Can I just say this upfront? I am not, on any level, ready to say goodbye to the Bravermans.
The Parenthood TV Show has to be one of the most intelligent shows my husband and I have found in a while. Parenthood was not only unafraid to tackle tough issues, it took on those issues head on. From breast cancer to Autism, money problems to family dissidence and relationships, Parenthood took us on a journey we gladly followed.
Parenthood embraced complex issues and allowed things to get messy. Not because it made for great TV (which it did) but because that’s how life works. Life is messy!
We are a Tivo family, so we would record the show on Thursday. Every Friday night, my husband and I would curl up on the couch after the kids went to bed, prepared to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster that we gladly signed up for. We laughed together, cried together and cringed together. (The Bravermans sure know how to f&*$ things up sometimes.)
The Bravermans Are Family
The Bravermans weren’t just some TV family. The Bravermans had become a part of our family. We felt their struggles. We endured their pains and we celebrated their triumphs. They allowed us to see ourselves — the good and the bad — for what we are. They created some interesting discussions in our house, both when my husband and I agreed and when we disagreed.
During the first season, we all discover that one of the grandchildren of the Braverman clan (Max) is Autistic. At the same time, my husband and I were still learning what it meant ourselves to have someone in the house who has Sensory Processing Disorder. While our son is not Autistic, many sensory issues are the same along the spectrum, so we saw many of our own struggles on the TV screen. We saw how the Bravermans failed sometimes, succeeded sometimes and then struggled again. There were nights it was almost too close to home to watch. But it also made us feel that someone out there understood a little of what we were managing.
In season four, the Bravermans faced breast cancer. A good friend of mine was also battling breast cancer, and Parenthood gave me a better understanding of the emotions and situations she must have been experiencing. As a friend, it can be tough enough to know what to say. But Parenthood gave me a window on how to act and that sometimes even the best intentions can come off the completely wrong way.
And who could forget the whole Julia/Joel hot mess of season five! My husband and I spent a lot of time talking about what it means to be married and what our marriage meant to us. We talked about it so much, I finally had to write: I’m So Mad at Joel on Parenthood I Could Scream: When a Marriage Partner Quits.
I hate long goodbyes. We’ve been fooled by the quick end-of-the-season wrap-ups, Bravermans, because you weren’t sure if you were going to be renewed for another season. The last season episode where everything works out perfectly because you don’t know if you’re going to get a second chance to finish the story. I’m so thankful that you got the chance to stick around and share your wisdom, whit and just plain wacky sides.
I’m actually dreading how you’re going to end the series. Honestly, I don’t think anything you do will make me 100% happy… because you’re leaving. And I’m not ready for you to go. But I will carry your lessons and love in my heart and be thankful for the time we spent.
And for goodness sake, friends, if you haven’t watched Parenthood, now is the time! You can watch Parenthood with an Amazon Prime membership for free or get the DVD (affiliate):