A family drama gives fans the opportunity to become involved in the lives of a large group of characters, and it's fun to see how they grow and adapt over the seasons. Parenthood and Party of Five might seem like very different shows at first glance. However, they're both TV dramas about family members, they both ran for six seasons, and they both made you cry.
Let's compare these two family dramas and see what each one does better than the other. Here are 5 things that Parenthood did better than Party of Five and 5 things that Party of Five definitely excelled at.
10 Parenthood: Knowing When To End The Show
Knowing when to wrap up a TV show can be a tough call. After all, if fans are really into a series and they don't want to say goodbye, and the cast and crew are also enjoying the creation process, it can seem like the show can go on forever.
In Parenthood's case, the show wrapped up after six great seasons, and this was a smart decision. While it would have been fine if Party of Five had lasted four seasons because there were a few saggy stories at the end, Parenthood really earned each and every single one of its episodes. Fans were sad to see it go but satisfied with the viewing experience.
9 Party of Five: Drama, Not Melodrama
Teen dramas, especially those from the '90s, aren't exactly known for being nice and quiet and peaceful. They definitely have some moments and episodes that venture into the melodrama category. This is honestly welcome because fans know what they're getting with these types of shows and it's part of the whole viewing experience.
But while some of the sadness on Parenthood did sometimes feel a little bit over-the-top since everyone was always struggling so much, the drama was always top-notch on Party of Five. It's tough to say that this is a melodramatic show since it's a realistic look at a group of siblings who have to basically raise themselves.
8 Parenthood: Emotional Scenes
While This Is Us gets tons of credit for making audiences completely lose it week after week, Parenthood made people tear up as well. It was tough to get through an episode without a few crying spells. When it comes to something else that Parenthood did better than Party of Five, it would definitely be emotional scenes.
From Adam furiously Googling possums in the first season because his family was struggling with Max to Hank and Sarah's wedding day, there is no shortage of moments that really get you.
7 Party of Five: Surprising Twists
There were some pretty tough moments on Party of Five: Julia gets pregnant with Justin's baby, Bailey becomes an alcoholic, Kirsten and Charlie have a very up and down kind of relationship, and Kirsten even gets caught up in an academic scandal.
There were many surprising twists on this show, which is something that it did better than Parenthood. Although Parenthood had all the entertaining moments that anyone would want from this type of series, it wasn't exactly full of cliffhangers or the feeling that you just couldn't stop watching (although, of course, it was such a high-quality series). To be honest, sometimes you needed a bit of a break since it was so sad.
6 Parenthood: Stellar Guest Stars
The guest stars on Parenthood are really amazing. Ray Ramano played Hank, Sarah's on-again, off-again boyfriend and, later, husband. He's an awkward but brilliant photographer and they really get each other. It's fun to watch them in scenes together since Ray Ramano and Lauren Graham are two of the most talented actors around.
Jason Ritter also played another one of Sarah's love interests, Mark, who was also one of Amber's teachers. It was great to see him pop into the show from time to time.
5 Party of Five: Romantic Stories
Party of Five excelled with telling romantic stories. Julia and Justin's love story, for one thing, was heartbreaking to watch and they really did seem meant to be, despite her marriage to Griffin and all of that drama. Kirsten and Charlie also had a really beautiful relationship, and so did Sarah and Bailey.
While there are some great couples on Parenthood (Adam and Kristina are too adorable together), the show was really about the Braverman family unit as a whole and how they were facing. It wasn't really about focusing on individual romantic stories.
4 Parenthood: Great Storytelling About Different Ages
Parenthood represented a variety of different age groups: children (Adam and Kristina's kid Max), teenagers (Sarah's daughter Amber and son Drew, Adam and Kristina's daughter Haddie), adults (Sarah, Julia, Crosby, Adam, and their partners), and the parents and grandparents, Zeek and Camille.
The show did an amazing job speaking to the struggles that each age group faces. Zeek and Camille would often worry about their long-term marriage and how it would fare, along with worrying about the well-being of their children. Whether a story was being told about Max's school struggles or Julia and Joel's marriage, it always felt well-done and respectful.
3 Party of Five: A Sad Yet Hopeful Tone
Sometimes it felt especially difficult to tune into Parenthood each week because of the heavy tone of the show. That didn't really happen when watching Party of Five.
Instead, the '90s series had a sad yet hopeful tone. Since the Salingers were so young, even if they were going through something (and they always were), fans had the feeling that they would figure it out and they would grow up okay. There was always a sad yet hopeful tone.
2 Parenthood: Series Finale With A Well-Done Montage
The montage in the series finale of Parenthood is worth watching even if you didn't watch the show (but it'll probably make you want to go back and watch the show).
As the theme song "Forever Young" plays, the family plays baseball and that is where they scatter the ashes of Zeek, who has since passed away. It's the best way to send off this wonderful family. And, yes, there will be tears when you watch it (over and over again since it's one of those scenes that just asks to be repeated).
1 Party of Five: A Happy Ending
Party of Five delivered a happy ending, and while everyone ended up in good places at the end of Parenthood, it was bittersweet since Zeek was gone.
Although the Salinger siblings sold the family home and were all moving away, it felt happier than if they had continued living under the same roof together. It was like they had to say goodbye to the house and each other in order to truly grow up and thrive. It was a perfect send-off, that's for sure.