I have eclectic taste in shows and movies. I enjoy slightly odd, quirky indie movies and shows as well as more mainstream entertainment. My incredibly strong attachment to NBC's family drama Parenthood probably exists because the show is sort of a hybrid of indie and mainstream, though it is not marketed toward my generation. Somehow Parenthood, which will return with its fourth season Sept. 12 on NBC, has hooked me.
Starring Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia as the older parents of the Braverman clan of Adam (Peter Kraus), Sarah (Lauren Graham), Crosby (Dax Shepard), and Julia (Erika Cristensen), the series follows the life of the Braverman kids and their respective kids, including the son of Adam, who has aspergers. The show highlights the highs and lows of their close knit family both as a unit and as individuals. With a simplicity and vulnerability all on its own, the show is quite simply authentic. I have become invested in the characters, so much so that I wept when season three saw Julia lose one adopted baby only to gain a young son. For any Gilmore Girls fans out there, know that Lauren Graham has created another unique and very different character in the fragile yet passionate Sarah. It is a remarkable tribute to the show and to Graham's skills that I don't see a smidge of Lorelai Gilmore when I watch the show.
Perhaps it is partly because I come from a large and close family that I have connected so much to the show. If you aren't watching Parenthood and want a show that really develops its very human characters and relationships in a real and authentic way, check it out on dvd or Netflix Instant and then watch the new season this fall. I know I will be watching the sometimes sweet, sometimes heartbreaking, but always endearing series.