D and I binged watched Parenthood last year on Netflix and then picked up with the last season this fall. It is generally my favorite show of the week - and though I love a lot of comedies (Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, etc), I can't help but love this family drama and think that it's probably one of the best shows on TV.
Tonight is the last episode -- and as embarrassing as it is, I am mourning the end! I have fallen in love with the Braverman family and am not ready to say goodbye! I will have to find another show to fill the void.
Here are just 5 of the reasons I love this show:
(1) It's about a grown up family: Matriarch and Patriarch, their kids, and their kid's kids.
There are tons of family shows about young kids, teens, etc. but only a few family dramas dealing with grown up kids and their families. This is the stage of life I am in, so I guess it's relatable.
Truth is, things are different when you grow up. You have to learn to do what's best for your family and still try to respect your family. You have your own schedule, but still try to stay close to parents and siblings. You witness these characters wading the same waters -- balancing family with extended family, working to stay close, disagreeing with siblings, etc.
(2) The characters are believable.
These characters face a lot of drama - but everyday drama that many Americans face like divorce, job loss, kids making poor decisions, unwed pregnancy, cancer, aging, kids with disabilities, marriage problems, infertility, adoption, etc.
We all understand at least one of these problems...unlike problems featured on other shows like being the President's mistress (Scandal), being caught between an American small town and fairytale land (Once Upon a Time), spending years plotting revenge on the people who took down your father (Revenge), being artificially inseminated on accident and becoming a pregnant virgin (Jane the Virgin), being switched at birth and reconnecting with your siblings (Switched at Birth), dating a presidential candidate(Brothers and Sisters).
FYI, the above listed are all shows I watch or have watched, so I like them, but sometimes, it's nice to watch a show that includes realistic challenges that either I or people I know and love are facing.
(3) The show provides hope amidst disappointment.
You've got two free spirit wild child siblings and two type A goody two shoes siblings. But, both the good siblings and the wilder ones make mistakes....as do their kids. Although their mistakes have consequences, no mistake dooms a character. It is challenging, but every poor choice on the show is survived and maybe even overcome.
(4) This family loves each other.
These days, its easy to portray the broken family. It creates drama immediately which makes the writer's role a bit easier at times. But, its much more difficult to create an entertaining show that reveals the complexities, ups and downs of an imperfect but loving family. I think that's why so many people loved this show: we crave a happy but flawed family.
(5) The show has a proper ending
I hate when shows get notice halfway through the season that they will no longer be on air, so they try to tie up the loose ends in a few short episodes -- or even worse, when a show ends for a season and doesn't air the next season, so you never got a proper ending or goodbye.
I also dislike when a show goes on too long and doesn't end on a good note (like How I Met Your Mother, one of my favorite shows of all time that lost some of its charm in the later seasons....)
Parenthood is ending in none of those ways. We have a proper goodbye, a whole season to watch and mourn and celebrate and see how things wrap up. The show is ending before it started dragging on -- and because the writers and producers knew it was going to end, the show is not ending abruptly with huge question marks and unanswered questions.
I am sad to see the show end but I am glad that it is ending properly!
So, is it just me - or is anyone else mourning the ending of Parenthood? And, any suggestions of shows to watch to fill the void?