Parenthood TV show: a sentimental version of Modern Family

After delaying the season premiere and after weeks of commercials pitching a funny but sentimental new show, Parenthood premiered on Tuesday, March 2, 2010. The episode was presented with limited commercial interruptions by Nissan, and even those commercials pushed the sentimental theme: families spending time together in the car. 
Aired on NBC, Parenthood reminded me of ABC’s Modern Family, albeit quite a bit more sentimental. That’s not to say Modern Family hasn’t had it’s moments. Think of the time Mitchell and Claire made amends by performing their “ice-skating” routine in a parking lot. But Modern Family is decidedly a comedy, with its butler dog statues, fears of clowns, and Cam’s wonderful eccentrics.
Parenthood, on the other hand, pushes sentimentality with a few quips and jokes thrown around here and there. The size of the cast, too, is huge, and a cheat sheet is required to remember all the players so far.
The show is centered around the Braverman family, and a huge chunk of that family now lives under the same roof with parents Zeek (Craig T Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia), making it quite the full house.
All of the four grown siblings have some sort of drama in their life.
Sarah (Lauren Graham) is running low on cash and moves her two kids into her parent’s house. Her son, Drew (Miles Heizer), runs away to Fresno, hoping to live with his dad, while daughter Amber (Mae Whitman) plays the role of angry teenage girl.
Meanwhile, Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina (Monica Potter) are trying to help their son Max (Max Burkholder), who is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. They also have a daughter, Haddie (Sarah Ramos), who comes off as a sweet girl, but hints, like getting arrested with Amber, show she’s not as perfect as her parents think.
There’s also Julia (Erika Christensen), the driven, working mom who is having trouble connecting to her daughter Sydney (Savannah Paige Rae).
And last but not least, there’s Crosby (Dax Shepard). While he appears to be the most lighthearted of the bunch, he’s got enough issues of his own, too, least of which being his fear of commitment. At the very end of the episode, he meets a son he never knew he had, Jabbar (Tyree Brown).
But that revelation is completely overshadowed and not dealt with at all, in favor of returning to young Max’s storyline and his desire to keep playing baseball.
With such a large cast and so many storylines introduced all at once, the show hasn’t had a change to gel yet. There’s clearly plenty of material for many episodes to come, especially considering this series is based on an 80’s movie that goes by the same name. I’ll give this drama–not a comedy–another chance. 


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By day, I work as a Web Coordinator for a culinary vacation company. By night, I write, watch TV and movies, draw, and eat. Not usually all at the same time though. I love a good story and finding the right words to tell it. I also love a good meal, as w

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