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Parenthood 1.10 – Namaste No More

The cast of NBC's Parenthood

Grade: B-

So you asked for it. Besides Chuck and 30 Rock (I will get to the former eventually or get a guest writer to write something up), I’ve watched last night’s episode of Parenthood per request. I’m not sure if this was necessarily the best idea, but I felt that it was the type of show that should be easy to get into with any given episode. That might not be correct from what I’ve learned. Part of my frustration (only part though) was attributed to the fact that I didn’t really know the relationships between the characters and that many of the jokes revolved around character traits that had been earlier made fun of. I’m pretty sure I’ve figured it out for now, so we’re good going forward.First thing is that this cast is fantastic. The Coach‘s Craig Nelson was great as the family’s patriarch, as was his wife Bonnie Bedelia. Everyone else works perfectly in their role adding their own little flair to the script (which honestly might not hold up on its own without the great work of those performing it). It’s also great to see Lauren Graham again on my TV in a role that initially thought would be too similar to Lorelai.

I really like the idea of the family and their relationships. Yes, it’s a bit Modern Family ish (and there were other shows similar before hand such as Brothers & Sisters) but it holds up on its own. Unlike many family dramas which only focus on the drama of the show, Parenthood finds a happy balance between comedy and drama. Even the dramatic situations (such as going to their father’s house to confront him about a serious monetary issue) had tinges of comedy that made everyone much more likable.

I’m still trying to get used to the different family structures, but I very much appreciated Adam Braverman’s situation with their son. After looking it up on wikipedia, I’ve found out that he was diagnosed with Asperger in the first episode which would make sense. Again, the comedy and the drama were woven in very well. Of the two family dates, the later were obviously the “cool” family that the Braverman parents fit in much more with. Yet that wasn’t what was best for their son. Even though the first family date went horribly funny, that’s where they were at the end, supporting Max.

I also enjoyed small little parts such as Dax Shepard telling his son that he was a dream and to go to bed. Not too funny on paper, but it works extremely well with both the script and the delivery.

Parts of the episode were a little boring and I was put off by Amber going after the “douche” that she just told her cousin Haddie to drop. You can’t do that. I assume she’ll get it later and I have no idea if that was in line with her character. Other parents of the episode just seemed to lag on. It was hard for me to keep my attention, especially during the soccer parts. Maybe that was funny for people who had been following the show from Day 1 but otherwise it plodded.

I’m surprised by Parenthood. I usually dislike family dramas, but this is one that I will continue to watch. Though not a perfect introduction, Namaste No More got me into the characters and I’m waiting for next week. Thanks for the recommendation.

Parenthood airs Tuesdays at 10pm on NBC.


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