A family tree with Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille Braverman (Bonnie Bedelia) serving as the patriarch and matriarch. After forty-six years of marriage, they've managed to keep their ... See full summary »
Freshman Rusty Cartwright arrives at college and decides he no longer wants to be the boring geek from high school. He decides to pledge a fraternity. He is offered 2 bids; one from his sister's boyfriend Evan's fraternity and one from Cappie, his sister's ex-boyfriend's fraternity. Rusty must learn to handle his new life, and his new relationship with his sister. His sister must decide if she ... See full summary »
Scott Michael Foster,
Jaye Tyler is a loner living in Niagara Falls who, after graduating college, has fallen into a care-free comfortable rut living in a trailer park and working as a retail clerk in the Falls ... See full summary »
A family tree with Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille Braverman (Bonnie Bedelia) serving as the patriarch and matriarch. After forty-six years of marriage, they've managed to keep their foundation intact by burying their problems underneath the surface for the sake of their now-adult children. Adam (Peter Krause) is the first-born and the ripest apple the tree has to offer. He runs a shoe company, has a supportive wife, two children (boy and girl) and a beautiful home to share with them. He's a dog short of "The American Dream". Sarah (Lauren Graham), is the unstable daughter returning home at thirty-eight years of age with her rebellious daughter and sensitive son to live with Zeek and Camille. Crosby (Dax Shepard), is a happy-go-lucky bachelor living in the now, on a docked boat. He has no idea that his frivolous life is about to change tremendously. Then there is Julia (Erika Christensen). She is the bread-winning shot-calling lawyer, whose husband mans the stay-at-home-dad duties.... Written by
Jordan Ray Allen
Every Tuesday night, after the conclusion of Parenthood, my wife says to me sentimentally, "I want to be a Braverman!" NBC's mildly successful drama, Parenthood, utilizes its larger-than-normal cast (15 recurring characters) to create a realistic atmosphere that explores the deeper realities of being an American family. Each episode beckons the viewer to identify with one branch of the Braverman family tree. Do you see yourself as the successful oldest brother, Adam, who everyone in the family looks to for support and advice? Are you the single mother, Sarah, who is overcoming a failed marriage and the repercussions of the children's absent father? Or maybe you're Julia, the successful lawyer who's climbing her way up the corporate ladder, but all the while wrestling with the cost to her family? Then there's the black sheep Crosby, whose fear of commitment and settling down are challenged by the confident, aspiring mother of his child, Jazmin, whom he has fallen deeply in love with. Or, perhaps, your children are raised and now, as the patriarchs of your family you find yourself in Zeek and Camielle's position of watching your children parent and navigating the complexities of having an adult child (not to mention grandchildren) living with you in your home.
The story lines and issues dealt with in Parenthood bring the audience into the midst of some of today's most challenging issues. In its first two seasons, Parenthood has empathized with its audience's struggles in an incredible number of real life situations: job loss, Asperger's syndrome, raising a rebellious teenager, raising a teenage boy with his father absent, midlife crises, financial stresses after retirement, the reality of peer pressure, unexpected pregnancies, balancing your career aspirations with those of your spouse's, biracial dating, and infertility.
What has become a staple of Parenthood is the argument scene. Episodes of Parenthood regular contain two to three scenes of one of the families engaged in a loud, discussion/fight with multiple characters yelling at the same time. The argument scene seems so chaotic, confusing, loud . . . and realistic. Any family that has had their share of arguments will find a kindred spirit in the Bravermans of Parenthood.
In the end, Parenthood is about, well, just that . . . parenthood. The unique flavor that this particular show has brought to prime time is an honest look at the many dimensions of parenting - from the decision to attempt to conceive, to the toddler and primary school years, through the incredibly challenging teenage years, to the years of adulthood and being a grandparent. Parenthood has dealt with infertility to preschools to high school graduation and everything in between. Parenthood is about family. Through the all challenges mentioned above that come the Braverman's way, the one stabilizing force is their family.
One of the casualties of the postmodern quest for mobility and a borderless reality is the family. How very uncommon it has become to meet an extended family who all live within a short distance of one another! Parenthood offers the Braverman family to help calm that longing in us all. Zeek and Camille's house serves as the calming presence throughout the series. No matter what difficulty besets the family, when they are "home," everything seems right. It is difficult to imagine any of the Braverman's ever moving far from home.
While the verdict remains out on whether or not Parenthood has the legs of a lengthy run or not, it's first 35 offerings have proved to be a welcome addition to contemporary social commentary on the American family. While some of the specific challenges have certainly changed, at the heart of the Braverman family we see the same soothing presence that so many have seen in the past in the Huxtables, the Keatons, the Bradfords, and the original American family, the Cleavers, not to mention a host of other American television families.
Alongside my wife, we will strive to be Bravermans. Our family hopes to learn from the Braverman family as they seek to be the safe and reassuring base for everyone facing the challenges and shifting of life.
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