Fictional Growing Pains dad Alan Thicke is blurring the lines between his work life and his home life in a new reality series, Unusually Thicke.
The reality-sitcom hybrid, á la The Osbournes, premiered on Slice last night (Apr. 16), following real-life dad Alan, 67, his model-wife Tanya and their sons Carter, 16, and Brennan, 39.
The series offers a chance to unearth the little-known life of a famous dad with an even-more-famous son. Canadian Alan is also father to Robin Thicke, whose summer smash ‘Blurred Lines’ and separation from wife Paula Patton have secured his position as talk of the town.
In the show’s premiere, Tanya forces her husband to hold a garage sale to rid their life of his clutter, and Bob Saget – a.k.a Full House dad Danny Tanner – swings by to help out.
We’ve rounded up eight things we learned about the Thickes from promotional interviews and last night’s premiere:
Alan’s son Brennan, 39, runs a marijuana dispensary in Santa Barbara, California.
On Robin being a stern disciplinarian
“I think [my] favourite side of Robin that a lot of people don’t get to see is what a great dad he is,” said Tanya. “He is such a good dad and he is such a disciplinarian to [son] Julian.”
On Robin being a relentless disciplinarian
Tanya added, “I remember asking him, “Robin, wow, you’re always disciplining Julian, and Julian says ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ and everything.”
On Robin’s childhood freedom
Robin’s response to Tanya’s surprise about his parenting: “Yeah, well you know dad; dad didn’t ever discipline me.”
On Alan’s insecurities
“I got to a point, probably around the talk show Thicke of the Night, that was on against Johnny Carson and then quickly off in a year against Johnny Carson, where you get so publicly spanked that your ego takes a bit of a beating, and whatever you thought you were or would be, there’s a reality check that takes place," said the actor, who appeared on season 2 of Celebrity Wife Swap.
On Alan’s other career
Not only has he played dad on TV, had a late-night talk show and guest-starred on popular sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother, the Kirkland Lake, Ontario native is also an accomplished composer, having created the iconic theme music for shows Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.
On Tanya’s next possible career?
Alan explained to The Toronto Star that there have been talks of doing an episode where he and his wife “[try] to auto-tune Tanya and put her with somebody fabulous, like Pharrell or Barry Gibb or somebody we know.” He added that he wants to “see if they can make a singer out of Tanya.” Next stop, a Thicke fragrance deal?
On Robin’s emotional strength
After splitting with 38-year-old actress Paula, Robin, 37, is said to have handled the breakup “very effectively through his music,” according to Alan in an interview for Unusually Thicke. “He is in the midst of a new album that is very emotional and dynamic and a lot of power and incredibly musical, and he’s sounding great,” the actor added.
Unusually Thicke airs on Slice on Wednesdays.