‘Parenthood’ Season 3 Premiere Review

Published 4 years ago by

parenthood season 3 nbc Parenthood Season 3 Premiere Review

(This review may contain spoilers for Parenthood seasons 1 and 2.)

Parenthood is thankfully back for a third season – considering that at one point during season 2 its continuation seemed like a long shot. The critically-praised family drama has returned to see three generations of the Braverman family deal their ever-changing lives and the surprise announcement at the end of last season.

When we last saw Adam and Kristina Braverman (Peter Krause and Monica Potter, respectively), Kristina had just given Adam the news that, as a byproduct of one too many margaritas, and well…you know – she was expecting the couple’s third child. Unfortunately, this otherwise happy news came on the heels that Adam was fired from his job at TSN, the sneaker corporation he helped build from the ground up.

As much as last season was about renewal and stability, the Braverman’s were ultimately left in flux. So it comes as no surprise that at the beginning of season 3, nearly every member of the clan is dealing with transition in one form or another.

Adam is looking for work, settling into the notion that he may no longer be the family’s breadwinner. Crosby (Dax Shepard) is transitioning into his role as Jabbar’s father – but he’s doing it without Jasmine (Joy Bryant), given his indiscretions with Charlie’s Angels star Minka Kelly. Sarah (Lauren Graham) is transitioning into her forties, while rekindling her romance with Jason Ritter – who is welcomed back to Parenthood after headlining NBC’s now cancelled sci-fi series The Event. Finally, Julia (Erika Christensen) and her husband Joel (Sam Jaeger) are working (somewhat unsuccessfully) to become adoptive parents.

At the younger end of the Braverman spectrum, Amber (Mae Whitman) is moving out on her own after failing to get into college, while her younger cousin Haddie (Sarah Ramos) appears to be transitioning into an ill-advised wash-and-wear hairstyle.

parenthood third season premiere ncb Parenthood Season 3 Premiere Review

That’s the setup to season 3 in a nutshell, and it sounds a bit overwhelming. However, one of the more commendable aspects of Parenthood is the ability with which the series juggles and deftly maneuvers between these various plot lines, crafting an arc for each branch of the family tree to see them through the course of a season.

Few shows come to mind that are capable of turning the notion of teenage romance – like the one between Haddie and her boyfriend Alex (Michael B. Jordan of The Wire and the upcoming Red Tails) – into something as compelling as other topics touched upon in season 2, like: Asperger’s syndrome, infidelity and deadbeat dads. Somehow, Parenthood manages to tackle all of these subjects without undermining the importance of the message, or the show’s characters.

Now that’s not to say some couples or characters don’t get a wee bit shortchanged – for instance, Julia and Joel for the majority of season 2 – but, as opposed to other programs with a large ensemble (like, say…True Blood), the time spent focusing on each unique storyline feels organic and well-developed – which makes the time the siblings and their spouses spend amongst one another (either dealing with or ignoring the other’s personal issues) all the more resonant and somehow meaningful.

krause parenthood season 3 Parenthood Season 3 Premiere Review

At the heart of the show, though, it’s Krause who continues to captivate. Somehow, the actor has managed to make his role the true heart of Parenthood. The character is the polar opposite of Nate Fisher, Krause’s character on Six Feet Under. Instead of harboring resentment toward the overwhelming responsibility that is having a family, Adam relishes his home life – but still occasionally struggles to be the kind of husband and father his wife and children need him to be, while avoiding the mistakes of his father Zeek (Craig T. Nelson).

At its core, that is what parenthood is all about: avoiding the mistakes of your parents by making all new ones for your kids to eventually avoid with children of their own, and so on. It’s the new circle of life.

When it comes down to it, though, Parenthood is one of the best dramas on television right now. NBC should be proud to have a program of quality comparable to heavy hitters like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy or Mad Men.

The real distinction should come from the fact that Parenthood achieves this status by being a lighthearted, often sentimental, but never saccharine drama that seeks to form an emotional bond with its audience. In essence, Parenthood is the kind of drama families should be watching with one another.

Parenthood airs Tuesday nights @10pm on NBC.

TAGS: Parenthood
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  1. Haha…this is not a review of the season 3 premiere.

  2. Haha…this is not a review of the premiere.

  3. What I like most about the show is the dynamic of all the different characters. They really feel like a family and a show that makes you feel all warm inside can’t be bad, right? Right.

  4. i like the show for being a light-hearted drama with a TON of acting talent. The entire cast is talented, i’m waiting for Dax Shepard to get an Emmy nom for supporting actor, especially after last season.

    as for the new season, all as good as the last few, nothing new really to add.

    I do want to point out the absurdity of one point. Alex gets into a fight at a party and gets arrested. Why do none of the drunk teenagers get arrested for underaged drinking, Sure the party is broken up but the only person who is arrested is the kid who is of legal age, hasnt been drinking, and (can be claimed) defended himself against a drunked attack. WTF. thats just still bothers me that he’s the one in trouble.

    • I agree with your points about the party… I was wondering that too.

  5. I love this show. I don’t understand the party thing Alex should not have got in trouble and the parents should have been afraid to press charges with the drinking going on and he should have been in trouble I know if it was my kid and drinking was going on he would be in a lot of trouble. Also I do not like Jabbars mother or the character that is. She is controlling and whinny and everything has to be her way or know way that would drive any man away. She treated Crosby like a child most of the time I mean the dishes last season come one did you really need to pick a fight over that. She gets on my nerves I wish they would change the way her character is or remove her period.