Last night was the series finale of the television show Parenthood. I haven't watched this final episode yet...part of me wanted to hold off because I'm sad that there won't be any more episodes but to be honest, part of me was just too tired to stay up. ;-)
If you've never watched Parenthood, you're missing out. The show follows the lives of the Braverman family -- Zeke and Camille, their grown children Adam, Sarah, Crosby, and Julia, and various spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, and children. It's a show about messy lives, love, careers, illness, the joys of middle school and high school, about starting over, growing up, making mistakes, forgiving and being forgiven. And ultimately, it's about family. The joy and heartache and loyalty of family.
The Braverman's aren't everybody's family, that's for sure. Their loud and obnoxious at times, and I can't count the number of scenes with everyone talking (ok, yelling, let's be honest) at once. I once read a reviewer comment during the first or second season, that there's no problem in the Braverman world that can't be fixed with a meal and some physical activity. Snarky, but true, especially those first couple of seasons. And you know, they're fairly solidly upper middle class, so sometimes the stakes don't seem quite as high in certain situations. As with any show that's on more than a year or two, there are some missteps along the way -- a storyline that goes on to long, a drama that turns into melodrama. I may have wanted to smack every character at least once at some point -- but to me, that's good storytelling, and good acting. The Bravermans and their cohorts seem real and their emotions genuine. I've cried and laughed and cheered and rolled my eyes and yes, even yelled at the television a time or two.
The characters have also grown and evolved throughout the show -- and to me that's one of the highest praises one can bestow on a long story. These people are living life -- experiencing and winning and losing and growing and changing and adapting.
It's not been perfect, but I've enjoyed (almost) every minute. Grab a friend (because it's a show that is even better when shared) and get some good use out of your Netflix or Amazon Prime membership.