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March 08, 2010

Parenthood: The Pilot

TV: Parenthood

A few people have asked me about Parenthood. If you want a real review or recap, you should probably look elsewhere. (I suggest Television without Pity.) If you want disjointed thoughts and excessive Peter Krause adulation, read on!

Here we go! I'm not exactly liveblogging, but I'm pausing at commercial breaks to write up my thoughts, and if you're lucky I'll edit this a little before I post. First of all: My love for Peter Krause can't really be expressed in words. Even just from the little promo thing with Lauren Graham at the beginning, I was all "Awww." He and Lauren Graham as siblings might be the most amazing concept ever in TV ever. (Well, okay. The most amazing concept in TV not affiliated with Aaron Sorkin. I don't want to go TOO overboard here.)

I'm always impressed with actors who can play a variety of different roles convincingly. That said, it can also nice when TV producers don't make viewers stretch too much and let us go on in our own little worlds of pretending that Sports Night and Gilmore Girls didn't actually end. Peter Krause and Lauren Graham both seem to be basically playing to type here, but they do it oh so well - Krause as the exceedingly well-meaning but somewhat bumbling hero who tries to take care of everyone, and Graham as the slightly crazed and hyperverbal single mom. In this case, Graham's daughter seems to be basically the opposite of Rory Gilmore, so it should be interesting to see how that plays out.

I'm sure that as the show goes on I will come to care about other characters, but I will admit that at this point, I'm so taken with the delight of having Krause and Graham back on my TV that I basically sat through the other characters' scenes waiting for one of those two to come back. (I love that Graham's boyfriend is a barista. She can't get away from the coffee guys.) And they did not disappoint. At all.

Given my current Picoult reading, I was interested to see how the show dealt with the Asperger's plotline. Better than Picoult does, I think! So far, at least, they've kept the character from being a caricature, and I think the parents' reactions to the potential diagnosis are extremely realistic.

Tommy Schlamme! Can't forget about him. I don't know how obvious it is if you're not looking for it, but there were several points at which I felt like of course he was directing. Something about the scene at the beginning with Crosby looking in the freezer, for one. And of course the big spinny scene going in to the opening title splash at the end of the teaser.

Things I wasn't crazy about: the family dinner scene (although really, it just needs to distinguish itself from Brothers and Sisters), the fact that one of the children is named "Haddie" (huh?), the teens getting almost immediately arrested (we're going there already?), the way Sarah apologized to her son for marrying his father (um, implying that the son shouldn't exist?).

Other things I liked, not mentioned above: the awkward cousin interaction, the intergenerational parenting conflicts, "the donor is an Olympic athlete and a Rhodes scholar" (HEE), the generally realistic kids of various ages and types, "the real New Yorker?", the loving but fraught sibling relationships, "Oh my God, you Googled my sperm?", the music. And above all, I liked the general tone and feel of the show - lots going on without getting confusing. Loving but not perfect. Realistic while still being interesting enough for TV.

And: the baseball scene at the end just made me cry.

Posted by Kat at March 8, 2010 01:00 PM

I guess I will have to take a look at it, just a quick look.


Posted by: Tiffany at March 8, 2010 09:52 PM
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