'Merry Happy Whatever' Episode 1: Don is an overprotective dad who needs to take a chill pill when he's looking out for his daughters

'Merry Happy Whatever' Episode 1: Don is an overprotective dad who needs to take a chill pill when he's looking out for his daughters

This contains spoilers for 'Merry Happy Whatever' Season 1 Episode 1

Let's face it. When Don Quinn (Dennis Quaid) first appears on the screen he comes off as a pretty strong character, given that he is a Sherriff of the town. Surprisingly, the kids take after their dad very well and abide by the rules of the family.

He has three daughters — Emmy (Bridgit Mendler), Patsy (Siobhan Murphy), Kayla (Ashley Tisdale), and a son named Sean (Hayes MacArthur). He is very protective of his daughters, which is very nice, but he forgets to acknowledge the thin line that separates his duty as an officer and a father. 

From the first episode, it seems pretty obvious that he is insecure and jealous that his youngest daughter Emmy is bringing her boyfriend Matt (Brent Morin) to the family's Christmas celebration.

So, when he sees him, he snubs him a lot. As it is, Matt is nervous to meet Don for the first time, Don makes it worse by mildly insulting him at the airport by shoving Matt inside the car as if he were a thief being taken to prison.

He disregards Matt completely throughout the episode and refuses to acknowledge his presence in the house. Well, technically, the Quinn house is no less than an analogy for prison as there are Don's stringent rules, and the family has to follow it religiously. 

When it comes to being an overprotective father, it looks like his favorite kid is Emmy. It is obvious since his other daughter Kayla's husband asks her for a divorce in front of him, and it did not seem to bother him at all. 

But in the case of Emmy, he is always trying to gain control over her life and other decisions. he despises the fact that she is dating a musician, which reflects that he's still an old-school chap who disregards being a musician as a real profession.

Emmy is the one who prefers staying away from the family because being around Don is a bit overwhelming and she can't deal with it too much. Given that he is the patriarch of the family, it does not give him the right to bully Matt especially when he is trying to be a part of this crazy family.


From the first episode, Don seems like a superficial tough guy and his character desperately needs some air and a major transformation. He needs to become more human, even though he is just trying to look out for his daughters' best interest.

We're hoping that his character undergoes some transition for good because dealing with this kind of a person is emotionally and mentally taxing for other "non-Quinns". 

Catch the premiere of 'Merry Happy Whatever' on November 28 only on Netflix.

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