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The best show you're not watching

March 8, 2012 - Erin O'Neill
Given the title of this blog, "Baby Steps," it probably comes as no surprise that I would be interested in how other parents handle day-to-day life with children.

When the TV is not tuned into the vapid wasteland I call the Disney Channel, I occasionally get to sneak in a program I like to watch. Of course I am addicted to the Investigation Discovery channel, Biography, HGTV and History, but every Tuesday night if I can manage it, I tune in to witness the trials and tribulations of the Braverman clan on NBC's "Parenthood."

The show is the creation of Ron Howard, aka "Opie," who directed a movie of the same name in the 1980s starring Steve Martin. While I thought the movie was funny and well-acted, "Parenthood" the series just has something extra - some special touch of magic. It stars a myriad of amazing accomplished actors like Lauren Graham, her real-life beau Peter Krause, who stars as her brother oddly enough, Craig T. Nelson, Bonnie Bedelia and a gaggle of young folks to round out the crazy hippie family. Now I don't know if they're really hippies - they live in Berkeley, Calif. and mom Camille (Bedelia) throws off that funky vibe - but the family seems to lean to the left.

There is so much going on in this show but by the end of each episode, I am left wanting more. Of course, as with any show, you tend to cling to particular characters or storylines but the creators of "Parenthood," which includes Jason Katims of "Friday Night Lights" fame, have made every aspect of the show so interesting.

"Parenthood" takes on some pretty heavy issues - interracial relationships, single parenting, adoption, Asperger's Syndrome, infidelity - but does so with such heart. I am guaranteed to cry and yell at the TV during every episode. I don't know how they do it, but the creators have formed characters that every single person can relate to on some level.

That's why it's difficult to believe that "Parenthood," which just wrapped its third season early with a finale that left nothing up in the air, is in such jeopardy of becoming another fan favorite that gets the boot. Yes, "Parenthood" is on the bubble and I had no idea what that meant until the other day. It's not good, folks.

Maybe Katims is cursed since "Friday Night Lights" suffered pretty much the same fate. But I refuse to believe that I will never see if Haddie gets to go to Cornell, if Amber will ever get her act together, if Crosby and Jasmine can make it work (my hope is "not" since they are both kind of ridiculous and together they are doubly so), or if Sarah sticks it out with Mr. Cyr.

If the TV gods hear my plea, please get rid of Snooki and save "Parenthood" instead.


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