Alright, I admit that I’m very late to the Parenthood party myself. It took months upon months of listening to Grantland’s Hollywood Prospectus podcast with Dave Jacoby and Juliet Litman before I caved. I ran out of TV shows that I could binge watch on Netflix after finishing Wilfred (surprisingly entertaining), re-watching Archer (never gets old) and dabbling in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (a really fun show, but one I can only take in short bursts as opposed to binge viewing).
Parenthood follows the complicated Braverman family, focusing on the four grown-up siblings Adam (Peter Krause), Sarah (Lauren Graham), Crosby (Dax Shepard) and Julia (Erika Christensen). Each sibling has a vastly different personality and family of their own, but all live in the same community and interact with each other on a daily basis, solving each other’s problems.
Now, it’s nearly impossible to talk about shows on television these days without giving away huge details about the show, but that’s what I’m going to try to do here. I’m only one season deep into Parenthood, but the show is so enriching that I actually look forward to the times I get to watch it, hate myself if I have to leave in the middle of an episode and am already dreading the day I run out of episodes on Netflix and have to play catch-up online with the current season. Every episode sends you through a rollercoaster of emotions. You’ll find yourself laughing hysterically, feeling high school-level uncomfortable, on edge and crying in a span of 43 minutes. If there is another show on television that is able to combine all those different elements into a one-sitting experience, I haven’t heard of it.
The show’s writers do a fantastic job of connecting each character in the family to one another beyond the natural relationship that you would expect to share with your brothers and sisters. Each has deep philosophical elements to their daily lives that keep you coming back and rooting for these people to figure out beneficial scenarios that will help them in the long run. Maybe even more important than connecting each character to another is how the writers make all of these different people within one family seem so relatable to your own personal experiences. You get the feeling while watching an episode that you’ve met someone exactly like the Braverman’s somewhere along the way in your life, if not in your own family to begin with.
To keep this short and sweet, Parenthood is an easily enjoyable watch for anybody, regardless of age or gender. It is much more than just another family themed drama that is out once a week in prime time. It is as enjoyable to watch as it is educational in the sense that you’ll learn something about yourself and others, even if you’re not trying to take anything away from the show at all. Once I’m all caught up on the seasons on Netflix, Parenthood will absolutely become appointment viewing for me, a show I will make sure to be home each night, whichever day it’s on, to make sure I don’t miss a second of it.
I’ve always been late to the party with watching shows on television. I didn’t start watching The Office until they announced a final season and I was able to watch the majority of it on Netflix before hand. Same goes for the likes of 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, Arrested Development, The Wire and so on. Often, I blame this lack of interest in TV shows on my need to constantly be watching sports. Watching Parenthood, for now at least, seems to be changing that innate desire to put sports above anything else. I can say without question that it is, right now entering season two, my second or third favorite television show I’ve invested time into, grouped with The Wire and Game of Thones, and well ahead of what I would consider my next two in Arrested Development and Parks and Rec.
Basically, there is no reason you shouldn’t be watching Parenthood with the same level of enjoyment that I am. And I’m a 23-year old sports-loving gambling addict with a debatable drinking problem.
So, why aren’t you?