Parenthood Returns… Was it Worth the Wait?

By hooshere | 9:29 am on February 8, 2012

Every decade or so, an iconic TV family is born- they enter our living rooms, and ultimately our hearts, with their familiar personalities, relatable stories, heart warming dialogue, and in some cases, laugh out lout comedic moments. In the 50s and 60s it was the Andersons, the Nelsons, and the Cleavers; in the 70s, the Bradys and the Bradfords; the 80s, the Huxtables and the Keatons; the 90s, the Barones, the Conners, and well, the cast of Friends may as well have been a family; in the 00s, the Taylors really brought it home (and if you don’t know who they are, you seriously are missing out), and of course, the Sopranos made arguably the biggest name of them all (I know they don’t exactly typify the ideal American family, but they were certainly iconic!) Which brings us to today… enter the Bravermans. I don’t know about you, but I cannot get enough of them. So much so that when I nestle in bed on Tuesday nights at 9:58pm and eagerly tune into NBC (one of the few times that I actually make “appointment” TV) only to find that it doesn’t say “NEW” on the Parenthood listing in my cable guide, I’m severely disappointed. A whole day, nee week, of anticipation crushed in one fell swoop. Pathetic? Maybe. But there are few shows that really grab me – and it was no surprise to me when I learned that Jason Katims, head writer and executive producer of my beloved Friday Night Lights is also the creator of Parenthood. The man knows how to write realistic dramas that suck you in and never let you go. He literally had me at the opening credits.

Sure, I’m admittedly defenseless against the heartstring-tugging dialogue that he so skillfully crafts, but it’s not just about that. I think at the crux of it all is the fact that while we are all so busy living our insanely hectic lives, barely making it through each day without our heads spinning out of control (at least, that’s how we New Yorkers do it) there’s something so grounding about following the ins and outs of each member of these families and their individual and collective lives, the ebb and flow of their failures and triumphs- something settling, emotionally engaging, and above all, entertaining. Maybe it’s that I don’t even come close to having that kind of visibility into the lives of my own friends and family (as much as I would like to, it would be logistically impossible), that I take comfort in at least knowing exactly what is happening with the Bravermans week to week. It’s also that it’s just so damn entertaining. I know I said that already, but it deserves to be said twice! It’s beyond well written and incredibly executed by a perfectly cast ensemble.

So, after three torturous weeks, the Bravermans were finally back last night. Let’s break it down: Amber is doing quite well for herself these days, and was just promoted to become Bob’s assistant, but I’m concerned she is flying too close to the fire and may end up wrecking everything if she isn’t careful, as she is previously known to do. And is it me or should the guy running for office stop hitting on an 18 year old? On to Julia and Joel- if Zoe changes her mind I will seriously lose it- they have been amazing to her and it will break my heart if that doesn’t end well. And if Crosby hasn’t come a long way since his major indiscretion with Max’s therapist (as much as I would LOVE to see Minka Kelly back on the show) then I don’t know what character development is. I don’t know how I feel about Jasmine moving in with Dr. Joe- I’m sort of over the whole Jasmine/Crosby thing but I can’t blame the writers for constantly going back to that well. Like most will-they-or-won’t-they scenarios, that will probably go on for quite some time. And just when I think I’ve had enough, Crosby goes and gives her a custom made doorknob out of an old ballet bar that he’d intended to give her back when he first bought the house, which Jasmine is obviously touched by, and there I am- rooting for them yet again! What can I say, I’m a sucker for a ballet-bar doorknob. And Sarah, well, no surprises there. Another emotional breakdown, that if nothing else, suggested that we will might be seeing more of Jason Ritter. And I can’t say I’m not happy about that.

In the end, Parenthood is one of those shows where, much like with Friday Night Lights, I’m baffled by the lack of viewership. It’s good TV, people! If you don’t already watch it, you better get on board before its time is up. Because like all their predecessors, the Bravermans will not be around forever. And if you are already a fan, then may you keep watching…and “may you stay forever young.”

Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us  which of the Braverman siblings is your favorite?

Adam
Crosby
Julia
Sarah

Are you ready for fathers day 2013?


19 Responses

  1. Josie says:

    I disagree about Julia. She has not been amazing to Zoe. Julia is over-bearing and comes off as a “know it all”. Yes, in a different time (and I wish I could go back to some of those old times), Julia would be completely within her rights to expect certain things from Zoe, but not in 2012. Julia should be walking on eggshells to keep Zoe happy. Haven’t you heard? Being a single mother is no longer any cause for concern, and adoption is no longer needed due to abortion and attractiveness of single motherhood.

    I have a hard time believing that Julia actually crossed paths with Zoe (which wasn’t hard since she worked at the law firm); a woman that would even consider giving up a child for adoption is extremely rare to find.

    Now, if the whole adoption thing falls through and Zoe keeps her baby..that will be realistic.

  2. Carol Banks says:

    I LOVE the show and all of the characters. I don’t get NBC but buy the season as soon as it comes out. I don’t know if I can get along without the Bravermans.

  3. Anita says:

    I love the show, it’s one of the best on tv, the only thing is you put in the same time slots as 2 other great shows and it seems like you people always do that…give it a time slot where we can watch other shows we like or move it to a different night…
    I loved watching the Walkers every week, but as usual someone put it on a night with other good shows…and now they are gone!!!
    Do something for us people that like these shows and keep them going!!

