The End of "Parenthood"

Wednesday's post was a little dismal, so feel free to completely disregard it. I probably will. These things happen when you just blog whatever you feel like blogging. I think it's more authentic, and that's why I'm not deleting it. 

This morning I watched the series finale of Parenthood. Oh man. 

I saw a lot of posts on Facebook this week about this show ending. And I started thinking about why we cared so much. Shows end. And if you enjoy them, it's usually kind of sad. But for some reason it's REALLY sad with Parenthood.

If you haven't watched the show, I'd describe it as one of the most realistic shows on TV. Obviously, I'm speaking from my own experience growing up in an upper middle class family, but to me this show is real life. I see all my family members in that show somewhere. And I think the reason that show makes everyone cry every frekin week is because THEY see their family members in that show too.

Personally, I related to Adam and Kristina's family the most. I'm not a parent yet, but their family reminded me of my family growing up. My dad is smart, noble, and good like Adam. My mom is sweet, strong, and protective like Kristina. My brother Cade has always been... different and strange in the most wonderful ways like Max. My other brother, Josh, is (though technically not in the same Parenthood family) quiet, focused, and loving like Drew. And I guess that makes me Haddie, who wasn't even on the show for the past couple seasons, but hey it's just because she was brilliant and had to go off to a fancy university like I did.

The actors, writers, camera operators, everyone on Parenthood have always done a phenomenal job of making every scene feel as real and genuine as possible. I love that when the characters fight, they start talking over each other, the camera is a little unstable, and a fight over doing the dishes turns into something very different... because isn't that how fights really go? 

This show has just touched on so many hot topics: Aspergers, adoption, divorce, single parenthood, LGBT issues, infertility, interracial families, cheating, bullying, the educational system, the health system, abortion, veteran issues and disabilities, and all that on top of the more typical topics a show explores with relationships, falling in love, breaking up. The amazing thing about exploring all those crazy topics, is that none of it felt forced. I enjoyed Glee in the first couple of seasons, but eventually the "hot topics" they tried to explore all felt really forced and artificial. It never felt that way on Parenthood. Except maybe when Haddie came home and was suddenly bisexual. That seemed like a curve ball, but I guess it would for any parent when their kid comes home from college a very different person than they left as.

*Spoiler Alert - Don't read further if you haven't watched the finale*

As for the finale, at first, I was sad that they showed Zeek's death. I kind of wanted to end on an ambiguous note of maaaaybe he lives on for a few more years and the doctors were wrong. But as the rest of the montage went on, I saw the point, which was that this family is still a family. We always lose people. It's an inevitable part of life and all families have to deal with it at one point or another. And the nice thing about your family is that it's always growing and changing. And if you're lucky, there will always be someone you can depend on when you need to.

Parenthood really brings out the sap in us all, doesn't it? Haha but I think that's the mark of a great show! I enjoy a show that makes me feel, that surprises me, makes me laugh, and is full of incredibly realistic characters. And it had all those things. My list of favorite shows is really starting to dwindle now. I'm all for the more extreme, unusual characters (hi, Breaking Bad, House, and Lost) but I hope another show comes out within the next few years that we can watch and relate to as much as so many of us related to Parenthood.