I’ll admit it, I didn’t really take an interest in Parenthood up until a couple of weeks ago – when it was at the Upfronts and was being pitched as a “reworking” of the movie of the same name, of which I am not a fan, I shrugged and moved on.
But, I have a Life, Unexpected shaped hole in my viewing schedule (and shhhh, maybe also in my heart) and this season’s tv mostly sucks. Supernatural has been patchy at best – shoulda kept it to the original 5 season plan guys – and I’ve given up on Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl.
What then, to bridge the 20/30 something viewing gap – something that’s smart and funny and un-contrived, and in an ideal world has some soul?
In steps Jason Katims, yes he of OMG! didn’t he used to write for My So Called Life ? And Roswell? and Friday Night Lights? fame
(Before I get into explaining why this show is so mind blowingly good, I’ll tell you that out of the 3 people I have recommended the show to of recent all 3 have got in contact to tell me how in love with it they are. Who doesn’t trust the opinion of 4 random strangers?)
The premise is simple and much the same as the movie. The plot centres around the lives of 4 siblings and their families. At this stage it could’ve gone either way – but for the casting.
The show stars Peter Krause as Adam Braverman – eldest brother of the clan, Lauren Graham (Laurielei how I’ve missed you!) as quirky younger sibling Sarah, Dax Shepherd as irresponsible-younger-brother type and Erica Christensen as together-lawyer-sister, Julia. Oh, and we probably shouldn’t forget everyone’s favourite haunted-house-movie-dad Craig T Nelson, as the Braverman family patriarch.
The show begins as Sarah moves home and back into her parents house in Berkley with her two teenage children. The first episode packs a whole bunch of saw-that-comin’ punches, but with writing as good as this, you really don’t care.
Let me level with you here. If you’re a dude, this probably isn’t the show for you, unless you’re the kind of dude that enjoys relationships and loved Dawson’s Creek. But if you yearn for that inimitable feeling you used to get at the end of certain MSCL/Party of 5 episodes, where for 10 seconds you forgot you hated everything about them and you wished your family was like the Chases/Salingers then this is going to KILL you.
I wanted to write a whole thing about the characters and the way they interact, and how it’s got an almost SATC vibe when it comes to which one of the protagonists you most see yourself in, except in this show, there is no Carrie. No-one is inherently likeable or inherently flawed, and in this lies the shows magic. The characters are so believable that you’re willing to let all that, preaching to the masses/moralistic message TV shit that goes along with a network show in the USA slide.
I’m only at the beginning of the second season, and I’m not going to post any spoilers, I just wanted you to know that you should be watching it. It’ll make your life better, in a way actual family can’t.