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Celebrity fathers show off parenting skills
By Xu Wei

Five busy celebrity fathers spend quality time with their preschool children on trips to unfamiliar places — no moms, no teddy bears, no electronic gadgets, just dads and their children.

Dads and children get to know each other in the new hit reality show “Dad, Where Are We Going?” on Hunan Satellite TV.

Together, fathers, sons and daughters go for walks, explore, talk, pick vegetables and go shopping for their meals. Dads do the cooking, take care of their children, make sure they brush their teeth, make them laugh and dry their tears. They even do a bit of housework.

The show satisfies viewers’ huge curiosity about the stars in “real life” and their families. It also shines a light on lesser-known father-child relationships, and dads’ parenting skills.

The weekly program is the country’s top-rated entertainment show in its time slot and most of the reviews and comments on the Internet are positive.

Based on a popular South Korean show of the same name, the Chinese TV show features a two-night trip to the countryside by a famous father and child.

The experience is also a challenge to celebrity fathers who are busy working and don’t spend as much time with their children as they would like. They learn what their wives must do every day.

The fathers are Taiwanese actor/racer Jimmy Lin, mainland actor Guo Tao, filmmaker Wang Yuelun, former Olympic diving champion Tian Liang and top model Zhang Liang.

When children are in a low mood or facing a strange or difficult situation, fathers provide comfort and encourage them to deal with unexpected problems.

“It’s really intriguing and inspiring. It makes me think about what makes a good father,” says Michael Zhang, a busy 34-year-old professional with a 3-year-old daughter.

“I used to think that buying expensive toys for her was the best way to show my love,” Zhang says. “The program showed me that what children really need are not toys but a parent’s company, trust and understanding. A father’s role is very important in family education.”

Many people were touched by scenes in which Lin consoles his 4-year-old son Kimi who doesn’t want to follow the rules and hand over his favorite toy bear before the countryside visit begins.

When they find a big, dead spider in the room, the boy is frightened and Lin tells him it’s a kind of “toy” from the film crew.

Compared with some fathers who seem overly protective, actor Guo is very easygoing with his 6-year-old son, nicknamed Shitou (Stone). Guo shows confidence in Stone’s ability and asks him to do various things for himself and to help others.

Industry experts say this kind of reality show is likely to be successful for long time because it’s entertaining, touching and educational.

“Dad, Where Are We Going?”

Every Friday, 10pm, Hunan Satellite TV

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