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BuzzFeed: “Parenthood” Came Full Circle In Its Perfect Series Finale

  Farewell, Team Braverman. It couldn't be more fitting that  Parenthood , which wrapped up its six-season run on Jan. 29, ended with a baseball game. The pilot episode of the Jason Katims-created show ( very  loosely based on the 1989 feature film) ended in the same fashion: After a negative experience, Max Braverman (Max Burkholder) doesn't initially want to play in his baseball game, but when he changes his mind, the entire Braverman clan races to get him there in time.  There's a beautiful sense of symmetry, therefore, to how  Parenthood 's final episode ended, with the Bravermans uniting to celebrate one of their own, Zeek (Craig T. Nelson), on the baseball diamond, fulfilling his wishes and bringing each other closer together in the process. With the series bookended both by the most American of sports — Crosby (Dax Shepard) once refers to baseball as the Bravermans' "religion" — and by Sarah (Lauren Graham) finding her true place (moving in with her

BuzzFeed: "Why Season 5 Of Parenthood Is The Perfect Jumping On Point"

The season opener of NBC’s 300-hanky drama is everything you want it to be: joyful, uplifting, and emotional. But, for those of you who have missed out on television’s most underrated show, this episode offers the perfect opportunity to get hooked. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "Why Season 5 Of Parenthood Is The Perfect Jumping On Point," in which I review the fifth season opener of NBC's Parenthood , which will satisfy longtime fans of this remarkable show while also providing the perfect access point for new viewers. It’s no surprise that the fifth season opener of Parenthood — which airs Thursday, September 26 on NBC — generates some tears. Parenthood, overseen by Jason Katims ( Friday Night Lights ) and revolving around the sprawling Braverman clan of Berkeley, California, is now virtually synonymous with emotional catharsis, after all. As I stand on the precipice of my own impending parenthood, it’s the show that compe

The Daily Beast: "Parenthood: In Praise of Season 4, Monica Potter, and More"

Following the conclusion of the show’s fourth season, I examine NBC’s underrated Parenthood and offer why television needs a fifth season of this remarkable drama. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Parenthood : In Praise of Season 4, Monica Potter, and More," in which I sum up my feelings about the fourth season of NBC's Parenthood and praise the show's subtlety and bravery. Dry your eyes: it’s time to celebrate this season of NBC’s Parenthood, not to mourn it. The show’s fourth season, which concluded Tuesday night, was arguably its best to date, one that captured the emotional highs and lows of family life with bravery, subtlety, and realism. Overall, Season 4 was both somber and uplifting—often at the same time—depicting and playing with the notion of change, as seen through the adults and children of the sprawling Braverman family. Change, as we know, comes in many forms: from the pangs of puberty and the leap into adulthood to th

The Daily Beast: "The 10 Best TV Shows of 2012: Borgen, Girls, Parenthood, Mad Men, and More"

From Borgen to Downton Abbey to Girls , Jace Lacob and Maria Elena Fernandez pick the 10 best TV shows of the year. Warning : may contain spoilers if you are not entirely caught up on the shows discussed here. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The 10 Best TV Shows of 2012," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer up our individual Top 10 TV Shows lists for 2012. My list, not surprisingly, contains shows like Borgen, Mad Men, The Good Wife, Louie, Parks and Recreation, Shameless , and others. What was on your list this year? Now is the winter of our (TV) discontent. After a fall season that largely failed to deliver on the promise of new shows—and, in some cases, returning programs as well—it’s time to take a look back at the year in television as a whole, as we try to remove such canceled shows as Partners, The Mob Doctor, and Made in Jersey from our collective memory. But rather than dwell on the very worst of the year (ABC’s Work It!),

The Daily Beast: "Borgen, The Thick of It, Bond: What to Watch During the Thanksgiving Weekend"

