With bated breath I awaited this new show on NBC. I could not wait to see what the struggling network would do with Parenthood, loosely based on the movie (of which I also loved) from 1989. As news of the cast began to trickle down I became more and more excited. Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham (replacing Maura Tierney), Peter Krause, Mae Whitman and Monica Potter just to name a few of the stars became the headliners of an amazing cast. Here we go again NBC! All this hype and I just knew at this point that the show was not going to live up my expectations (anyone remember Studio 60?). After watching the first few episodes, I must admit that I was wrong. Finally a show (from NBC no less) that has lived up to the hype.
The story follows a close-knit, white, middle-class family (the Bravermans) as they go about their day-to-day life. With divorce, raising teenagers, a family where traditional roles are reversed and starting over as the major themes, the show seems to have something for everyone.
As the patriarch of the family, Craig T. Nelson is extremely charismatic and perfect for the part. He is gruff when he needs to be and helpful when it is expected. Although, the true “glue” of the family is Adam Braverman (played by Peter Krause). As the big brother he is the one that everyone calls upon to solve the problems and keep the family together. With two children of his own (one of which has just been diagnosed with Aspergers) Adam has his own issues but always seems to have time for his brother and sisters. The other three siblings (played by Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, and Erika Christensen) all have families of their own but are so believable in their family interactions.
Parenthood is well acted, well written and flows between storylines so well the transitions seem seamless. Even the younger generation (including the amazing Mae Whitman) is believable and heartfelt without seeming kitschy or over-indulgent.
For a show that seemed destined to fail after the staggering amount of hype heaped upon its shoulders, I am pleased to announce that thus far, Parenthood has lived up to the hype. The show is up against extremely strong contenders on Tuesday nights at 10 (The Good Wife, Southland etc) and seems to be holding its own (thank goodness for DVR and Tivo).