Sometimes there are television shows that slip between the cracks of my viewing schedule. Look, I just can’t watch everything while its being aired. That’s why God created DVR, amirite? NBC’s Parenthood is one of those shows that I had heard good things about but was too busy watching man shows like Sons of Anarchy, Justified, and Dexter. Nevermind my guilty pleasure of being a Glee fanboy and trying not to hate the final season of The Office. It’s rough TV watching out here for this blogger.
However, I recently got a free subscription to Amazon Prime, which as you may or may not know has a instant video library in it. It’s a bit like Netflix but not quite as in-depth and has a bit better relevant selection. Anywho, Parenthood is represented through the service and it caught my eye so I decided to give the pilot episode a watch, after all the show has one of my all-time favorite TV actors in it, Peter Krause (Six Feet Under). My immediate reaction to the show’s first episode was how in-depth and affectionate the actors were in their parts. Krause is a damned fine actor and he’s used to being a part in an ensemble cast, but in Six Feet Under the plot really revolved around his character and the tribulations he went through. With Parenthood it’s more about one particular family and the moving pieces each member has to deal with, big and small. Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia play the patriarchs of the Braverman family that consists of two sons – Adam (Krause) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) – and two daughters – Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Julia (Erika Christensen) – and multiple children.
It’s not the set-up of the family that delivers, it’s the actors who play the parts. There is a lot of crying in each episode, but I expect that’s what happens when your life is under a microscope in such a large family. I’m only through season two (there are now four) but already it’s one of my favorite shows on television. Parenthood would actually be a much better show if it was on a premium cable network – such as Showtime, HBO, or Starz – but it’s more family friendly on NBC. That’s the aim though, and I accept that. The creators of the show realized that the subject of being parents isn’t as cut and dry as it might seem, so viola, you’ve got a hit dramedy.
William Baldwin guest stars in the second season and actually adds a bit of depth as does Jason Ritter, who guests in the first season. The show deals with the struggle of raising a child with Aspergers disorder, the trials of having a near grown teenager in your house, mixed relationships, and more. NBC has been in a bit of rut lately with their dramas lately, but Parenthood is one of those that is here to stay. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.