Can't think of anything outstandingly original to post, so I'll just go with a life update.

Back to watching my nephew full-time.  It's nine pm and he's whining about being tired but still wanting to take a shower. *sigh*

I've been really restless and funked lately, so much so that today I hit the gym twice.

Man, I've got nothing.

TV Review: Parenthood

On thing I love about my job is that I get a lot of time to think. I put groceries away and it's pretty mindless, so I have a great deal of things going on in my head during the day.  During most of my shift I thought about what I should say about Parenthood.

Character-wise, it's strong but not perfect. Adam (Peter Krause, who I recognize, but I don't recall anything of his I have watched before.) is the oldest of the Braverman siblings and looks to be the solid, go-to guy. He works a nice corporate job, has a nice house, a nice wife, nice kids. On paper, he's perfect.  In life, he cusses out the ref at his kids' baseall game, forgets his other kids' soccer match, has an obsessive streak and has to come to terms with his sons' Asbergers diagnosis.  Adam's wife Kristina is trying to hold her family together and take care of her son.  She's both vulnerable and forceful.  Monica Potter can get a little heavy-handed with it, but for the most part she's great.
I'm not sure which sister comes next, but I'm going to say Sarah (Lauren Graham, of Gilmore Girls fame) since she has the kids that are older.  (Plus, and absolutely no offense to Lauren Graham, who is perfect, but Erika Christensen looks younger.) Sarah's an ex-bartender who has to move back to Berkley to live with her parents.  I actually relate less to Sarah than I thought I would. My kids are younger and I hope they will always be much less smart-mouthed than her kids are. I loved her plot line that had hooking up with Jim the barista (Mike O'Malley, who I will always fondly remember as the host of Nickelodeon's GUTS).  I also like the dynamic between her and Julia, the younger sister.

Julia (Erika Christensen,Traffic and Swimfan) is the conflicted working mom. She's a high-powered lawyer and her husband Joel stays home with their daughter Sidney.  She seems to love her job, but she feels the pain of what feels like missing her daughter growing up.  It's a familiar story and in other hands it might be boring and trite, but the writing is strong and Christensen is convincing as a woman who loves working and wants to enjoy her child.  The plot steered towards Julia's husband spending a lot of time with a mother from Sidney's school, which is cliche, but gave Christensen a chance to bring out the bitch-face, which is where she is at her best. Joel is Julia's husband and he's got no personality at this point. He's either oblivious or pretending to be oblivious to the woman interacting with him inappropriately and he's not a great communicator. Also, he's boring.

The last of the Braverman kids is Crosby. Who names kids Adam, Sarah and Julia, then busts out a Crosby? That's the least believable thing so far. Anyway, Crosby is the rebel, the drifter, the unreliable one. Dax Shepard is getting a lot of flack for being cast, but I like his laid-back approach with Crosby.  I find him sincere, but mischievous.  His plot line is stupid and the 'hey, you have a kid I never told you about' is boring and not something I've seen happen five years later to anyone I know. It also has about a million holes in it.  It's easily the weakest storyline of the show.  Still, I like Crosby. He reminds me of how sometimes you think about how easy and free it was before you had kids and then you remember is was great and it wasn't, just like now.

The mother has no plot at this point and just wanders in and out of scenes.  The dad (Craig T. Nelson from Coach) is the grumpy, the world-is-a-war patriarch.  He's irritated and irritating, but I have a fondness for him.

The kids are all fine actors.  The stand-out is obviously Max, who is AMAZING as a child with Asbergers. He gives a really nuanced portrayal of a child who just isn't normal, and it never feels forced or coached.  This kid is going to win awards.  (Which I never would have guessed from watching him in Daddy Daycare.)

Plot-wise, it's solid and well-written for the most part. The dialogue is believable.  All of the characters have fairly relatable issues, with the exception of Crosby.  The biggest issue seems to be trying to cram major storylines for each of the siblings into every episode. It can seem like a really full show, even when nothing happens.

The best thing about this show for me, is hands-down, the sibling interaction. I have a sister I am very close to, and we have conversations like that.  I have two brothers as well, and while we don't get together as often as this clan does, when we do it's full of the laughing, and the inside jokes and the sharing of gossip, just like with this group.  The strongest scenes are the four siblings hanging out, such as the scene at Adam's where all the sibs show up, or the smoking scene outside the elementary school.

This show is definitely worth DVRing. The first two episodes were solid, the third a little weak, but better than most things you could be watching.