When a celebrity who you grew up watching or listening to passes away, it can hit you hard and in a very personal way. Some see it as strange to mourn a person you’ve never met, but others understand that seeing this person on your TV since the beginning of your life makes them a constant in it, and thus, an important part. That equals out to a lot of people that one might eventually have to mourn, but that doesn’t make any of them any easier or less important. One of those people for me is Alan Thicke, who sadly passed away on Tuesday.
While this post is far from what I imagined my first official blog post to be about, somehow it feels right that we start this off by celebrating a TV (show and movie) star who we all loved. That’s the point of this here blog. To come together to discuss the joy of TV movies and the people who make those movies happen. Alan Thicke was wholeheartedly one of those people.
His series, Growing Pains, started and ended before I was even born, but it aired in syndication for years to come and allowed me to fall in love with the Seaver family. As a self-proclaimed TV addict, I count Growing Pains as one of my earliest obsessions and one that helped build the foundation of my love for TV. Alan Thicke’s portrayal of Dr. Jason Seaver, was a large part of that.
Since then, I’ve seen him guest star in other series that I enjoy (How I Met Your Mother, Scream Queens, This is Us, Fuller House), but it’s the TV movies that he randomly shows up in that always made me the most excited.
He’s acted in many TV movies before his time on Growing Pains, but those that came after are the ones that caught my eye. Here are the (mostly recent) Alan Thicke-featured TV movies I’ve had the pleasure of watching over the years:
Ice Angel (2000 – Fox Family Channel)
This was one of the very first TV movies I ever watched. And also one of my favorites. Maybe those two things are related, maybe they aren’t. Either way, this flick about a star male hockey player dying and coming back to life as a star female ice skater is fun and everyone should see it. One of my favorite parts? Seeing the Growing Pains father back on my TV as yet another father figure AKA the ice-skating coach, Coach Parker.
Notes from Dad (2013 – Hallmark Channel)
A classic tale about a divorced teacher (played by the handsome Eddie Cibrian) trying to save the school’s music department while dealing with his own family issues, Notes from Dad checks the boxes of what a Hallmark movie should be, but it has another layer to it compared to the usual romcoms on the channel. Plus, Thicke’s character is rightfully called just: Pops.
Let It Snow (2013 – Hallmark Channel)
One of the best things about this movie is that it has both Candace Cameron Bure and Alan Thicke in it, together. In case you didn’t know, Candace’s brother is Kirk Cameron, who played Thicke’s son on Growing Pains. Another fun fact, Candace was on a couple of episodes of the series with them, so this movie acted as a sort of reunion. It was fun to see everything come full circle. A third fun fact: Thicke guest-starred on an episode of Bure’s Fuller House, just released this past Friday.
A Cookie Cutter Christmas (2014 – Hallmark Channel)
Nothing says “Hallmark Christmas movie” like a cookie bake-off between two teachers. Thicke as the chef judging the competition is simply the icing on the cookie. Too cheesy? It’s a Hallmark blog, forgive me.
Wish Upon a Christmas (2015 – Lifetime Network)
Any chance I get to watch the lovely Aaron Ashmore, I take. If it’s a Lifetime movie, even better. This Christmas romance tells the usual story of a corporate woman, Amelia, going back to her hometown to shut down a factory, owned by her high school sweetheart, Jesse (Ashmore). Of course, romance and self-understanding happen along the way, thanks to the former boyfriend, Jesse, and also Amelia’s father, played by an obviously-heartwarming Thicke.
Stop the Wedding (2016 – Hallmark Channel)
In his most recent TV movie, Alan Thicke finally got some more screen time. This role also happened to be very different from his usual father-figure-on-the-side position he had been having in the above movies. This time, he plays a TV star who’s known for having some bad marriages. And when Anna (played by TV movie staple, Rachel Boston) finds out he is going to marry her aunt next, she sets out to stop it. But since it’s a Hallmark movie, first impressions aren’t always the right impressions. And romance ensues for Anna herself, because obviously.
What’s your best memory of watching Alan Thicke on TV? Do you have a favorite TV movie of his? Share them in the comments!