One of the endearing traditions in literature (which has its basis in reality) is that fathers are inevitably overprotective of their little girls, especially when the young ladies finally start to show interest in the opposite gender. (I have to admit some curiosity if this is valid for young lesbians (those who realize at a young age at least), though they often have other problems besides dating, such as parental acceptance for who and what they are. Undoubtedly any father open-minded enough to accept a lesbian daughter would be tolerant of most of her dating prospects.) The problem becomes two-fold: it is often played for laughs because it’s truth in advertising, but because it’s so commonplace it risks getting old fast.
This is why I’m so amused by the latest Sandra and Woo, which took this trope and delightfully subverted it with Larisa’s father offering advice to Landon, the young teen who Larisa has started dating. Larisa’s dad had a sound reason for his offering an olive branch to Landon. For one thing (in the father’s words), Landon isn’t some thug; I’m not quite sure if that’s a reference to jocks and the like, or the fact that Larisa is… well, to be blunt, a juvenile delinquent with pyromaniacal tendencies. While two of Larisa’s friends (Cloud and Sandra) tend to be decent and caring, I’d not be at all surprised if some of her other friends are… less than reputable. Landon is a nerd, and a fairly clean-cut chap at that. Or in other words, he’s the type of guy mothers want their daughter to date.
In many ways, the relationship between Larisa and Landon is unexpected and unlikely. While he did help her with her homework and studying, he doesn’t seem to be Larisa’s type at all. And with your “typical” girl in these situations, no, he wouldn’t have a chance. Fortunately, Larisa isn’t normal and she strives to avoid being “typical” at all costs. I’ll admit I don’t get the feeling she’s into him, not the way he is into her. But she’s also barely in her teens and hasn’t had the opportunity to learn the bad habits of far too many young ladies. And who knows… if Landon takes the offered advice to heart, he may very well start building deeper bonds with Larisa, which may even lead to an interesting choice for Larisa: dumping Landon to be part of the “mainstream” or saying “heck with that” and forging her own path ahead with Landon. I think we all know which is more likely for her.