but also let's slip the occasional remark that reveals she still has a softer side. A recurring theme is the strong conflict between Polly's and Mac's careers, not just in terms of time commitment but also values. They first meet when Polly writes an article about the Marines that Mac doesn't much care for. Their careers repeatedly butt heads as Polly tries to get the scoop and tell the truth and while Mac's career demands dutiful tight-lipped discretion. Overall, it is well done, thought provoking and funny.