  4. mary ann west says:

    love this show; it deserves to be renewed and feted. NBC needs to be advertizing and promoting this wonderful show with its wonderful cast.

  5. Jo-Ann Leabman says:

    My husband and I LOVE this show. It is our favorite. When we mention this to other people they seem to have no knowledge of “Parenthood. I feel there has been very little advertising…don’t know why. We really hope it stays on the air.

  6. Elizabeth B says:

    I disagree with the author(s) of this piece.

    “In the end, Parenthood is one of those shows where, much like with Friday Night Lights, I’m baffled by the lack of viewership. It’s good TV, people!”

    Parenthood is GREAT! Why isn’t it supported better by NBC promos/print ads? If there is any criticism it’s directed towards the networks! And, while I’m there, am I the only one who remembers (and misses!) when a new television season meant “a new television SEASON”? Season premiers began late Sept into Oct, with season finales in May; then, there came the summer reruns, for cryin’ out loud!

    Tv seasons, and sports seasons, somehow got completely skewered. (Football in August? That’s baseball season! And, all 3 major sports fields are thrown out of natural kilter! We need to get back to bundling up for the big game, sips of hot chocolate or brandy, piling under the blankets with our family/friends on seating where we just might get snow flakes on our heads because football is a big, tough-guy sport played OUTSIDE, not inside a climate-controlled dome!)

    But, I digress! :-))

    NBC, you’ve got such a solid winner of quality programming; please, preserve it.

    B

  7. joia says:

    love ,love, this show!
    anyone who knows TV, knows this is a gem!
    I tell people to tune in all the time.
    Thank You!

  8. bonnie says:

    love the show…its called life..no blood..no guts..not violence..good mixture of humor and drama..thanks nbc

  9. Susan says:

    I wanted to love this show so much when it first came out because it had Lauren Graham (!!) among other faves. But the writing was awful from day one and even though I stuck it out through the first season hoping the show would find its voice, it only became more and more unbearable. I tuned back in for one ep in the second season just to see if it had gotten any better but they were having literally the same conversations with each other as they were having when I quit watching. I’m so amazed this show is still on the air. Somebody get Lauren Graham some better material!

  10. Jean P says:

    Totally agree with Keith A. I watched it for a while and tried to get into is but for all the same reasons as Keith, I stopped. I started recording it again but just could not stomach it again so I deleted all the recorded episodes and took it off the timer. I don’t know any families like this one. Not even close to real life. Surprised it is still on.

  11. Michael Combs says:

    My wife and I never miss a new Parenthood. To me, it’s one of the more realistic family shows unlike Modern Family, which is funny but it’s not any typical family that I know. I love each character and am entrenched in their lives. I hope and pray it lasts a few more seasons.

  12. Abby says:

    I was so happy to see this! I love this show and fear it’s ratings are going to cause NBC to let it go. Love all the characters and adore the growth they’ve gone thru. Lauren Graham’s character actually reminds me a little of Gilmore in that she’s just a little different from the rest of her family and follows a different drummer. And thank heavens for the return of Jason Ritter! Here’s hoping they all get to stay with us a bit longer!

  13. JohnF says:

    As Keith A. commented on losing interest, I did the same with Brothers and Sisters. Talk about a nosy, co-dependent family. Parenthood is more interesting to me since I am married with kids. If I were still single, I don’t think I would be interested.

  14. Mari V. says:

    I love this show! So glad it’s back and my 10 year old loves watching it too.

  15. Karen A. says:

    My husband and I both watch the show and LOVE it. All of the actors are great and I recommed parents to watch this program. We have a child with a learning disablitly, and it’s great that the show has that aspect of real life in its program.

  16. Gina says:

    I love this show and can related to many of the things you said. My biggest pet peeve about the show is Sarah. As a huge, devoted fan of the Gilmore Girls it irks me to see Lauren Graham put in the role of insecure, emotional wreck, who is content to live in her parents guest house, while her kids constantly push her away. Now the idea that she considering having a baby with this younger guy, who is already saddled with student loans and unfulfilled dreams made me want to scream.

  17. Tracey says:

    I totally agree with you, I LOVE this show!!! It is one of only a few that I make sure I watch. It always makes me feel warm and fuzzy (I know, cheesy, but it’s true!) It’s like they are part of your family.

  18. Keith A says:

    I watched this show from its inception but finally ceased watching mid-season last year after I realized that I absolutely could not stand a single character on this show. The family is painfully co-dependent (borderline creepy) and the level of the involvement of each family member in every other member’s daily lives was simply unbelievable.

    Other things that simply irked me to the level of alienating my household were the production tactics like many (MANY!) scenes featuring multiple family members talking at the same time and over each other. Yes, it’s somewhat realistic but incredibly annoying when you’re relaxing and trying to invest in the storyline.

    I actually checked in with the progress recently on a website to learn that Sarah had written her play, her father earned a role as an actor (?!) in said play, and Crosby and Adam had opened a recording studio as a joint venture. Wow. Those outcomes are totally relatable (obvious sarcasm).

    Not having any children or overzealous extended family, I might be biased, but it was disappointing to lose interest. I was definitely drawn into the series for about a year.

  19. Cindy Starns says:

    Thanks for the great review of Parenthood. I agree 100%. The characters are great and the actors give them life. I also hope they stay on as long as the previous family shows.

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