Television has always been a part of my life as it has for most people in the civilized world. TV shows helped form me as a kid, taught me about life, about growing up, and about relationships. A few shows though have such a lasting impact, they stand out amongst all the others. They are shows that had such memorable characters you remember them as people you actually knew, not just actors on the tube. When I was a kid it was Happy Days, The Brady Bunch. As I got older it was Six Feet Under. While there is arguably more great TV on currently than there has ever been, I am hard pressed to find shows that really deeply felt personal to me. Sure I loved Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones, but they are entertainment only, I don’t relate to them. Then along came Ron Howard and Parenthood.
Parenthood is the story of the Braverman clan. Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) are the patriarch and matriarch of the huge family and after forty-six years of marriage that family has grown immensely. Sons Adam (Peter Krause) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) and daughters Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Julia (Erika Christensen) all have families of their own. Each family faces their own challenges but it is the family unity of the Braverman’s that keeps everything together.
Much like the other Peter Krause program Six Feet Under, I feel like I know all of the characters on Parenthood: The Complete Series inside and out. I could draw you a floor plan of the Braverman house, I know which cupboard they keep the glasses in. Over the course of six seasons every character went through incredible personal arcs and with the stellar writing on this show I never missed an episode. The stellar ensemble cast are all phenomenal from the acting legends like Nelson and Bedelia to the up and comers like stand outs Dax Shepard and Mae Whitman. There is always a tangible sense of reality on this show, these are not the Cleavers. But they do have a family bond that is admirable and something to aspire to in our own lives. While our real families may not be idyllic, we always have the Braverman’s to look up to.
The 23 disc box set contains every episode from all 6 seasons as well as literally hours of bonus features that fans of the show will undoubtedly love. Parenthood: The Complete Series is a wonderful collection for one of the best shows about family ever. Highly recommended.