Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday TV: Parenthood

While The Good Wife is the best show on television and among my all-time favorites, Parenthood is a contender too. (Don't get me started on why they had the same time slot until this fall either.) I mentioned my love of Parenthood before when it wasn't nominated for any Emmys. The new season of Parenthood started Tuesday, and it got be thinking about it all over again.

Mr. Nomadreader has seen Parenthood a few times and enjoyed it, but our schedules were so disparate we rarely got to watch television together. Now, however, we have the luxury of actually spending evenings and weekends together (it's heavenly), so we sat down to watch Parenthood Tuesday night when it premiered.

As much as I loved it, he loved it more. We both laughed and cried (quite normal activities for us when watching emotional programs). I lost count of the number of times Mr. Nomadreader uttered "this show is amazing" or "how do they not win every ensemble cast award?" I agree. While I'm sad Parenthood was shut out of Emmy nominations, it's not a show designed to highlight individual acting.

The opening scene of Tuesday night's episode is classic Parenthood: the kitchen before school. Five actors all talking at the same time. It's genius is in having them all understandable instead of comedic. Parenthood touches on the real emotions of family. As someone in between who remembers my teenage years and is not yet to my parenting years, perhaps I'm the perfect viewer.

The cast features sixteen regulars (according to my scientific count and including a couple of significant others.) They all have something to do. It is what an ensemble should be, but it also make the show so different from what else is on television. There's a dearth of scripted dramas to begin with, and most of the ones on the air involve lawyers, doctors and police officers. Family dramedy is sorely underrepresented, and still the ratings for Parenthood are dangerously low.

People, watch good television. I spend a lot of time championing well-written books with well-conceived characters. Parenthood is all of those things too, and it gets to the heart of why I love episodic television: the emotional connection shared between viewer and characters on a weekly basis rivals the shared connections in literature.

In the U.S. Parenthood airs Tuesday evenings at 10 p.m. Eastern on NBC. The first two seasons are available on dvd, but you can pick up the action amazingly well, even on a show with sixteen regular characters.

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5 comments:

  1. I have a friend who loves this show to death, and I haven't even ever seen it! I probably should try to take a peek at it after reading this post!

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  2. I'm with you! My husband and I both love the show (as well as The Good Wife) and we thought the premier was great. They've done such a wonderful job developing the characters.

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  3. Not being parents, my wife and I didn't think much about starting this but your post has changed my mind -- I'll see if we have any eps on our OnDemand and I'll start watching!

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  4. I love this show! The direction the story is taking is interesting this year. I look forward to it every week.

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  5. I really like Parenthood, too. My other favorite family show is Raising Hope. It's a comedy, though, but it is HILARIOUS!!

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