Thursday, January 29, 2015

Farewell, Parenthood

Many a television series have I seen end their runs, and I've definitely shed a lot of tears over quite a few finales that have been done well.  But having been with NBC's brilliant Parenthood from the very start and having watched this final season unfold knowing a little of what they had in store for us, I must say I had a full box of tissues at the ready and warned people seeing me tomorrow morning that I'd likely have very puffy eyes from bawling over the finale.  *sniff* I wasn't entirely wrong.  I certainly cried.  But I also laughed and sighed and was thoroughly uplifted.

First, let me know advise, nay, BEG you all to go back and watch Parenthood - based on the 1989 Ron Howard film starring Steve Martin - from episode one (seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Netflix) because it is one of the best family dramas ever done.  A terrific, solid cast of veterans became the Bravermans, including Craig T. Nelson (Coach), Peter Krause (Six Feet Under), Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), Monica Potter, Bonnie Bedelia, Dax Shepard, Erika Christensen, Joy Bryant, Sam Jaeger, Mae Whitman, Ray Romano (Men of a Certain Age) and a great group of young actors (Max Burkholder, Savannah Paige Rae, Miles Heizer, Tyree Brown, Sarah Ramos, and Xolo Mariduena) we've watched grow up before our eyes.  Full of humor as well as drama, you truly feel like you're watching a real family deal with a slew of issues and problems but also laugh, celebrate and triumph together.  Breast cancer, sex, marital problems, Asperger's, the poor economy, pregnancy (unexpected and later-in-life), homosexuality, adoption, bi-racial relationships, bullying, PTSD, and finally, death - this show has tackled it all with precision, perfection, realism and heart.

*sniff* *nose blow* *sniff*

I'm not going to go into detail about what happened in the finale, except to say that it was exceptional - funny, sad, heartwarming and capped brilliantly, taking a cue from the amazing Six Feet Under finale (which I'm sure made Krause smile) by ending in a similar way: a montage giving us a look into the future to see how the Braverman clan grows and where each branch goes in their respective lives.

I am so glad NBC stuck with this series despite never being a ratings darling, and gave it a chance to have a proper ending.  It's a gift I and many other fans are grateful for.  I can't stress enough how good Parenthood is, consistently episode to episode.  I will truly miss my nights with the Bravermans, and hope many more people discover them and join the extended family of fans that I'm proud to be a part of.

Adieu, Parenthood.  I *sniff* miss you already.

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