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Parenthood Series Finale – May God Bless You and Keep You Always (S6, Ep13)

54cb14fc5d2d2.imageI started watching ‘Parenthood’ day one because I love show-runner, writer, and producer, Jason Katims. The incredible cast, wonderful Ron Howard movie, and hole in my schedule for an hour family drama are all secondary reasons I flipped to NBC on March 2nd, 2010. The show-running ability that Katims displayed on “Friday Night Lights” had me looking forward to his next project, regardless of who or what was involved. I currently watch ‘About A Boy’ because his name on it, regardless of its debatable quality. Fortunately, we all lucked out that ‘Parenthood’ turned out to be one of the better series on TV.

I believe the reason it has permeated itself into the lives of those who watched it is not because we couldn’t wait to know what would happen the following week. It was the execution of moments. The family and friend moments that we could all relate to on a weekly basis. The way the siblings interacted with each other when all together or in smaller groups and how each parent had a different relationship with their children was real and believable. The little life moments, that we may not remember in our own lives, are displayed in each and every episode. Even the larger moments, some of which Katims took from his own life (his wife’s breast cancer fight and their autistic son), we see ourselves in and wonder how we would handle these situations. All of these little and large moments are earned and that is extremely rare for a TV show. Katims wrote the finale and it continued his sentiments wholeheartedly. But enough of that: onto the final hour.

I cried for an hour. I cried for a full hour. I didn’t cry because “sad things” were happening. I cried because it was beautiful and I will genuinely miss these people. The closing montage 150121_2841664_Coming_Up__Parenthood_Series_Finalewas incredibly satisfying in the way that ‘FNL’ or ‘Scrubs’ was way back when. Here, our favorite family spread their patriarch’s ashes on the little league field ,as they played as a family, bringing the whole series full circle. This show started with baseball and ended with baseball. Baseball, an individual sport played in a team setting, is a great metaphor for this family. They are carving out their own individual paths, but are much stronger as a unit.

Weave this in with flash forwards of what each Braverman family tree branch is up to in the future and you’ve got family television gold. After adopting Victor’s half-sister, the Graham branch not only adds a fourth child, but an adorable puppy. (Communication saved that marriage.) The Luncheonette reopened with the Braverman-Trussells at the helm, Aida with full afro, and another one on the way. Hank and Sarah have cemented themselves at the top of their branch with Ruby, Ryan, two grandchildren, and Amber’s husband (a fatter, balder Jason Street [Scott Porter]) joining the crew. Kristina moves on to working for a non-profit, as Adam takes over as headmaster of Chambers Academy, handing Max his diploma in front of the family. (Adam seemed to be more suited for Chambers Academy than Kristina anyway.) As they walked off into the distance, family both smaller and bigger, we got to say goodbye to them with happy endings and tears of joy.

Sarah moved in with her parents to raise her kids. Now they have a stable and strong nuclear unit. Crosby lived on a boat, unhappily dated Katie (Marguerite Moreau), and did his laundry at his parents’ house with no game plan. Now’s the man that Zeek knew he could be all along. Adam and Kristina were lost in how to raise their autistic son and dramatic daughter, but became great community leaders for many causes. Uptight Julia had a seemingly perfect life, but needed to learn how to be flexible and open after it all fell apart. As we witnessed the relatable trials and tribulations of the Braverman siblings and their families, the believability that all of these characters’ changes were justified always came across as genuine. When Zeek peacefully passes away, having held on to walk his daughter down the aisle, the opening moments of Hank asking for her hand, as well as telling him why the wedding is so soon are all the more poignant, especially knowing how far this family has come since day one. That’s when I realized something that had never truly hit home before.

“Boy, we did good, didn’t we, Camille?” This show was always about Zeek. Everything about this hour and the six seasons was about Zeek. It was a comprehensive snapshot of the legacy that he and Camille put together and help grow. Through bad times and good, they were the trunk to the Braverman family tree. By being told the the stories of Adam, Sarah, Crosby, and Julia, we were essentially seeing his story. In a way, the season 2 scene Parenthood - Season 6with Zeek and Amber in the junkyard is this show’s most important. You don’t mess with somebody elses dreams when they are of the highest importance. His family going down the right track with their roots firmly planted in the family he has grown with Camille was always his first priority. I by no means am calling him a saint. He was a stubborn man, who was unfaithful to his wife, and a chronic conversation avoider, but had the biggest most understanding heart of all of the Bravermans. Symbolically, once Sarah walked down the aisle into Hank’s arms, Zeek’s job was done. All of his children were the trunks of their own trees and his heart could no longer go on. When Camille called for him and he didn’t answer, the moments of silence were deafening.