Clear the table, do the dishes, hit the couch—TV is ready for you, with a slew of marathons, miniseries and specials, from Borgen to Bond, from Sherlock to Louie . I offer my take on what to watch on TV and online this weekend. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Borgen, The Thick of It , Bond: What to Watch During the Thanksgiving Weekend," in which I round up some notable television marathons ( Borgen ! Bond!) as well as selections from Hulu, Netflix, and on linear television, to keep you occupied (or offer you an escape) this holiday weekend. Thanksgiving isn’t just about gorging yourself on turkey and pumpkin pie--it’s also about getting prostrate on the couch after stuffing yourself … or getting away from your family for a few hours in front of the television. Fortunately, the television networks have realized that everyone during the long Thanksgiving weekend is in search of escape of some kind, and have gone out of their way to offer a

The Daily Beast: "Parenthood: In Praise of Ray Romano"

Everybody loves Raymond, after all. I praise Ray Romano’s stunning performance as grumpy photographer Hank Rizzoli on NBC’s Parenthood , and declare myself a fan. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Parenthood : In Praise of Ray Romano," in which I do just that: praise the outstanding performance of Romano on NBC's underrated drama Parenthood , and discover that I am a Romano fan, after all. I have never been a Ray Romano fan. That seems like a good place to start. I couldn’t stomach Everybody Loves Raymond, Romano’s long-running CBS sitcom and, despite the coaxing of many critic friends, I never got into his short-lived TNT drama Men of a Certain Age. Romano has always seemed far too nebbishy and whiny for my liking. While that’s worked for him, I had never fallen for the comedian’s charms. That has changed irrevocably with Romano’s fantastic turn on Parenthood, which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Thanks to his performance on the Jason Katims-c

The Daily Beast: "Homeland, Justified, Downton Abbey and More: The Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011"

At The Daily Beast, it's finally time for my Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011 list: with 10 shows up for recognition as the best (including Justified, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Community, Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife , and more) and five for worst of 2011. (Plus, you can also compare my Best/Worst picks to my colleague Maria Elena Fernandez's.) Head over to The Daily Beast to read my latest feature, " Homeland, Justified, Downton Abbey and More: The Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011," which--as the title indicates--rounds up the best and worst television that 2011 had to offer. Warning: the story may contain spoilers if you are not entirely caught up on the shows discussed here. What is your take on our lists? Did your favorite/least favorite shows make the cut? Head to the comments section to discuss and debate.

The Daily Beast: "The Teens of Parenthood"

In NBC’s Parenthood , the show’s teens--including Mae Whitman, Sarah Ramos, and Miles Heizer--often walk away with the most heartbreaking and emotional storylines. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "TV's Most Talented Teens" (formerly known as "The Teens of Parenthood "), in which I sit down with Whitman, Ramos, and Heizer to discuss their characters, on-set camaraderie, and, yes, the haircut that launched a thousand tweets. Parenthood returns with new episodes tonight at 10 pm ET/PT on NBC.

The Daily Beast: "The Fall TV Season Begins!"

Time to head back to the couch, America. The fall TV season is here and all of your favorite shows—from The Walking Dead and The Good Wife to Dexter and Boardwalk Empire —and a slew of new ones are soon heading to a TV set near you. Will you find Ringer to be the second coming of Sarah Michelle Gellar… or is it the second coming of Silk Stalkings ? Time will tell, but at least your TV favorites are back with brand new seasons, and lots of plot twists. To refresh your memory after the long summer, over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "The Fall TV Season Begins!," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I round up a guide to the good and bad times of last season--or in this case, 23 cliffhangers--and offer a peek into what’s coming next this fall.

