Tag Archives: Parenthood

Winter TV Landscape Full This Month

Coming on the heels of the end of season two of Showtime’s Homeland, I’m relieved and excited that there’s so much great television commencing this month. It is a new year and winter after all, a time for hibernation and of course television watching, not that I need any other motivation than my own viewing pleasure. Still, the new and returning shows are as welcome as a rich cup of hot chocolate.

After watching episodes of season two of Downton Abbey, I’m more than ready for the beginning of seven weeks of new episodes as season three kicks off this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. on PBS. There’s so many story lines to explore and there’s also the addition of Shirley MacLaine to the amazing cast of characters…a shout out to Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith.

Already enjoyed a new episode of Parenthood on New Year’s Day and ABC’s Nashville returns with new episodes on Wednesday. ABC re-aired the pilot of the show last night and CMT hosts a marathon of the drama on Sunday, January 6 at 2 p.m. ET/PT. My sense is that the show’s ratings have gone down since the pilot and I have lost a bit of my initial passion for the show but I’m going to hang in there because I love the city of Nashville and for the music and for the amazing performances of the two leads — Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.

One of the promising new pilots, Deception, finally makes NBC’s airwaves on  Monday  and the highly anticipated drama The Following comes to Fox on January 21. Showtime’s Californication is back on January 13.

On the Case with Paula Zahn already began its new season on Discovery ID and True Crime with Aphrodite Jones begins on Monday at 10:00 p.m. The fourth season of Justified begins on FX on Tuesday, January 8. Timothy Olyphant, what more do I need to say? Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). I totally missed season three so would prefer to catch up before I tune in to the new season, which will feature Patton Oswalt and Ron Eldard.

What more could you want?

 

 

 

 

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Parenthood and The Good Wife Feature Compelling Family Dynamics

Parenthood wasn’t on last night and I was bummed…I like hanging out with the Braverman’s partly to avoid my own family’s dysfunction but also because the NBC family isn’t perfect, either. Certainly, their troubles aren’t as wild as Kalinda’s (Archie Panjabi) on CBS’ The Good Wife, another of my must-watch television shows, but it’s those day to day moments of a family, that Parenthood offers, that are special. In contrast, The Good Wife is often all mirrors and illusions in terms of the political scene and the law firm…and the domestic life of both Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda is totally out of the realm of reality for most people. But still the character’s personal lives are what ground the show and allow for all the intrigue and high jinks on the job.

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Parenthood is Back Tonight

Parenthood returns tonight and its fourth season premiere finds the Braverman clan united as they attempt to have a family portrait taken by a cantakerous photographer played by Ray Romano. The photographer, however, joins the cast plays a pivotal role in this season’s storylines involving Sarah (Lauren Graham), who is engaged as the season begins. Matt Lauria (Friday Night Lights) will have a  recurring role on the show as well.  

This season will showcase the first year of marriage between Crosby (Dax Shepard)and Jasmine (Joy Bryant) while Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina (Monica Potter) send Haddie (Sarah Ramos) off to college. Joel (Sam Jaeger) and Julia (Erika Christensen) will adopt a child.

Often called an underdog, NBC’s Parenthood remains one of my favorite television shows and there is hardly anything like it on the air. It’s definitely a welcome event and a sign that fall is on the way and with it a new brew of returning and new shows to the airwaves.

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Parenthood Season Finale Full of Endings and Beginnings

SPOILERS

Tonight’s season finale of Parenthood definitely throws a few curves but nothing major like “who killed JR”  but that’s ok because the show resonates because it’s about the ups and downs of a family, in this case the Bravermans. With most new shows set in the word of cops and criminals lawyers or forensics (and I love some of them like FX’s Justified and AMC’s The Killing) Parenthood is a welcome drama on the television landscape.

As a fan of the show, my few criticisms of this episode come with some storylines that seem a bit contrived — especially with Julia (Erika Christensen) being in the hospital when her daughter’s former teacher gives birth and her husband just can’t make it to the hospital. And in the real world a novice playwright like Sarah (Lauren Graham) would have many hurdles to go through before her play is produced, but…such are my quibbles.  

As expected Amber (Mae Whitman) will be ok but shaken up and numb from her car accident until Grandpa Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) is able to get through to her how self-destructive her recent behavior has been and it’s a powerful scene. We all knew that Adam (Peter Krause) wasn’t happy at work and has been a bit edgy so it’s only natural where his professional life ends up in this episode but at home he also learns news of a wonderful, unexpected beginning.  And Crosby (Dax Shepherd) and Jasmine (Joy Bryant) will give it another try but there’s definitely the sense that it’s not a foregone conclusion that they’ll make the relationship work.

