'Parenthood' - 'Hard Times Come Again No More': The play's the thing

'Parenthood' - 'Hard Times Come Again No More': The play's the thing

A review of the "Parenthood" season two finale coming up just as soon as I take you to the junkyard... 

"You do not have my permission to mess with my dreams. Are we clear?" -Zeek

"Parenthood" is a show whose strengths and weaknesses are often the same things. 

The huge cast allows for lots of different kinds of stories, and for most viewers to have some kind of obvious entry point, but all those people eat into each other's screentime more than is effective. Sometimes you have peripheral characters like Drew disappear for weeks (if not months) at a time, or you have more central characters like Joel and Julia spend almost the entire season playing supporting roles in other people's drama. 

Those heart-on-sleeve, tearful, big emotional moments can pack an incredible punch, but they can also feel like the show reaching too far, too fast, or hitting the same beats over and over again. (It felt like Mae Whitman cried 75 different times tonight, and while each moment was independently great, and also appropriate given recent events in her life, together it was a bit more than felt necessary.) 

Overall, there's a messiness to "Parenthood" that can be really appealing but also really frustrating, and I thought both the good and bad "Parenthood" were very much on display in "Hard Times Come Again No More."  Read More...



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