I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.
Grandma, Parenthood the movie, 1989
That little talk from Grandma, given to Steve Martin towards the end the classic Ron Howard film Parenthood, encapsulates so much about life, the universe and everything. And it applies even nowadays, as the current television show with the same name can attest to.
Parenthood was the brainchild of Howard, with screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and told the multi generational snapshot of the lives of a family. After a short lived television version failed in 1990, writer Jason Katims of Friday Night Lights and My So-Called Life fame went forth and created this contemporary update in 2010, now in its fifth season.
Following the blueprint of what has come before, Katims brings the hated moments of life, the joyous parts of any day, the intentional laughs interactions with kids can bring, and the unintentional laughs those same children can provide mere seconds later. Add in the cringe worthy parts of existence your offspring, whether young, teen, or adult, can inflict on you, and you have life as we know it.
You’re going to have to learn life isn’t fair.
Parenthood 2010 is all about the Braverman family.
Zeek and Camille are the parents to four now grown children, Adam, Sarah, Julia and Crosby. The first season picks up with them in a lurch in their relationship, a fact they keep secret from the kids. Camille and Zeek share a long history together, with only hints and nibbles of their past dropped along the way. Even the four offspring don’t know all the details of everything.
Adam is the most stable, reliable man ever created. Always striving to be the responsible one who cares for and provides for his family. Kristina is the stay at home mom who presides over teen daughter Haddie and problematic young son Max. We quickly learn Max’s issues, which include constantly wearing a pirate outfit, is all because of autism.
Sarah is the perpetual wanderer. After countless thankless years being married to an alcoholic travelling musician, she finds herself in 2010 penniless and moving back in with her parents. Her only pride in life are her two teenagers, the moody outspoken Amber and the quiet introspective Drew.
You know what? Your trying to control my stress is stressing me out.
Julia is the ultra controlling lawyer. Her perfect expensive office in a huge corporate building mirrors her immaculate large spacious house. House husband Joel takes care of little daughter Sydney, who is already exhibiting lawyer like tactics when dealing with her parents.
Crosby is the unreliable womanizer. He loves his freedom, working at a recording studio, and living on his boat. But right away in season one, an old girlfriend from years before, shows up with a surprise named Jabbar. Crosby has too grow up very quickly, all to become a father to his young son, and to figure out what kind of relationship he will have with Jasmine, the boys mother.
So, maybe we have your mom do it. She loves giving bad news. It’s her specialty!
All these characters and stories and more spiral out of just the first bunch of episodes. With the ball of life rolling, and in some cases, steamrolling along, events move at a brisk pace for the Braverman clan.
Sarah starts dating her daughter’s high school english teacher, even through he is over a decade younger. Haddie angrily confronts her dad’s sexism. Crosby has to slowly break the news to his family about Jabbar. Amber goes to far and gets into serious problems.
He hit me first and then I get lunch detention? What genius thought that up?
And that is just season one. Further along, more children are born, people get sick, families expand, major rifts between parents and child occur, boyfriends and girlfriends come and go for the adults and teens, and every so often former Friday Night Lights stars will pop in for awhile – playing different characters of course.
One of the joys of Parenthood is that even if one character or storyline or concept does not thrill or entice or move you, some other event or moment or glance will come along within a scant few minutes. Googliebear and I have our favourites and dislikes of everything Parenthood. While we both loved the Haddie arc from season two, the current fifth season story with Kristina annoys us.
Sometimes being the perfect parent isn’t worth the blood on the floor.
What Ron Howard launched on the big screen, Jason Katims perfected on the small screen. These intimate, emotional snapshots of several months in these people’s lives always hit home.
Parenthood is about kids always being kids, even to the adult parents.
Parenthood is about parents always being parents, even to the adult kids.
Parenthood is about kids and parents sharing love.
…is currently reading The Death And Life Of Superman by Roger Stern.