One of the reasons that Zeek didn’t want the surgery is to spare his family the grief of watching him “die.” He went out the way he wanted: peacefully without his kids worrying. I’m glad that there wasn’t a funeral sequence.That somber mood wouldn’t have reflected what the show brought to us every week. His life was celebrated in the final montage by his family’s successes. Some will complain that it was too happy of an ending for mostly everybody. The Braverman’s all getting exactly what they wanted isn’t realistic. Say what you will, but I love watching characters get what they want. Especially ones I love. They all changed enough to have the courage to go out and get what they want for themselves and for their families. Sure, at points the episode felt a little rushed, some conversations seemed inorganic because it was a ‘final episode’ (Haddie/Max), but they were justified in the larger sense of their pre-existing relationship.The thing is, that didn’t matter at all because overall it was an excellent finale for a show that consistently produced great episode, moments, and multitudes of tears.

My intention was that I was going to list all the moments I cried during the finale, but I realized it would be too tedious to list every moment in every scene. (I even teared up during the “Forever Young” opening credits sequence.) The absence of ‘Parenthood’ leaves 1422590399532.cacheda gaping hole in my weekly programming and my Braverman heart. It was the show I have most looked forward to for years. This type of show is a dying breed that we may never see the likes of for a while or ever again. It may have been about an upper middle class liberal white family just outside of San Francisco, but its focus on the importance of family is universal. Jason Katims let us be all be Taylors and now a Bravermans. I guess I should start watching it from the beginning again, yes?

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The 20 Best ‘Parenthood’ Moments (Top 10)


Tonight is the finale of NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ and I couldn’t be more excited to see the episode, yet devastatingly sad to see the show go. In anticipation for one of my favorite shows on TV to go bye-bye, my mom, sister and I listed our top 20 best moments. Braverman favorites from my family to yours. You can see #20-11 HERE, but without further ado, our Top Ten. WARNING: TISSUES NEEDED (also, spoiler alert).

10. Adam and Kristina’s Cancer/Wig Fights – S6, Ep12 “Keep On Rowing”

deddb41b7249def9_TWOAdam can only keep a smile on for so long. He’s been a huge source of Kristina’s strength and normalcy and as she suffers the fallout from chemotherapy. When he tries to help with her wig selection, Kristina snaps. She can’t take his comforting tone because everything isn’t okay. Adam then drops his guard and in a moment of vulnerability, we get to see past his ‘perfect husband’ facade, learning what he’s actually feeling–fear. A tender moment from a great character. (He then picks her up in a limo for a night out!)

9. Max Finding Out He has Aspergers – S2, Ep17/18 “Do Not Sleep With Your Autistic Nephew’s Therapist” & “Qualities And Difficulties”

0AcjYgMax overhearing Crosby and Adam yelling about his autism was only the jarring precursor to the moment that really takes the #9 spot on this list. Adam and Kristina sitting Max down in an attempt to explain to him243679_512x288_generated what he has convey’s the weight of the moment within the episode and in the course of Max’s life. In their careful spin on his issues they both change his life and break their own hearts.

8. Haddie’s Off To College – S4, Ep1 “Family Portrait”

After Haddie casually say goodbye to her parents at the airport, the underscoring begins and we know the tears are about to follow. She looks back, hesitantly forward, and then breaks from the line for one final hug. As the camera swings away from the three hugging in the middle of the airport, I just want to join them. We’ll miss you too, Haddie.

7. Max’s Student Council Speech – S4, Ep6 “I’ll Be Right Here”

He owns it. Max comes out of his shell a little bit more by explaining what he has and how it hinders and ignites him. As Haddie watches on in place of a surgery ridden Kristina, the pride in her eyes (especially after scenes like “yelling at Max” in S3, Ep11’s “Missing”) and in our hearts is unmatched in Max moments. Cheesy? Yes. Awesome? Yes. This is all followed by Kristina asking Adam ‘How it went?’ when she wakes up from her operation. She isn’t referring to herself. Kristina wants to know how Max did in the election. He won! That’s her first thought and the tears roll on.

