Thought this was going to be an in-depth, soul-searching post about my experience as a parent so far, filled with wisdom and tips I've picked up in my 6 weeks as a mom? Think again, my friend. Instead, it's going to be an in-depth, soul-searching review of the show Parenthood, and why everyone and their mom (and sister, and husband, and friend) should be watching it because it's the best show out there right now.
A quick summary of the show to get you acquainted:
Parenthood is the story of the Braverman family - 3 generations including 4 grown siblings, their spouses and kids, and their parents. It stars Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, one of the other greatest shows ever made), Peter Krause, Erika Christensen, and many others (it's a many-charactered show). It's the basic story of a family, including plots of a child with Aspberger's, a family trying to adopt, a divorced mom and a dad with drug/alcohol abuse issues, marriage infidelity, and so many others. It's so far-reaching and diverse that it's hard to summarize well!
Now onto the reasons why Parenthood should be the next show you binge-watch on Netflix.
ONE: the characters are real, believable, and easy to identify with.
No matter your age or occupation, there is someone in Parenthood that you can identify with. Teenager going off to college? Check. Struggling with infertility? Check. Like to write and want to be a writer? Check. In business with your family? Check. The list goes on and on. Besides the fact that there's a character for everyone, the characters are unbelievably real and personable. They make real, normal mistakes (not the kind of overblown mistakes most TV shows are based on). They forget birthdays. They forget to pick up their kids from school. They have arguments about money, and faith, and all the important things.
There aren't many shows out there like this. Modern Family is another that is set up the same way (extended family, lots of characters, etc.) but Parenthood just feels more real because the characters are real and struggle with the things everyday humans struggle with. (It's also less of a comedy than Modern Family, so that is definitely an influence.)
TWO: the dialogue is realistic.
I never realized this bothered me about TV before I started watching Parenthood. Think about it - have you ever noticed that most TV shows let each character finish a line before the next character starts talking? Unless it's a very scripted and obvious interruption, or an argument that happens once a season, maybe? Not so with Parenthood. Characters talk and yell and discuss things over each other all the time...just like talking and arguing with people in real life is like. It's impossible to hear all the different lines at the same time, again, just like it's like in real life when you're in a family discussion or argument.
|they also have adorable dance parties|
THREE: the music is incredible.
At least, if you have my taste in music for TV, of course. Sometimes music in TV shows is annoying because it's way too obvious why the music producer chose a certain song for a certain moment (Grey's Anatomy has a tendency to do this 100x an episode). Parenthood is much more subtle, and I think you really have to know the songs to understand the connection between the scene and the songs. They also don't overdo the music, and often play the entirety of a song, which is rare in TV.
|any show that makes a 40-year-old dad dress like this is GOLD|
Also, their music producer(s?) have great taste. I'm only in season 3 and I've heard The National, Band of Horses, The Head and the Heart, and tons of other bands I love.
FOUR: you can always see both sides of any argument.
Other TV shows do this occasionally, but Parenthood excels at making the viewers feel and understand each side of every argument. I don't want to give any specific examples because they're the best and most impressive conflicts in the series, but time and time again I find myself trying to decide which character to agree with in an argument. Isn't that amazing? Again, it's like real life - you can see the validity of both people's position and it's hard to decide.
It's beautiful and makes for an excellent TV show.
If these reasons don't make you want to watch Parenthood, well, I guess we have different taste in what makes a good TV show. To be fair mine is pretty widespread, and I'm a little ashamed to admit some of the TV shows I've binge-watched on Netflix...I debated listing them off here but I think I'll save that for another embarrassing time. Trust me when I say Parenthood tops them all.
If this post inspires you to start watching it, have fun!