Quick Thoughts on Tonight's Parenthood Season Premiere

I had hoped to have a full review of tonight's fantastic Parenthood season opener ("I Don't Want to Do This Without You"), but unfortunately I'm being pulled in a thousand directions at the moment, so you'll have to settle for a glowing (if brief) recommendation to tune in tonight when this remarkable and emotionally powerful series returns for its third season. Five months have passed since we last saw the sprawling Braverman clan, and change is in the air for nearly all of the family members. Adam (Peter Krause) is still out of work and has been reduced to loafing around the house and going on interviews for jobs that he doesn't really want and is over qualified for, having lost his purpose and identity as the family's breadwinner; Kristina (Monica Potter), meanwhile, is quite pregnant and quite capable of bringing home the bacon, having gone back to work. It's interesting to see how the dynamic between the two of them has shifted so considera

The Daily Beast: "The Emmy Awards’ 10 Biggest Snubs"

The nominations are out: Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, Friday Night Lights , and Mad Men get their shot at the awards, while Community , Nick Offerman, and many others are shut out. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled, "The Emmy Awards’ 10 Biggest Snubs," in which I examine shows and actors were snubbed by the TV Academy. Plus, view our gallery of the nominees . The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be televised live on September 18th on Fox.

The Daily Beast: "Why You Must Watch Parenthood"

So, wait, you're not watching Parenthood ? NBC’s Parenthood is not the most glamorous show on television. Its focus, charting the lives of a sprawling Berkeley, California family, might pale in comparison to, say, Desperate Housewives ’ antics on Wisteria Lane. There are no murders, no swapped babies, and no satirical, over the top look at domesticity here. Which is to say: enough is enough. This is a show that you should be watching, regardless of whether you're a parent yourself or a teenager. (Or, even if you're well past your teen years.) Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Why You Must Watch Parenthood ," which discusses the reasons why you have to watch NBC’s criminally underrated drama Parenthood , which captures the highs and lows of family life. On tonight's episode of Parenthood ("Do Not Sleep With Your Autistic Nephew's Therapist"), Crosby deals with backlash from his mistake; Alex's constant visits ir

The Amazing Andy: Michael Emerson Steals the Show on Tonight's Parenthood

While tonight's episode of Parenthood makes mention of the "Amazing Andy," it's the amazing Michael Emerson ( Lost ) who should be singled out for praise here. It's been far too long since Emerson--who brought depth and grit to his portrayal of the Machiavellian Benjamin Linus on Lost --has been on my television set, so I was overjoyed to learn that he would be appearing in an episode of NBC's woefully underrated Parenthood as the Amazing Andy. Emerson is the sort of actor that comes around but once in a lifetime, the gifted artisan who manages to walk off with every scene in his pocket so effortlessly. Tonight's superb episode of Parenthood ("Amazing Andy and His Wonderful World of Bugs") gives Emerson the chance to play a very different sort of character than Benjamin Linus or, indeed, like any other that we've seen Emerson play in his vast career. While the episode deftly balances several plotlines--including Drew bonding with his e

The Daily Beast: "TV's Winners and Losers"

Where did the broadcasters go wrong this season, and what did they do right? Good question. Head over to The Daily Beast, where you can read my latest piece, "TV's Winners and Losers," as I break down the network's performance in the 2009-10 season and (via a nifty gallery) take a look at the season's winners--including Modern Family, Chuck, Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Bones, Parenthood, NCIS (and NCIS: Los Angeles), The Good Wife , and others--and the losers (such as FlashForward, Heroes, Melrose Place and medical dramas in general, as well as the draws. Where did your favorite series end up on the list? And what's your take on the 2009-10 season? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Meet the Press: Angela Bromstad and Jeff Gaspin Talk NBC's Fall Schedule

While NBC's upfront presentation isn't scheduled to get under way until tomorrow morning, the Peacock's top brass did answer some questions about the schedule and the new programming announced earlier today . Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, and Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios, hosted a conference call with reporter this afternoon, to discuss NBC's fall schedule, its new pickups, and other programming and scheduling issues. While I won't recap the entire call, here are a few tidbits from that call, organized by topic, from Chuck and Law & Order to Parenthood and The Event . Chuck : " Chuck came out of the wild card and performed very well for us," said Bromstad. "We think it will come back stronger in the fall." "Where we felt we could be consistent this year, we felt we should, which is why Chuck stayed on Mondays at 8," said Gaspin. Chase

