Cage match: Parenthood vs. Modern Family. But to be fair, I’ve watched both seasons to air so far of Parenthood and only one disk of Modern Family. So I’m not fully versed in Modern Family.
There seem to be more family-centric shows surfacing these days. If the 90’s – 00’s were all about singletons and urban families then this decade is all about families. Maybe that’s because the people writing these shows see that their audience/target demographics are growing up. Me and my husband are part of their target audience. In the last decade it was all Sex and the City and Friends. And while I’m not quite at the Parenthood stage of my life yet, I am married and finding myself settled and living at the more “boring adult” stuff in life (I put it in quotes because I’m far from bored).
Part 1 (Parenthood) will be posted today. Tomorrow will be Part 2 (Modern Family)
I first added Parenthood to the Netflix queue for two reasons. 1. Because Hulu Plus doesn’t have first first season in their catalog (boo and hiss) and 2. I confused it with Modern Family. An easy mistake to make just as Entertainment Weekly pointed out. They did try to squeeze the two shows into the same genre. But Parenthood has a lot of heart. I find it impossible to watch this show and not care about these characters as if they were actual people. I think this comes down to the dialog and the acting. Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson, Peter Krause, Mae Whitman, and sure…I’ll even throw Dax Shepard in there because he really proves himself in this show. The dialog really flows and sounds natural. It sort of reminds me a bit of Gilmore Girls, but with less coffee. You know when you’re talking to someone and your having a conversation how you sometimes talk over each other’s sentences? That’s how dialog goes sometimes on this show – natural. They even argue like real people.
However, as my husband is fond of saying about this show, the alternate name could easily be #whitepeopleproblems. I mean, they live in Berkely, California. All the kids have money. In the first season the grandfather (Craig T. Nelson) has money problems (from a bad investment which probably took a lot of money in the first place!) and a lot of references are made to the bad economy, but it’s still white collar problems. And in fact I don’t even remember a resolution to that story line.
Now, I’m not saying every show needs to be gritty and “real”. This family represents tons of families that exist. In fact I can relate to many members of this family; particularly Haddie the teenage daughter of Adam and Kristina. She reminds me of me as a teenager. Everything was a battle between me and my parents despite feeling like I had everything under control and being a generally pretty responsible kid. And now as an adult and married person I get some of what goes on between the other married couples on the show.
After watching two seasons of the show I don’t feel like anything has gotten stale or boring like some of these shows. Sometimes plot resolutions are too quick for my taste, but it’s preferable to dragging on. The drama isn’t too heavy and the comedic moments are true gems.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s review of Modern Family!
(Parenthood’s second season is available on Hulu)