Sunday, 3 February 2013
Parenthood is a TV series I've been meaning to write about for a while. The man behind it is also the man behind Friday Night Lights (Jason Katims) and that alone makes it worth a look. It's just finished its fourth season so if you're looking for something to immerse yourself in, this could be the box set to get you through February.
It's very loosely based on the 1989 film Parenthood which any self-respecting Keanu Reeves fan is more than familiar with. However, I don't think that it bears much resemblance except it's about a large family. In this case, the Bravemans are the family and it's set in that most perfect of cities, San Francisco. It has a lot of characters which means it takes skilful writing to pay them all the attention and draw them in a way that makes you care. Fortunately the writers behind this are clever and you find yourself caring about everyone.
The grandmother is Bonnie Bedelia, aka Mrs John McLean from Die Hard. This tickles me every week. All the cast are stellar - Peter Krause from Six Feet Under, Monica Potter who is insanely pretty and Lauren Graham. Ahhh yes, Lauren Graham plays Sarah. Possibly the least likeable character to come along for a while. If I'd been aware of her when writing my Top Ten Annoying Females, she'd have scored a place. This pains me as I like Lauren Graham. She is wonderful in Gilmore Girls. However, Sarah is selfish, immature and simply not very nice yet she's written as if you are meant to like her and sympathise. This infuriates me.
There are plenty of characters to like though, my favourite is Julia, the high-achieving lawyer sister and her husband Joel who TeenBoy and I would like to be friends with please. Also rated highly is Amber, Sarah's daughter who starts off season one as whiny but matures nicely and is beautifully played by Mae Whitman. And special mention to Crosby, the irresponsible brother who provides much of the comic relief.
It has plenty of appearances from Friday Night Lights alumni including Lyla, Vince and Luke. It can be a little cheesy but it's American and they can never resist a bit of cheese. Despite this, I highly recommend Parenthood, it's intelligent, thoughtful and great entertainment. Check it out.