Inspired by the 1989 film of the same name, the 2010 television series Parenthood was a beautiful attempt to capture the chaos that resides within each family. The show was a sob fest, and those who desperately wait for every new episode of This is Us, would surely enjoy the six-season series.
What is Parenthood all about?
As the name suggests, Parenthood is a family drama that follows the Braverman family. The patriarch Zeek and his wife Camille have four children, who also have their own families, and with every episode, we see the love and bonding that holds this big family together.
Since the show has a huge ensemble cast (more than 15 actors), there are always multiple storylines going on, which are connected to the larger storyline. Each family unit – Adam, Sarah, Crosby and Julia – have a set of characters that are dealing with their problems, but they do it all together, as a family.
The best bits of Parenthood
Over the six seasons, Parenthood dealt with a wide range of subjects and wasn’t scared of diving into storylines that would have proved difficult for the show. In the first few episodes, we are introduced to Adam’s young son Max Braverman, who is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. This wasn’t a one-off story track that the show indulged in, but in fact, became an essential track and continued to stay the same until the show’s end. The inclusion of Ray Romano’s character in the later seasons also added value to the storyline.
Parenthood also dealt with stories of drug and alcohol abuse, infidelity, accidental pregnancies, abortion, miscarriage and cancer, among more.
Another great storyline that stood out for the series was the pressure that parents deal with while raising their kids in this day and age. This was majorly highlighted in Julia’s storyline after she and her husband trade places and she becomes a stay-at-home mother. The overwhelming nature of motherhood is scary and daunting at times, and this was captured in a heartbreaking way through this storyline.
In another heartbreaking storyline, Kristina’s (Monica Potter) battle with cancer gave the viewers many tear-jerking moments. Amber’s (Mae Whitman) tough teenage years and her relationships added darkness to Parenthood, which looked quite glossy and happy on other fronts.
What does not work for Parenthood?
While Parenthood is an emotionally taxing show to watch, it is the show that you put on to have a good cry. And while the emotional tracks in the show were near-perfect, some storylines were just not interesting enough for us to care.
Lauren Graham’s Sarah had, unfortunately, many such tracks. The makers wanted to show her as an impulsive woman, but on most occasions, she came across as annoyingly indecisive. Her love stories, the way she dealt with her kids and her extreme dependence on her brother made her seem like an immature adult who was simply unlikable. For Graham, this was a big departure from her Gilmore Girls days, where she was the picture-perfect mother.
In the later seasons of Parenthood, the viewers could see that the makers were trying to give the show an improvised feel. This was done to give a more natural feel to the show, but instead, it ended up looking like a lot was ignored at the edit table.
The legacy of Parenthood
Parenthood lasted for six seasons, and even though the show was popular with its audience, it never saw massive success. Family dramas were not the flavour of the season in 2010, unlike now when This is Us is a universal favourite. Had Parenthood released a few years later, the show would have probably fared better.
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Parenthood is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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