Few shows this season premiered as more of an underdog than Parenthood. An ensemble family drama arriving just after shows in that genre had peaked (I'm [not] looking at you, Brothers & Sisters), the series had to do a crucial bit of re-casting, with Lauren Graham replacing Maura Tierney, who had to leave for health reasons.* And while we know families can be diverse, would it be possible to believe in a series in which Craig T. Nelson is the father of Dax Shepard?
As it turned out, Parenthood steadily developed into one of the most engrossing, adventurous family dramas in years. Credit creator Jason Katims, who's worked on good stuff ranging from My So-Called Life to Friday Night Lights, with knowing how to juggle multiple story lines while keeping the big cast evolving emotionally.
Last night's finale was a good example of everything Parenthood does right. Adam and Kristina (Peter Krause and Monica Potter) had their hands full and their eyes bugging out as their 'good girl'Â daughter, Haddie (Sarah Ramos), dyed her hair black and smeared on black lipstick in an adolescent reaction to her 'bad girl'Â cousin, Amber (Mae Whitman) making time with Haddie's ex-boyfriend. The ever-less-unlikely duo of dad Zeek (Nelson) and Crosby (Shepard) got drunk together and commiserated over their women-problems.
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