ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why the end of Parenthood is the end of an era

Updated on February 2, 2015
Source

While watching the final episode of Parenthood last Thursday, I realized I wasn't just watching the end of a series. I was witnessing the end of a television era.

Of course, I'm sad to say goodbye to the wonderful family that were the Bravermans. I'll miss laughing, crying and learning valuable truths that made me look inside my own life week after week. But more than that, I believe we're all saying farewell to a kind of television entertainment that has become as outdated and passé as the Motorola flip phone.

That is, the end of the family television show that more accurately reflects the real-life struggles many people have.

Has The Television Family Drama Become Obsolete?


I'm not saying Parenthood represented the lives of most Americans. Far from it. After all, it was still Hollywood entertainment, and the financial and day-to-day struggles that many Americans deal with is not the kind of stuff Hollywood likes to remind us of. Besides, isn't entertainment supposed to help us "escape" our daily lives and forget our troubles if only for an hour on a Thursday evening?

Incredible writing and an amazing ensemble cast is what made Parenthood so special. There were no car chases, murders, buildings being blown up or reality TV style over-the-top drama. Instead, the show dealt with issues like cancer, financial struggles, single parenthood, teenage angst and living with a child with autism. You know, the kind of things that many people struggle with at some point in their lives.

But there was a refreshing truth to the writing on this show. Moments between parents and kids, spouses and siblings that many people could identify with. There was an honesty to it that you don't find very often on television. It was reminiscent of the kind of shows many of us grew up with in the eighties and nineties like Thirtysomething, Party of Five and The Wonder Years.


Source

Sometimes Television Should Reflect Who We Are

Some think the "undoing" of Parenthood was its softer nature. That's probably true. But why is it we have become a society that can only be entertained by watching gratuitous violence, explicit sex (Parenthood definitely covered sex, though it was far from explicit), terrorist plots and reality TV?

True, reality TV is much cheaper to make than a drama with a dozen well paid actors and outstanding writing. But I'll never understand why it has become the entertainment of choice for so many. For me, watching the bad behavior of "reality stars" is like watching the scene of a car accident. I just want to look away. (But I suppose I must be in the minority.)

And if I see one more series based on terrorist plots and armageddon I may need to switch to PBS permanently. Perhaps it's because the evening news deals enough in both of these topics that I have overdosed on it as entertainment.

When characters in a television drama ring true, it can become much more than entertainment. It can make us ask ourselves the very questions that make us human. And that can translate into more empathy and understanding in our own lives.

I think that's a good thing. Aren't there enough things on television already that do the opposite?

Source

Parenthood Poll

Will you miss shows like Parenthood on network television?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Bonus clips, woot!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Tami. Enjoy!

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      Thanks so much Kristen!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      Either way is great Kristen!! Thanks!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Sure, Tami. I'll send it to you this afternoon via fan mail. Or do you want me to post it?

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      Yes Kristen! Send it!!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      I'm glad to share that tidbit. It was on Tvguide.com that showed the post-finale interview with the writers and producers of the show. If you want the link, let me know. You're welcome.

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      I didn't know that Kristen.. Thanks for filling me in and for the vote.. I am still feeling sad on Thursdays when I can't watch it!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub Tami on Parenthood. I watched that show from the beginning. It would be dearly missed. Did you know, that three scenes were cut from the finale last month, including one with John Corbett as Seth? Voted up!

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      So glad you enjoyed it Ben. I really do miss the show. My husband still hasn't seen it so we made a pact and I am going to "binge" watch from the beginning with him as soon as we get through some other shows we've become obsessed with . (Game of Thrones being the latest one. It gets gory but again, such a brillliantly acted and written show!)

      Thanks again! Tami

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Just read your review to my wife, great observations about the show, and happy to hear you recognize the potent writing (I've learned to love a few reality shows, Survivor and The Amazing Race, there is a lot of crud out there though) to be honest some actors are so pompous reality shows are a natural reaction! As you opined, this collection of actors is different though, I have a reverence for them, their characters, the writing, production, the whole bit. Come on reunion episode!!!

      Well done!

      Ben

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      Thanks Ben! I appreciate it!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Posted this one to my wife's FB wall, can't wait to read it later, I'm psyched!!!

      Ben

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      I really agree Claudia..If you get a chance, definitely check this one out. I believe it was one of the best written shows on television. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Claudia Mathews profile image

      Claudia Mathews 2 years ago

      Never watched this show, but I think I may have to go look it up online and give it a chance. Good cancelled shows are still good shows. Television just isn't what it used to be. I miss the days of programs like The Cosby Show, Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons and the list goes on. We have cable, but the tv barely gets turned on in favor of catching old episodes of shows that were about something good instead of over dramatized drivel that airs today.

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      Thanks so much @misterhollywood..I appreciate it! I am really missing it on Thursdays.

    • misterhollywood profile image

      John Hollywood 2 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Fun Hub!! I have always liked Parenthood and your hub reminded me why I liked it so much!!!

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 2 years ago from Jaipur

      Hi Tami,

      Thanks for writing on a burning issue. You have rightly addressed a social problem of this age.

      Rated up and useful.

    • Tamirogers profile image
      Author

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      I agree @swilliams. I am just so sad that shows like this can't make it anymore. I love good writing on television-granted there are other genres with great writing. I am a huge Game of Thrones and Walking Dead. I am just sad that the family drama is going the way of typewriter.

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 2 years ago from Arizona

      I have never watched this show, but I remember the movie with actor Steve Martin, that was great. I do love shows that present the real-life struggles of family life. I think that is what I liked the most about the movie, during that time it was shameful to share your faults to the world, in which fake family shows mislead our thoughts. Voted up.