What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show concerns a large extended family -- including grandparents and some young children -- but the focus tends to be on the problems of adult characters in their 30s. Kids are central to the plot, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate for them to watch; it's a better choice for teens and their parents to watch together so that parents can make sure positive messages hit home. Things to look out for include some implied sex and sexual situations; mild swearing (think "ass," "hell," and "motherfrickin'"); and teen characters who experiment with drugs, sex, and other forms of rebellion.
What's the story?
Based on the 1989 film of the same name, PARENTHOOD concerns the day-to-day dramas of the sprawling Braverman family, centering on the spawn of patriarch Zeke (Craig T. Nelson) and matriarch Camille (Bonnie Bedelia). Because married oldest son Adam (Peter Krause) seems to have it all together, he often serves as the de facto "Mr. Fix-It" for his three younger siblings: single mom Sarah (Lauren Graham), free-spirited Crosby (Dax Shepard) and workaholic Julia (Erika Christensen). But every now and then, even Adam needs a little parental guidance. In the midst of these thirtysomethings' various dramas are the kids they're raising, including a young boy with Asperger's syndrome and brooding teens.
Is it any good?
This isn't the first time someone tried to make Ron Howard's critically acclaimed family dramedy into a television series. (Another version aired under the same title in 1990 but was promptly canceled due to low ratings, despite the presence of promising young stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Thora Birch.) But all signs point to this incarnation of the franchise being a series with real staying power.
Because Howard and longtime producing partner Brian Grazer are at the helm, Parenthood seems to be getting the care and feeding it deserves -- and the cast is peppered with proven performers who can deliver the goods.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the show's portrayal of family life and whether or not it's realistic. Does the show glamorize aspects of family togetherness, etc.? How does this family compare to yours and other families you know?
Most of the focus is on adult characters, but kids play a big part in the story, too. Would you consider this series a "family show," or is it better left to moms and dads? Which of the younger characters, if any, do you relate do?
What central message is the show sending about parenting in general? Can a person be flawed and still be a good parent? Is there such a thing as an "ideal" family?