Watch Major Dad

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.

UMS
4 Seasons, 97 Episodes
September 17, 1989
Comedy
6.3/10
Cast: Gerald McRaney, Shanna Reed, Nicole Dubuc, Chelsea Hertford
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Major Dad Full Episode Guide

  • The Major and Polly (Gerald McRaney, Shanna Reed) clash when he gives Casey (Chelsea Hertford) his Red Ryder...

  • When Gen. Craig (Jon Cypher) is transferred to the White House, the Major and Gunny (Gerald McRaney, Beverly...

  • The Major (Gerald McRaney) tries to help Robin's (Nicole Dubuc) boyfriend (James Larson) when he learns the...

  • Gunny's (Beverly Archer) friends help her try to put her life back together after she is robbed. With Gerald...

  • The Major (Gerald McRaney) is jealous when Holowachuk (Matt Mulhern) has to do a love scene with Polly (Shanna...

  • Major MacGillis and a visiting Russian major (Gerald McRaney, Yakov Smirnoff) have difficulty forgetting their...

  • When the Major (Gerald McRaney) fails to be promoted to colonel, he considers leaving the Marine Corps. Guest...

  • A local disaster convinces the Major, Gunny, Gen. Craig and Holowachuk (Gerald McRaney, Beverly Archer, Jon...

  • When Polly (Shannon Reed) forces the Major (Gerald McRaney) to take piano lessons, he nearly misses the first...

  • The Major and the General (Gerald McRaney, Jon Cypher) sign up for the same class at a local college, much to...

  • Polly (Shanna Reed) is drafted into serving as hostess of a 1940s-themed USO ball at Camp Hollister. With...

  • When the General (Jon Cypher) receives mysterious phone calls from a woman, Holowachuk (Matt Mulhern) jumps to...

  • When two old college friends (guest stars Sherman Howard, Nancy Linari) arrive, Polly (Shanna Reed) has...

  • Apartment manager Holowachuk backs a rent strike against landlord Craig.

  • Elizabeth (Marisa Ryan) becomes afraid to drive her new convertible after a friend is in a car accident. Guest...

  • Gunny (Beverly Archer) works under cover in a harem to protect the visiting Emir of Katodd (guest star Harvey...

  • The Major (Gerald McRaney) goes on leave to accompany Polly (Shanna Reed) as she campaigns for mayor of...

  • While Casey (Chelsea Hertford) is home sick on Halloween, she dreams that everyone is a frightening monster....

  • Elizabeth (Marisa Ryan) persuades the Major (Gerald McRaney) to hire her to cater a reception for visiting...

  • Polly's (Shanna Reed) mayoral campaign is sidetracked when some revealing photos of her appear in the local...

  • Jake (guest star Brian Keith) becomes a roommate and father figure to Holowachuk (Matt Mulhern) after he and...

  • The Major's (Gerald McRaney) domineering father (guest star Brian Keith) pays a visit; Polly (Shanna Reed)...

  • Polly (Shanna Reed) attempts to make a farewell documentary about Camp Hollister before it is closed. With...

  • The General (Jon Cypher) orders his staff to ingratiate themselves with the committee inspecting the base....

  • A homesick Holowachuk (Matt Mulhern) ends up with a possessive woman (Judith Marie Bergen) when he joins the...

  • The Major (Gerald McRaney) helps a sick Polly (Shanna Reed) finish an article in time to meet her deadline....

  • The Major and Polly (Gerald McRaney, Shanna Reed) are upset when Elizabeth (Marisa Ryan) falls for the college...

  • Elizabeth (Marisa Ryan) is preoccupied with making money after successfully using Gunny's (Beverly Archer)...

  • The MacGillises face underhanded opponents in the "Military Family of the Year'' competition. Guest star: Lane...

  • The Major (Gerald McRaney) accompanies Polly (Shanna Reed) when she attends a group therapy weekend as...

  • The Major, Gunny and Holowachuk (Gerald McRaney, Beverly Archer, Matt Mulhern) disagree when they serve on a...

  • Casey (Chelsea Hertford) is unhappy when her new boyfriend prefers spending time with the Major (Gerald...

  • The Major (Gerald McRaney) orders Gunny and Holowachuk (Beverly Archer, Matt Mulhern) to settle their dispute...

  • To combat her deep depression, Gunny (Beverly Archer) makes drastic changes in her life. Stars Gerald McRaney,...

  • A land developer's plan to build a mall on the site of Camp Hollister is thwarted by a nesting turtle. With...

  • The Marines take over for civilian employees who strike to protest cutbacks at the base. With Gerald McRaney,...

  • A lobbyist (guest star Vicki Lawrence) stages a protest over cutbacks in civilian personnel at the base. With...

  • The General (Jon Cypher) moves in with the MacGillises when his wife throws him out. With Gerald McRaney and...

  • When Elizabeth (Marisa Ryan) is hired as a waitress, Polly and the Major (Shanna Reed, Gerald McRaney) object...

  • The Major and Polly (Gerald McRaney, Shanna Reed) succumb to the pressure when Casey (Chelsea Hertford) is...

  • Gunny (Beverly Archer) suspects the motives of the perky sergeant (guest star Lorna Patterson) the General (Jon Cypher) assigns to assist her.

  • The General (Jon Cypher) orders his staff to have a night of fun to boost sagging morale. With Gerald McRaney...

  • The Major (Gerald McRaney) is chosen to represent Camp Hollister on a calendar depicting ideal servicemen....

  • Robin's (Nicole Dubuc) smitten pen pal (guest star Pepper Sweeney) arrives and learns she sent him a picture...

  • The Major (Gerald McRaney) moonlights as an attendant at the service station Holowachuk (Matt Mulhern)...

  • In the wake of defense budget cutbacks, the Major (Gerald McRaney) attempts to keep the base from closing....

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