Wednesday, March 3, 2010

'Parenthood' Enters the Family Drama Arena

The premiere episode of Parenthood, which aired last night on NBC was, like most pilots, overloaded with storylines designed to introduce each character and place them into some kind of context. Once the introductory business is out of the way, the real test of whether a show's got staying power is by watching the next few episodes. I'll be looking to see whether the show can and will delve into what makes each of these characters tick. But I think it has promise.

That being said, in my Pop Culture column on Mommy Tracked I pleaded with the show's writers to NOT -- I repeat, NOT -- go down the road of cliche when it comes to working moms and will refrain from demonizing them. There's this one character who's a workaholic lawyer mom, Julia Braverman-Graham (Erika Christensen), and because she's always fielding work calls, messing with her BlackBerry and working long hours, her young daughter openly favors her at-home dad. A similar dynamic was played out on Brothers & Sisters a few years ago with the Sarah Wheedon Walker (Rachel Griffiths) character, and Sarah was threatened with the loss of custody of her children during her divorce proceedings because of the long hours she worked. Brooke Shields' movie mogul character in Lipstick Jungle also suffered similarly for trying to thrive in a tough career while raising children.

Meanwhile, over on CliqueClack TV, I compared Lauren Graham's iconic role of Lorelai Gilmore in the Gilmore Girls to her new Parenthood character, Sarah Braverman. While I initially found that there are more differences than similarities between the two characters, after watching the preview below which NBC just put on its web site and seeing that Sarah's potentially interested in dating her 16-year-old daughter's teacher . . . well that scenario was played out in the first season of Gilmore Girls. (Remember Max Medina? You can refresh your memory with repeats of season one currently airing on ABC Family.) If Sarah starts dating her daughter Amber's high school English teacher, there's a distinct possibility that I may have to reassess my conclusion about just how much Sarah and Lorelai have in common.

What did you think about the Parenthood premiere?


Anonymous said...

Waaaay over acted. But I did like the scene with the mom and her son talking/hugging at the gas station in the rain.


Michelle R said...

I had high hopes and was sadly, unimpressed.