Three Reasons Why I Love Parenthood

In case we haven’t been in touch in a while, no, I have not had nor adopted a child. I’m talking about NBC’s show Parenthood. I’ll admit it since you’re twisting my arm – I started watching the show because Lorelei Gilmore Lauren Graham is among the (many) actors on the show. And Peter Krause from Aaron Sorkin’s Sport’s Night. Later I learned that Jason Katims, one of the geniuses behind the show Friday Night Lights, writes and produces Parenthood. And in the meantime, I fell in love with the Braverman family.

Why do I love them so much? Let me count the ways.

1. Well, first of all, if you can’t relate to the Bravermans then I swear you don’t have a beating heart in your chest. This darn show makes me cry every week because somehow–heaven help us all–the writers have locked into every emotion that family parenthoodevokes and put it into television form. It’s heart-warming magic, really. I have no words, but I have Kleenex. Lots and lots of Kleenex.

2. The show functions on real-life drama. So many shows depend on high-octane suspense or soap opera-like story lines to keep viewers interested. But the back bone of the drama of  Parenthood is love meeting real life. No one needs to solve a murder or worry about being turned into a vampire or zombie. Instead we feel every second of a family member’s illness. Or we agonize with a mom trying to help her kid fit in at school when he’s different from everyone else. Or we witness a man rediscovering the person he’s married to after all the kids have left the house. Sure, the drama is a bit heightened for television but it’s so refreshing to watch a show that you can resonate with so completely.

3. The acting is so incredible on the show. The cadence is a little similar to Friday Night Lights, so I’m fairly certain they do a bit of ad libbing their lines and it makes for such an authentic experience. Even though I know in my head that this isn’t true, I really feel like these actors are the characters they represent. I cannot get over how perfect the casting is for every role–and they look like real people. I mean, I know they ARE real people (actors are real people, right?), but they seem like people I could be friends with in my real life.

I feel like words are failing me tonight in capturing how much affection I hold in my heart for the Braverman clan, but this I know for sure: I’m not emotionally prepared to let them go at the series finale this spring. Can’t it, just this once, be true that all good things don’t have to come to an end? Pretty please?