Bonus Features

Deleted Storyline, Deleted Scenes, Commentaries

Every family have their ups and downs in life but for the Braverman' those ups and downs are intensified by the size of the family. Head of the Braverman family is Zeek (played by Craig T. Nelson) and his wife Camille (played by Bonnie Bedelia) who try to give their children the guidance and love they need but it becomes difficult to while dealing with their own troubled relationship. In fact life for the Braverman's, all of them, is not nearly as perfect as it seems to be. Though Julia (played by Erika Christensen) might be a successful attorney while her husband Joel (played by Sam Jaeger) stays at home to raise their daughter so she can go to work, the couple find it's harder than suspected for them to have another child. While her sister Sarah (played by Lauren Graham) has to deal with two teenage kids as a single parent while also looking for a job as she lives with her parents once again as he ex and the children’s father tours around the states in his band being a drunk. The problems go on and on with this large family but so do the good times as the Braverman's always seem to make the time to have some laughs with each other as they tread through their day to day lives.

When this show started in 2010 on NBC I tuned in to watch it for 3 reasons, Ron Howard was an executive producer, Dax Shepard, and Lauren Graham. Parenthood is based off the 1989 film of the same name as well as being the second time it's aired on television. The plot of the show is pretty simple, take a large family that lives in San Francisco Bay area and around Berkeley California, make their lives seem perfect with all of them being good looking, living well off, working profitable jobs, and having families of their own but while on the surface the family looks perfect it's anything but that. One member looses his job that he's had for many years but now he's finding it near impossible to find a new career, he has to deal with his teenage daughter rebelling against him, his marriage is threatened when a younger girl becomes involved with him, and his young son has Asperger syndrome. Then there's the other member who finds out he has a son, falls back in love with the mother, then quickly moves into the troubled waters of a relationship that falls apart before it can begin.

Basically Parenthood is a show that is about a large family that has troubles but always have good times. At times the episodes would get a little annoying with how much drama that was trying to be put upon the characters but because the show has such a large cast the drama gets thinned out some. Which by season 3 I figured this format of showing so many cast members all having their problems that seem to end only to be replaced with something else that's worse, would just be old and tiresome. However, what I found was another season of a show that keeps me watching because I want to see what this family is going to do.

What makes this show is the cast; it's size and the actors playing the characters. If this show was based around a smaller cast I don't think it would work out so well because it would end up being focused too much for too long on the characters. Instead Parenthood is spread out where each episode has it's core plot line that will focus on one member of the family while having the rest of the cast as supporting characters in their smaller story lines. Each episode is set up where one member and their family’s problem is the main topic but by the next episode it will be a different one. It also helps that the show has witty writing where there's a good balance in the comedy, drama, romance, and family moments. One fear I had about this show was that it was going to be too focused on the family moments making it sappy where the family has some sort of major drama that ends up not really being anything where somehow they have a happy ending. Instead the show is about a huge family that has its problems like any other family and most of the time there really is no happy ending, just an ending that doesn’t seem too bad. Now the show still has it's points that I didn't quite care much for like how it seems like they gave all the members these great jobs and then there's the one member that was put in where her character has the token normal everyday job. Also at times it felt like the show was making a point of showing a family that seems perfect really isn’t that perfect, but I suppose watching a show about a family living in a small home working 6 days out of the week as a manager or a fast food place or in a warehouse where the members dress in clothes they've had for years, they don't look that good, and drive a car that breaks down more than it drives is that interesting. At times the cast is a little too perfect but it's still a fun show to watch and it's easy to get caught up in the characters and what they will be doing.


Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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