When most people think of wise television dads, a few names come to mind: Greg Brady, Danny Tanner, Philip Banks, Ward Cleaver. But, my ideal dad? The O.C. 's Sandy Cohen, as played by the wildly talented (have you ever heard this dude sing?) and inimitable Peter Gallagher. Over the course of The O.C's four-ish seasons, Sandy dealt with a lot more than the average parent. He and his wife, Kirsten, took in the not-an-orphan (I think people forget he actually had parents, this isn't Oliver Twist) Ryan Atwood; watched their son, Seth, find himself and nab the most popular girl in school; and navigated both boys through shootings, overdoses, parent drama, swinger parties, Tijuana, Oliver Trask, financial fraud, divorce, love children, the Nana, a few Chrismukkahs, an overzealous head master, alcoholism, and much more. Sure, a few games were salted in the process, but that's to be expected. Sandy always knew what to say in every situation, which, given the breadth of topics covered on the show, is remarkable.After years of watching The O.C., I've finally figured out where Sandy Cohen gets his sage wisdom. Like Samson, Sandy's power comes from his hair, but not just any hair — his eyebrows. Gallagher's bushy brows would put Cara Delevingne to shame, and they've long been a part of his identity. But, what people don't understand is it is those eyebrows hold the key to giving perfect fatherly advice. In honor of Father's Day, here’s a roundup of when Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows helped Sandy Cohen be the perfect dad.
1. When Sandy Was An Ear To Vent To
With all of the drama in Newport, Seth and Ryan needed someone they could talk to, and Sandy always let them both know that he, and his eyebrows, were there for them.
2. When Sandy Encouraged Physical Activity
OK, maybe Seth and Ryan weren’t into yogalates, but it’s certainly fun to say, isn’t it?
3. When Sandy Suggested Seth Reach Out
I mean, Seth is the funny one out of Seth and Ryan... Ryan conveys so much more with a look, you know? And, it’s never bad to make a new friend. Sandy knows this.
4. When Sandy Gave Seth “The Talk”
Awkward? Absolutely. But, totally necessary and pretty hilarious? Yes and yes. Sexuality isn’t something that should be shied away from. It’s a natural part of everyone’s life.
5. When Sandy Tried To Motivate Ryan
There’s a reason Sandy is a public defender — he wants to help people. Giving Ryan an in-jail pep talk was among his helpful tactics. Next was adopting him.
6. When Sandy Taught Ryan & Seth How To Cook
Let’s not pretend that Kirsten could do any of the cooking. Sandy showed Seth and Ryan that you had to depend on yourself, and that cooking a meal for a lady is never a bad thing.
7. When Sandy Acted As A Welcome Wagon
After Ryan started staying at the house, Sandy encouraged Ryan and Seth to get out and see Newport together, both so Seth would get out of the house and Ryan would have some other friends. The wisdom of the eyebrows strikes again!
8. When Sandy Stood Up For His Convictions
Bringing Ryan in the house was totally crazypants, but Sandy believed in Ryan, and so Sandy got Kirsten to see that Ryan wasn’t a felon — just a confused kid.
9. When Sandy Just Didn’t Know
Sometimes, you just have to admit when you’re not sure of something. Sandy knew this, and he passed it on to his kids.
10. When Sandy Showed What A Healthy Relationship Looks Like
Sandy and Kirsten’s relationship is one of the best parental relationships on television. They’re really each other’s best friend. It’s nice that Seth and Ryan get to see what a real relationship looks like so that they can form relationships of their own.
Wasn’t Sandy Cohen the best dad on TV? I just hope that Seth grew up to be just like him, eyebrows and all.
Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (12)