An Open Love Letter to ‘Parenthood’

Photo: Chris Haston/NBC

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

Dear Everybody Involved in Parenthood:

As I write this letter, I am thinking about the following:

  • I need to buy my toddler new shoes and I want to do it before my coupon expires.
  • I’m worried that I’m not watering our newly hydroseeded lawn correctly.
  • I must finalize plans for my husband’s birthday.

Can you imagine how boring my life would be if it were a TV show? (Does Amy’s lawn grow grass? Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion of our special two-part episode.)  But this is where the sheer genius of Parenthood comes in. You somehow turn the utter minutiae of life into a compelling drama.  A child who doesn’t want to go to school. A family deciding to get a new dog. A missing lizard. In your capable hands, all of it becomes fascinating to watch.

I have long said that family dramas are the most difficult to successfully pull off. There are no crimes to solve, patients to save, or cases to litigate. Each week, you must successfully pull viewers into the Braverman family’s life without having any built-in hook you can write around each week.  I want to be a Braverman. I want to call up Kristina (Monica Potter) and have coffee with her. I want to babysit Max (Max Burkholder) and Jabbar (Tyree Brown). I want record in the studio run by Crosby (Dax Shepard) and Adam (Peter Krause) and I can’t even sing. Seriously, I’m in love with your show and in awe of what you are able to do each week.

Now that you know how I feel, let’s talk about Ray Romano. I have long been a fan. Honestly I was watching Everybody Loves Raymond back when it was on Friday nights and I’m pretty sure his parents and I were the only ones watching. I thought Men of a Certain Age  was a brilliant and vastly underrated show that demonstrated that Romano was so much more than just a funny guy.

BUT his presence on Parenthood makes me nervous. I adore Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter). He’s one of the very best TV boyfriends ever created. And as much as I love a good love triangle, I really don’t think we need one here. Let Mark and Sarah (Lauren Graham) have other conflicts – they can fight about their wedding, their engagement, their careers, their age difference — really I’m fine with anything. Just please, please, please don’t break them up. Please don’t let Sarah fall for Hank.

Thanks ever so.

Much love,

Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal

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