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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Parenthood ties it all up


     Perhaps when the writers of NBC's new show Parenthood began working on the season finale, "Lost and Found", they weren't sure they were going to get a second season.  Or maybe they just don't believe in summer cliffhangers.  For whatever reason, though the entire Braverman clan will be back next fall, things wrapped up nice and neat by the end of this year.

     A big plot twist that has been playing out is the separation of grandparents Zeke (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia).  It's kind of like if William Walker hadn't died in the pilot of Brothers & Sisters, but his secrets had come out anyway.  Zeke hid financial issues and adultery from his wife, who finally got fed up and left him.  But though he had trouble expressing his emotions, Zeke still showed up in front of the rest of the family to serenade her.  And while that was the end of the episode, so viewers didn't get to see a true reconciliation, it left things in a good place between the two eldest members of the family.  I certainly understand Camille feeling invisible; I barely noticed her when the series began.  However, they both delivered great performances.

     Also wonderful, and the biggest departure from the movie of the same name, is the arc had by Crosby (Dax Shepard).  As the season wound down, the mother of his son, Jasmine (Joy Bryant) got a job in New York.  Even though they have begun dating and become like a family, she decided to pack up her kid take the opportunity across the country.  Though Crosby has known of Jabbar (Tyree Brown) for only a short time, the two of them have bonded instantly and solidly, best evidence when Jabbar asked if he could call him Dad this week.  Instead of trying to convince Jasmine to give up her dream, or risk loosing any momentum with Jabbar, Crosby decides to leave the rest of his family behind and go with them.  He is proving himself an excellent father.

     Perhaps the best thing to come out of a show with so many great aspects is steady work for two people already well established as television stars, Peter Krause (Six Feet Under, Sports Night) and Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls).  Now rumored to be dating in real life, they play brother and sister Adam and Sarah on the show.  Their families were in conflict during the last couple of episodes, due to their daughters Haddie (Sarah Ramos) and Amber (Mae Whitman) fighting over a boy.  On a side note, the two girls making up will make you cry if you have emotions at all.  Anyway, amid all the conflict, the two of them really shine.  Though it's still hard to separate them from past characters they've played, as their are plenty of similarities to be found, it's an absolute joy to see them every week.

     I apologize if this review just seems like a love fest.  That's because it is.  A talented cast, smart writing, and heartwarming relationships leave little to complain about.  There's nothing exactly like it on television right now.  If you haven't yet, please check it out when it returns next fall.

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