New from The Movie Snob.
Parenthood – Season One (B-). Well, I thought this would be a show my mom and I could watch together when she’s visiting, but it turned out to be a little too, ah, frank about certain subjects that never got discussed on, say, The Donna Reed Show. I thought it was pretty good but not great. It’s all about the California-based Braverman family—the patriarch and matriarch, played by Craig T. Nelson (The Family Stone) and Bonnie Bedelia (Diehard), and their four grown children (Adam, Sarah, Crosby, and Julia), and their six grandchildren, none of whom is older than about 15. Although the blurb on the cover calls it hilarious and heartbreaking, the emphasis is WAY on the heartbreaking side, and over the course of the season you start to wonder if these folks can ever catch a break, or if they ever even laugh for crying out loud. Occasionally they say or do things that seem pretty unrealistic, just to ratchet up the conflict. And the four grown siblings are awfully different from each other to be so close-knit. But on the other side of the balance sheet, there are some likeable characters and some nice performances. I have a big soft spot for Lauren Graham (Evan Almighty), whose Sarah is a refugee from a busted marriage who moves back home with two teenagers in tow. I also like the responsible oldest sibling, Adam, (played by Peter Krause, The Truman Show) who has to juggle a successful career and two pretty demanding kids in addition to his somewhat crazy extended family. And I like Adam’s wife Kristina, probably because she’s played by Monica Potter (A Cool, Dry Place), who’s kind of like a more attractive version of Julia Roberts. I’ll probably check out Season Two one of these days. Not many special features on the DVDs; a few deleted scenes and a short making-of featurette that is the standard love-in by the cast and directing crew.