6. Adam Begins To Come Terms With Max’s Aspergers – S1, Ep2 “Man Vs Possum”

parenthood102-swing1It actually happens progressively in this episode. Adam deflecting all of Zeek’s questions. Dr. Pelican confirming Max’s diagnosis. Adam not really understand that it isn’t a temporary issue. He and Kristina then have a lovely conversation about how this is going to take their all. When the episode closes, Adam has dressed up as a pirate to play with his son. It isn’t a tearjerker, per say, but in only the show’s second episode it sets the stage for years to come.

5. Max’s Car Ride – S5, Ep18 “The Offer”

max5“Why do all the other kids hate me?” Oh, Max. It’s hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies for Max over the year, but recently it had been getting a little better. When Kristina and Adam finally allow themselves to let Max go on an overnight, they have to pick him up because Trevor peed in his canteen. Max’s break down in the car ride home, coupled with Kristina climbing in the back to comfort him is incredibly painful to watch. He may not want the hug, but we’re sure glad he got one.

4. Adam and Haddie’s Phone Conversation – S4, Ep5 “There’s Something I Need To Tell You”

It’s not just that Haddie steps up and demands to be treated like an adult. No. No. No. It’s when Adam tells her what’s actually happening. When he tells her he’s okay and hanging in there. It’s the tear that falls as he’s saying goodbye to Haddie. It’s the pain behind both of their eyes because the future is uncertain. It’s everything about everything.

3. Zeek’s Junkyard Speech – S2, Ep22 “Hard Times Come Again No More”

“I dreamt you, Amber. And Haddie and Drew and Sydney, Jabbar and Max. We almost lost you, Amber. I know you had some bad breaks; not feeling good about yourself; didn’t get into Berkeley. Well, boo-friggin’-hoo. You got a suck it up, girl. You’re a Braverman. You got my blood in your veins. You ever do something like this again. You even think about doing something like this, I will personally kick your little butt all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. You do not have my permission to mess with my dreams. Are we clear?” Don’t EVER mess with your grandfather’s dreams.

2. Kristina Tells the Family – S4,Ep5 “There’s Something I need to Tell You”

As Kristina looks around at her family, she knows at some point her news will break their status quo. She’ll be the family member with cancer and not Kristina anymore, but it has to be done. When Haddie surprises everybody, there’s a sense in the air that something is wrong. “I love you all so much and I just wanted to say that. Um, and there’s something that I need to tell you.” Then the dialogue cuts out and we are treated to and pained by the silent reactions of her family. It really doesn’t get much better than this scene.

1.The Video – S4, Ep11 “What To My Wondering Eyes”

There was never a question of what the number one spot was going to be. Not only was this moment a cry-fest, it was a truly earned tearjerker and that makes all of the difference. Just watch the video.

Conclusion: Season 4 was the best and Monica Potter’s lack of an Emmy Nomination is outrageous. I will be tragically upset on Thursday. The Braverman family will be dearly missed. Stay tuned for my finale review tomorrow morning!

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The 20 Best ‘Parenthood’ Moments (20-11)


As we count down to the final episode of ‘Parenthood’, this Thursday at 10pm on NBC, my family, friends, and the internet (in general) have started to recount the best and “tearjerkiest” moments from the run of the show. Like the Braverman need to reminisce of times past, below is my sister, mom, and I’s list of the best moments/things from ‘Parenthood’. From my family, about their family, to yours. I mean, we all are a part of the Braverman family. WARNING: TISSUES NEEDED (also Spoiler Alert)

20. The Addition of Ray Romano as Hank – S4-S6

Whenever a show adds a new, stunt casted, character as a clear pawn for some sort of love triangle, I automatically think it’s a quick grab for ratings or forced plot. I am both shocked a_560x375and pleased with how Hank has fit in with the Braverman clan. His humor, insecurity, relationship with Max, love for Sarah, and ability to learn and grow have been a welcome addition to a show with characters that we’ve loved (and hated) for so long. To finally see the Braverman family through a third person point of view, after years of being tired, fed up, and worn out by some members was and is a real treat. He’s stolen many of the scenes recently in season 6 and I’ll be just as sad to say good-bye to him as I will be the rest of my TV family.

