The television series Parenthood is the second attempt at bringing Ron Howard’s 1989 hit film to the small screen. Unlike the first attempt back in 1990, which failed horribly despite having an all-star cast including, Ed Begley Jr., David Arquette, Leonardo DiCaprio and Thora Birch, this more loosely-based Parenthood series is about to begin its fourth season. The current Parenthood revolves around three generations of a large family in the San Francisco Bay area, the Bravermans.
This Parenthood series has only the loosest ties to the original movie and perhaps that alone is enough differentiate the show from the story that has already been told before. Boasting a pretty solid cast itself, Parenthood stars Coach’s Craig T. Nelson, Six Feet Under’s Peter Krause, Gilmore Girls’ Lauren Graham and Employee of the Month villain and star of the new film Hit and Run, Dax Shepard to name a few. Nelson plays the patriarch of the Braverman family, and his four children, Adam, Sarah, Julia, and Crosby each have families of their own. With such a big story to tell, there’s something relatable for almost everyone.
Season 2 of Parenthood ended with a bang, both literally and figuratively. The second season was all about the Bravermans jockeying for position, particularly the grandchildren. Adam’s 16-year-old daughter, Haddie played by Sarah Ramos, struggles to assert her independence but accidentally calls her parents while having sex. Not long after that, her father, Adam finds a pregnancy test which he incorrectly assumes belonged to Haddie. Sarah’s daughter Amber (Mae Whitman) quits her internship and is discovered smoking pot. After being confronted by her mother, Amber goes for drive with a friend while stoned; they run a red light and are sideswiped by an SUV on Amber’s side, putting her in the hospital.
I will try not to spoil too much for those waiting to watch Parenthood: Season 3. If you don’t want to know anything about it, you can skip this paragraph. The third season winds down much of the trouble with the teenage granddaughters but, Amber is too much her mother’s daughter to stay out of trouble for long. Except for Crosby and Sarah, the usual suspects when trouble is involved, the other two adult children, particularly Adam, make some pretty poor choices and are almost unlikable throughout this season. That’s really how family can be though, there are often periods where you really don’t like some of your family members.
Parenthood: Season 3 is only available on DVD. There is no Blu-ray release, which is fine except for the durability factor that comes with the scratch resistant Blu-ray discs. This four-disc DVD transfer looks pretty crisp and is presented in the standard 16:9 or 1.77:1 widescreen format. The set includes a few commentaries, deleted scenes and a deleted storyline. The storyline line follows Sarah’s son Drew’s search for some extracurricular activity to boost his college resume. Apparently Drew is a big Grand Theft Auto fan, at least that’s what his mom tells his guidance counselor.
Parenthood is a well acted and an easy to relate to series. As with other television serials, it’s always nice to be able to watch a couple of episodes at a time. The content online and on on-demand video changes so often that if you’d like to be able watch Parenthood when you want, the DVD set is probably your best option. Obviously, the third season isn’t the place to start if you haven’t been watching Parenthood at all but, there is no reason not to buy it, if you’re collecting the series.