Friday, October 3, 2014

Parenthood: the final season begins

by Kelsey Barritt, Writing Intern

Fans should soak up every minute they can, because Braverman-based vicariousness is only possible for one more season. At the start of Parenthood’s farewell season, this hidden gem continues to demonstrate family’s true meaning. The problems are bigger and the ties are stronger. This show is not designed for the faint at heart. But for those that handle stress well, Parenthood offers all the best warm and fuzzy feelings.

The season begins with a quick update of each branch of the family tree. The updates radiate anxiety. From Amber’s pregnancy, to Julia’s new boyfriend, to Zeek’s health problems, the drama is almost suffocating.  The incessantness can be a bit much.  But beautifully crafted characters make Parenthood go.

Zeek and Camille, the heads of the family, struggle with Zeek’s health problems. The soft-spoken Camille struggles with her stubborn husband. Everyone has a Zeek-like family member. His frustrating, know-it-all, behavior makes him impossible to help. Zeek is a product of his generation - living with a modern-minded wife. This season should be a true test of their ability to handle hardships together.

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Zeek and Camille made some great kids.

The audience strives to be like Adam and his wife Kristina. They gracefully face every challenge they are given. And their challenges are numerous. This season, they deal with running a new school. They balance jobs, a baby daughter, and a son with Asperger’s Syndrome with poise. This season, as usual, Adam takes on every family responsibility. As crazy as their lives may be, Adam and Kristina still give off a vibe of stability. Viewers need stability in a show like this.

Sarah, the lost and wandering soul, now deals with becoming a grandma. Her easy-going life is often enviable. On the other hand, her life is usually a mess that she ignores. She shows support for her young, pregnant daughter at the end of episode two. It will be fun to follow how she works with an issue she cannot avoid.

Julia is arguably the most controversial character of this season. Separated from her husband Joel, she lives a life that is constantly up in the air. It looks like she may have found a new man. To fans’ delight, she is standing her ground against Joel. The audience found new respect for Julia this season. Raising two kids is a struggle. It’s easy to sympathize with her constant worry. And daughter Sydney is a brat, plain and simple. 

The youngest of the Braverman offspring, Crosby, is just Crosby.  The irresponsible, fun loving Crosby’s life actually seems to be in order. He battles his family for not taking him seriously. But in all honesty, it is Crosby. He has earned his reputation as the literal baby of the family. It looks like this season will be defining for Crosby as a man responsible for a family. He seems ready to step up.

All good things end in tears. With Parenthood, there is so much more to learn - so much more to do . . . . The show perfectly conveys the complexity of family.  All shades of real life gray are revealed.  I don’t imagine Parenthood wrapped with a nice neat bow. The show isn’t known for that. Life is messy, and this farewell season probably will be, too. And that is the beauty of it. 
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