In the ten months since the curtain fell on the modern-day Pattersons and rose on the denizens of Retconland, one character in particular has arisen to become the focus of our sympathies: John Patterson. So far, it has been established that:
- He is a better parent to the children than Elly is. Not only does the new-ruin John not judge them as harshly when they make minor screw-ups, he plays with them, takes their concerns seriously and, when temptation was dangled under his nose by his buddy Ted, his primary reason for refusal was that their needs came before his pleasure.
- Aside from hating the insane patients and drudgery of his wacky dental practice, he has a far more positive outlook on life than Elly.
- He doesn’t fly off the handle when confronted with minor inconveniences, knows how to prioritize the housework and indulges Elly’s need to do pointless busywork.
- He’s even a more loyal spouse; he didn’t give in to temptation when it came his way nor did he make excuses that made it okay.
What makes this entertaining, of course, is that the new-ruins are designed to kick his real-life counterpart Rod in the crotch by proxy. The reason he looks so clean, we could eat off him is that when Lynn goes out of her way to make someone look bad, she makes them look good.