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Pilot Watch: Parenthood

The networks have announced their Fall schedules, but which series will be worth watching? Throughout the Summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. Note that a lot can change before a show actually makes it to air, so these aren't reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's pick: the NBC drama Parenthood.

The show's premiere has been moved to midseason due to Maura Tierney's medical issues, which is a little sad because I'm kind of excited about Parenthood now. I hope Tierney's surgery and recovery go smoothly!

What's it about? Loosely based on the Steve Martin movie of the same name, Parenthood focuses on the Braverman family, a group of wildly different adult siblings and their parents and children living near each other in Berkeley.

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Who's in it? Peter Krause, Maura Tierney, Monica Potter, Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard, Erika Christensen

The good: Jason Katims of Friday Night Lights wrote this script, and the man just knows how to write a TV show. By the end of the 50 minutes, I had a good sense of all of the characters and felt thoroughly invested in their lives. A lot of storylines are packed into this pilot, but it still felt well-paced. The big surprise to me was Shepard, who looks like exactly the right pick for the slacker Braverman brother.

The bad: Parenthood could run into the Brothers and Sisters problem, with too many characters and not enough time to show them all (especially the kids — I occasionally forgot about the existence of a child or two). The first episode is bleaker than I expected, with every character having his or her share of problems, and a little bit of humor could really help the show from getting too heavy.

Will I watch? Absolutely. At the end of the show, I felt a little sad and a little emotionally manipulated — but in a way that made me want to tune in again.

To watch a promo for the show and see some pictures of the cast, just

.


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Photos courtesy of NBC

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Linda-McP Linda-McP 7 years
Definitely on my to-watch list this fall. Pete Krause is always tops my list of favorites.
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