In my opinion, Parenthood is the best show we watch. H would probably argue it's Community or maybe Modern Family. Before we picked up Parenthood over the summer, I would have said Dexter. But Parenthood is the one that gets me every week. It's not big or showy or flashy. It's quiet and moving but it works.
The biggest reason for that is Max. He's the son of Adam and Kristina and in the pilot episode is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a disorder on the autism spectrum. Max's storylines have made me laugh and made me cry. Early in the first season, a new behaviorist comes to work with Max and asks his parents what they'd like to work on. When she asks"Does he have friends and playdates?" Kristina replies "No. He doesn't really have any friends."
Gets me every damn time. And I'm usually a cynical, insensitive jerk so that's saying something.
The actor who plays Max, Max Burkholder, does a phenomenal job with the material and the show has been praised for its portrayal of autism. A lot of the credit goes to the show's creator, Jason Katims (also behind Friday Night Lights), who has a son with autism.
If you have any interest in autism or Asperger's, I really suggest checking the show out.
But Parenthood is good for many reasons beyond Max. The relationships and dynamics between all the characters are intriguing, touching and sometimes hilarious.
This season, each branch of the Braverman family tree has been dealing with something big: Kristina and Adam welcomed a new daughter, Nora. Joel and Julia made arrangements to adopt a second child after trying last season to conceive and learning they wouldn't be able to. Crosby and Jasmine are trying to figure out how to move forward as parents after ending their relationship. And Sarah's daughter, Amber, moved out on her own for the first time.
All in all, I'm enjoying the season. There have been a couple missteps, like Sarah's ex-husband showing up again and Peter Krause's Adam trying entirely too hard to be cool for his new business venture, but overall the show has maintained the elements that made it good: The mix of sad moments with hilarity and the intriguing pairing of characters you don't get to see together often like Max and Amber. If I had any complaint about the season so far, it'd be that I would like to see more interaction between the Braverman siblings, a part of the show that I've always loved.
What do you think of Parenthood?