It’s pretty well-documented that I love tv. It gets a bad rap because, truth be told, when 500 channels exist and have to fill 18+hours of programming (not including late night infomercials) the grand majority of said programming is going to be mediocre at best. But there are most definitely some gems out there and one of my favorites is Parenthood.
It’s based on an 80s movie that I haven’t seen, but I’ll tell you what drew me to this show back when it first started… Lauren Graham.
Oh Lauren Graham you’re playing a slightly less neurotic version of Lorelai Gilmore, but still they make you useless in romantic relationships, don’t they? You are so good at it, girlfriend. For real, I just really like Ms. Graham as an actress and she seriously needed to redeem herself from those last few Gilmore Girls episodes, so I tuned in and I was hooked.
Parenthood centers itself around the Braverman family. Patriarch and Matriarch Zeke (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille Braverman have 4 grown kids, who all have families (very different families) of their own. (Does this sound familiar? Let me give you a hint, if you like Modern Family, but also like drama and would prefer that not every episode in a zany “what are they gonna do now???” mess, then Parenthood is a solid alternative.). 2 girls and 2 guys, naturally.
Oldest son Adam is the dependable one and everyone leans on him. He’s also a little Type A, but not as much as his wife Christina who is sort of a helicopter mom and drives me crazy, but she has good reason as her middle son Max has Asperger’s, her daughter just started school at Cornell and she just had a baby named Nora. Oh, and Christina has breast cancer, which is making for some pretty heart-wrenching episodes as of late.
Youngest daughter Julia is your classic overachieving “I can do it all” mom, except that she just recently quit her high profile job at a law firm to be with her kids, bio Sydney (spoiled brat) and adopted Victor (punk brat, but for a good reason), and switched places with former stay at home dad Joel. Joel is the saint of the show because he frequently gets undermined by overpowering Julia and the rest of her family, but now he’s working on a super big contracting job so I feel better for him now.
Middle daughter Sarah has 2 kids, high schooler Drew and “college isn’t for me” Amber (who thank God is finally getting her act together), with her ex-husband who is a recovering drug addict (played by John Corbett!!). It seemed like they might get back together at one point, but Amber pulled a Rory and asked him to stay out of her mom’s life as she was finally getting her act together and probably wouldn’t with her co-dependent ex hanging around. For awhile Sarah was engaged to Mark (played adorably by Jason Ritter) a much younger than her teacher (at her son’s school, natch), but he recently broke it off because she was being kind of a Lorelai about it (See Max, Luke, and Christopher seasons of Gilmore Girls for reference). So now she’s kind of hooking up with her boss, Ray Romano. Not actually but I forget his name because seriously I just look at him and see Ray Romano.
And now we get to youngest son Dax, I mean Crosby. Played by the wonderful Dax Shepard (seriously love him, I feel like he’s my screw-up older brother who is finally doing some awesome in his life instead of making money pranking people). When we first met Crosby he was living on a boat and hooking up with some girl, and then this chick Jasmine (Joy Bryant) shows up with a kid and says “meet your son, Jabar” Yep. Jabar. Cue the beginning of a very tumultuous on again, off again relationship, Crosby adorably learning how to be a dad, and your fair share of awkward racial and blended family issues (PS, Jasmine is a black former Alvin Ailey dancer, score one for legit modern dance references!). Luckily now Jasmine and Crosby are happily married, though he is still flaky, impulsive, and only dependable at the verylastminnute, but the fact that they are together makes my life a lot easier (even fake tv relationships stress me out!).
What else do you need to know so you can start watching? Oh Adam and Crosby opened up a new recording studio, at maybe the worst economic time, but of course they’re doing fine. And Amber is receptioning it up there (remember, college isn’t for her). Zeke and Camille are former hippies who are getting on up there in years, but still being awesome if not overly involved parents.
What do you say, will you watch with me?
Do you watch Parenthood? What do you think?