The writers have sewn up the show and this season finale does work as the end of the show, but I can’t believe NBC will not renew it for a third season. I will think of the Braverman’s (and the exception cast of actors all around) as being on a long summer vacation and eagerly look forward to their return in the fall. Hint, Hint, NBC bring this show back for a third season!!!!

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TUESDAY NIGHT — NEW EPISODES OF THE GOOD WIFE and PARENTHOOD

Storylines are really dishy on both Parenthood and The Good Wife…and tonight looks like it’s going to be a great night of reveals on both of these dramas. 

It looks like Haddie (Sarah Ramos) and boyfriend had sex…and Alicia (Juliana Margulies) may find out that Kalinda and her husband did the deed as well. 

These two shows make Tuesday one of my favorite nights on television!

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TUESDAY NIGHT — NEW EPISODES OF THE GOOD WIFE and PARENTHOOD

Wish they weren’t on at the same time, but Tuesday night offers two of my favorite broadcast network shows…The Good Wife and Parenthood. And tonight’s episodes are both new and that’s reason to celebrate.

Michael J. Fox’s rebel lawyer is back to spar with Alicia (Juliana Margulies) and it’s prom night for Amber (Mae Whitman) Haddie (Sarah Ramos), which has her dad, Adam (Peter Krause), really stressed out.

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Some Prime Time with Parenthood — It’s Back!

One of my favorite primetime television network shows is NBC’s Parenthood, which had its second season premiere last night,  so it was a treat to visit sets for the show, including the interiors of Zeek and Camille’s wonderful house, on the Universal Studios lot a few days ago.  Both Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia who play the matriarch and patriarch of the Braverman family were on the set, initially tangled up in a mock  on the sofa but they parted to roam around the set along with various press members as part of the TCA annual summer press tour. Peter Krause (Adam) and Monica Potter (Kristina)  were on set in their much more contemporary house, too, but Dax Shepard was absent while we toured Crosby’s  houseboat, which was much larger than I expected. Then we were shuttled through part of the studio to the top of a hill for a Q &A with the entire cast (except for Mae Whitman who plays but was at the premiere of  Scott Pilgrim versus the World  )

 Showrunner and creator Jason Katims was on hand as well to give a preview of what’s coming up in the show’s second season, which premieres on September 15, and includes Sarah (Lauren Graham) going to work for Adam and there should definitely be some sparks there and Adam will deal with a new boss played by Billy Baldwin. Julia and Joel will be deciding whether to have another child and Zeek and Camille will be in couples counseling.

As compelling as the storylines are regarding the parents and their adult siblings, sometimes the most powerful have been between the siblings and their own children…and between the children themselves. Nelson commented that sometimes scenes between Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Amber (Whitman) are eerily close to those he has had with his own daughter.

“The great thing about what Jason and the writers are doing is that somehow it isn’t life imitating art, but it certainly is very relevant.  There are scenes that come up that are very close, and I think Lauren and I were talking about it the other day or at least I ‑‑ there was a scene between Lauren and Mae that was so close to a scene that I’ve had with my daughter that was very hard to watch.  That’s the beauty of it because it gets so honest, and it gets so truthful that oftentimes it gets, you know, to that place that you don’t like to go, and that’s when you know you’re going to have some fun.  And you don’t get that very often,” Nelson said.   

The subplot revolving around Maddie and her boyfriend who ends up sleeping with was strong on its own and I found myself remembering one high school boyfriend who, after we had an argument when he visited me where I was going to college, ended up sleeping with one of my closest friends. That was a brutal blow and ended the friendship and obviously the relationship, but I think I was most hurt by my friend’s behavior. The writers handled that emotional turmoil well and how it obviously would impact the parents, too, and their relationship with each other.

 

It’s not often that sibling relationships are handled as deftly as they are on this drama. These are people who know your history and often the best and worst parts of your personality and your soul and they know how to draw blood and where to “hit” but there is a bond there that is so powerful and sometimes overwhelming. Having just returned from a long visit with my own family, it still amazes me that even now we fall into old “childhood” roles and patterns and emotions can become raw and old wounds reopen and we still “bleed.” And no matter how grown up we feel or how we see ourselves, they often see who we really are…or refuse to see who we’ve become if it deviates from our childhood roles.

 

 

 

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