Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Parenthood Knee Jerk Thoughts

I usually avoid watching new TV shows, because I like to "test their longevity" and see if they continue to maintain interest because the worst experience is getting hooked on a show and continuing to watch it through it's downfall.

(I did this with Heroes. Yikes! The one good season hardly justified what followed.)

But I got sucked into the idea of watching the first episode of Parenthood for the following reasons.
  • If Ron Howard did Arrested Development, then I want to support his new work so it doesn't get canceled mid season with a 4 episode finale opposite the Winter Olympics (2006, so sad!).
  • My wife and I don't mind inviting Lauren Graham into our living room. Gilmore grew on me, so I want to give her a chance.
  • Every preview featured a different scene and many made me laugh.
So...we watched it.

Now, it's pretty clear that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are not ashamed to borrower from the 1989 comedy, Parenthood they were involved in. In fact, the contrast between certain characters is pretty easy.

I know there was a 12 episode attempt to do a similar show in 1990 that flopped, but now is also noted for some of it's unfamous children stars, now famous...Thora Birch, David Arquette, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Well see how this mid-season start up for NBC does.

Here's my knee jerk thoughts after watching the pilot...
  • Drama, Drama, Drama...and did you see the "next time on Parenthood" there's more drama, drama, drama.
  • It's like an alternate reality Gilmore Girls, as if, what if Lauren Graham had bad kids and was poor
  • Speaking of bad kids, Mae Whitman is totally impressing me. Forget Anne Veal from Arrested Development, this girl the other side of the coin. Nice work.
  • I remember when I saw Erika Christensen in Traffic I thought she would go places...she really hasn't, but I was excited to see her in this role and hope this puts her on radar. Although after episode 1, her family was the least interesting.
  • Max Burkholder as Max Braverman really did a great job in a role that will probably be discussed the most...a kid with high functioning autism
  • Craig T Nelson makes me a good way
  • I think different people will connect to different characters based on their own parenting experiences and personal stresses, the question is can you handle all the stress of all the characters in a 60 minute episode.
  • With the cellphone sequencing in the start of the episode it makes me wonder if Peter Krause's character (Adam Braverman) will continue to be the lead character or if this is a true ensemble?

We'll see if I keep this on my TV watching radar...I hope this is a success story. It certainly has the mixed bag potential to fizzle quick. Here's hoping for success for this multi layered ensemble.


Linda's TV said...

I'm the same way about new shows--wary, because what if I fall in love and they don't last? But like falling in love with real people...sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and hope that you will end up OK. :)

I feel like Parenthood doesn't fit in with NBC's lineup. NBC, for right now anyway, is mainly identified with upscale comedy and gritty dramas. What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel like it fits in on the schedule, especially out of The Biggest Loser?

RC said...

@ Linda, so true...kind of weird out the biggest loser...but I sort of imagine that if it is successful it could fall elsewhere in the lineup.

Obviously this is one of the Jay-holes that was filled, and I'm sure NBC is just hoping that it sticks.

Lorna said...

I'm with you in the hope that it catches on. And for many of the same reasons.

ehome said...

I can't help but love Lauren Graham. I just don't know if I can ever love her as much as when she was Loreali. And, I agree, this show seems to have a LOT of crazy drama! Here's to hoping it is a success...