by pat howard

Some thoughts about ‘Parenthood’

In Quickies on April 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I’m late to the party, but have now seen the first four episodes of Parenthood.

Okay, I love Lauren Graham and Peter Krause and even Craig T. Nelson. I can’t put my finger on what bugs me about Monica Potter, but it’s nothing show-derailing.

I’m not sure why this is a show, though. As someone who is not a parent, there is only so much appreciating the conundrums that I can muster. Unlike, say, Men of a Certain Age, which grew on me and was surprisingly addictive, Parenthood continues to barely have a pulse for me.

Part of it is the writing. I’m used to seeing the leads tackle stronger material, and we know these aren’t bad actors. Some of it just doesn’t feel right, and the family is too big for everyone to get equal time. Unlike Modern Family, which manages to constantly find new ways to pair off its extended clan, Parenthood takes a more linear approach.

The strongest episode for me featured Adam and Kristina trying to place their son Max, recently diagnosed with Asperger’s (quickly becoming a TV trope), in a school more suited to his learning style. One educator’s advice is to meet him where he is, and that idea resonates through the episode’s other plots.

Maybe the problem is I’m reluctant to make the effort to meet Parenthood halfway. Understated is usually not a bad direction for TV to head off in, but this just comes off as bland.

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