19. Camille in the Hospital – S6, Ep10 “How Did We Get Here?”

She hasn’t had a ton to do over the years as Camille, the Braverman matriarch, but when PARENTHOOD_612x380called upon, Bonnie Bedelia knocks it out of the park. Her sadness, fear, and love throughout the episode permeated through the screen. I wanted to be there to comfort her, but alas, Adam had to come to the rescue instead. Every moment for her in this episode is tear inducing.

 18. The Casting of Monica Potter and Sarah Ramos

I know this may be a lame addition to include on a list of best moments, but the two actresses have so many physical and vocal traits in common that it sells everything about MV5BNTM4MTU3Mzc1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjQ4OTY5Mw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_this branch of the family tree. To believe that I’m actually watching a mother and daughter pair go through life’s trials and tribulations adds so much to the show. You can see a little bit of Potter’s Kristina in Ramos’ Haddie. This tiny little thing has stuck with me for all six seasons, which is why I may miss Haddie more than most people.

17. Haddie Coming Out – S5, Ep22 “The Pontiac”

In one of Haddie’s few appearances after her season 4 college departure, she arrives home for summer vacation with a “friend.” While a little rushed and out of the blue, the wonderful coming out moment between characters is still a series highlight. This was an untouched area of exploration for the writers, and since we know the Braverman mindset, it was going to be okay. It was still a great moment for a missed character. It was a throw back to the early days of ‘Parenthood’.

16. Amber Breaks Up With Ryan – S4, Ep 11 “What To My Wondering Eyes”

When Ryan shows up outside of the Braverman Christmas, Amber’s recognition that she wasn’t going to allow herself to make the same mistakes as her mother, despite her pure love for him, was absolutely beautiful. Of all six seasons of Amber Holt moments, this shows such a surprising amount of growth and maturity. If you’re not crying over Ryan’s broken heart paired with Amber’s strength, then you just can’t be helped.

15. Jasmine and Crosby’s Rain Reconciling – S3, Ep17 “Remember Me, I’m The One Who Loves You?”

tumblr_mr705qbVdQ1rbgu1so8_r1_250I mean, even the title gives me goosebumps! After sleeping with Gaby, Max’s behavioral aid, Crosby ruins his relationship with Jasmine and does everything in his power to correct it. While the healing and forgiveness process may have been sped up to TV time, the rain soaked cliche of an engagement is a moment that doesn’t get washed away so quickly. If only Jabbar had gone on a camping trip earlier that season!

14. Drew Breaks Down in Front of Sarah – S4, Ep 13 “Small Victories”

This may be Drew’s only appearance on the list, but it’s a doozy. Drew, dealing with the stress of girlfriend Amy’s pregnancy and abortion, comes home to talk to one person: his mom, Sarah. All of the tension that he’s held in, trying to be an adult, is finally released. The mom hug that turns this high schooler into a crumbling baby boy is the importance of family in a nutshell.

 13. Max and Kristina Dance – S4, Ep9 “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

parenthood409-dancing1Maybe I’m just a sucker for season 4 and Kristina, but the thought of this being her only time seeing her boy go to a dance is already heart breaking. When she starts to dance with him–I mean, come on. Max doesn’t understand the complications of this moment, but Kristina and Adam sure do. Have you no soul!?

12. Zoe Decides to Keep the Baby – S3, Ep17 “Remember Me, I’m The One Who Loves You?”

ParenthoodWe knew it was coming. It was completely inevitable that this would happen. But it did and it was just as heartbreaking and it could have been. The back and forth of Zoe, Julia, and Joel led to this powerfully sad moment.

11. The Chemo Shirt – S4, Ep7 “Together”

Camille’s gift of the chemo shirt grounds Kristina’s cancer in a reality she hadn’t felt before. When they begin to discuss the first time Adam brought her home and how much they love each other now, the waterworks begin.

The Top Ten coming soon…

Keep on Watchin’!