(The ten best dramas of 2012 will be revealed on Hulu’s homepage each weekday of this week.)
10 – Parenthood
Every once in a while, a show comes along that warrants undivided attention. Parenthood is one of these shows. Each week, email gets turned off and laundry awaits folding—all for some quality time with the Braverman family.
Parenthood doesn’t paint an unrealistic rosy picture of family life and relationships, nor does it rely on traumatic life events every single episode to carry the plot (as so many dramas often do to hold ratings). What it does do is strike the perfect balance. Sure, it deals with some of life’s not so happy moments, but it does so in a genuine and authentic way, minus the cheese. If you are expecting a comedy with Steve Martin dressed as a cowboy, a la movie Parenthood, you might be a bit thrown off. While it’s based off of the 1989 movie, they’ve adopted it with a slightly fresher tone (no disrespect; that’s a great movie). There are absolutely hilarious moments, but what’s most impressive is the subtlety and accurateness of the characters and relationships.
It’s simply some of the best writing on TV.
No, you don’t have to be a parent to appreciate it. This is from the same creator and executive producer, Jason Katims, who brought us Friday Night Lights and even wrote for My So-Called Life, if that’s more your speed. Much in the way you don’t have to be a football fan to love FNL, or an angst-ridden teen to appreciate My So-Called Life, you can appreciate Parenthood for what Mr. Katims does best. He creates realistic, complex, interesting stories about relationships and relatable events.
Parenthood is becoming more and more relevant covering topics from bi-racial marriage, autism, adoption, and the most recent addition of a veteran with PTSD. In a time when procedurals are rampant (who done what, who’s dying of what etc…), it’s quite refreshing. There will certainly be moments that remind you of your own family, whatever shape that might take. They pull off these key moments with a level of perfection that will pull on the heart-strings of anyone with a pulse. Sure it might not be the coolest show around the water cooler, but you can always follow up your love of Parenthood with the fact that you watch Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, or The Newsroom. That should help get you some street cred. Hopefully this show will carry on for many many more seasons. Losing it would be like losing a best friend. Now—clear eyes, full hearts—go watch some Parenthood, preferably alone. If you have the aforementioned pulse, you may just shed some tears.—Rebecca Cain