Channel Surfing: HBO Returns to Curb, NBC Has Faith in Parenthood, Top Gear Heads to US, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. HBO yesterday announced that it had renewed Larry David vehicle Curb Your Enthusiasm for an eighth season of ten episodes, slated to air in 2011. Production will begin this summer in New York and Los Angeles. "After much soul searching – and by the way, it was nowhere to be found – I have decided to do another season of Curb ,” said Larry David in a statement. "I look forward to the end of shooting, when I can once again resume the hunt for my elusive soul. I know itʼs here somewhere or perhaps in the rugged mountainous regions of Pakistan." The renewal was announced by Michael Lombardo, president, Programming Group and West Coast Operations, HBO. "Larry always loves to paint himself into a corner, and after the incredibly wonderful seventh season of Curb , you have to ask, "How does he ever top this?' But he always finds a way," said Lombardo. "We canʼt wait to see what he does in season e

Family Drama: An Advance Review of NBC's "Parenthood"

NBC seems to be positioning Parenthood , the second attempt to remake Ron Howard's 1989 feature film as a weekly television series, as a comedy-drama but after watching the first episode, I was hard pressed to find much mirth among the melodrama. Parenthood , from writer/executive producer Jason Katims ( Friday Night Lights ), has had a number of hurdles to overcome. Originally slated to launch last fall, production was suspended due to then-series co-star Maura Tierney's treatment for breast cancer. She was later replaced by Gilmore Girls ' Lauren Graham and the series was given a 9 pm timeslot spot in the spring. But the Jay Leno Show fiasco at the Peacock meant that the series would now become part of NBC's attempts to salvage the post-watershed hour. After being promoted heavily during the Olympics, Parenthood will now get its shot at NBC's contentious 10 pm hour but whether anyone will be laughing remains to be seen. The series revolves around a sprawling B

The Daily Beast: "Hollywood Takes on Autism"

Over at The Daily Beast, you can find my latest piece, entitled "Hollywood Takes on Autism." The article explores the portrayals of people with autism spectrum disorders in pop culture, from films like Dear John and Adam to television series like Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, Community , and The Big Bang Theory . I also talk to some of theses projects' creators--including Community creator Dan Harmon and Parenthood showrunner Jason Katims--about why they are--or aren't--labeling their characters as autistic. Head to the comments section to be sure and let me know what your take is on this trend and whether it matters or not that these characters are labeled or whether it's the discussion of neurodiversity that their presence creates that's far more important.

Channel Surfing: Michael Trucco "Facing Kate," "Desperate Housewives" Gets FlashForward, Showtime Announces Series Returns, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Former Battlestar Galactica star Michael Trucco has been cast in USA drama pilot Facing Kate , where he will play the charismatic ex-husband to Kate, a former lawyer (Sarah Shahi) who leaves her job to become a mediator after the death of her father. Also cast: Virginia Williams ( Lie to Me ), who will play Kate's younger stepmother, a domineering woman who is desperate to hold onto her late husband's law firm. Bronwen Hughes will direct the pilot, which hails from Universal Cable Prods. ( Hollywood Reporter ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Desperate Housewives will offer a flashforward of sorts in their first episode after the December 6th cliffhanger that will explore several "what if" scenarios. "Two Wisterians featured prominently in the alternate reality sequences will be Gaby and Carlos’ youngest daughter, Celia, and Mike and Susan’s son, MJ," writes Ausiello. "

Channel Surfing: Tricia Helfer Sets Sights on "Two and a Half Men," Lauren Graham Talks "Parenthood," Alan Ball on "True Blood" Season Three, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Battlestar Galactica star (and Maxim cover girl) Tricia Helfer will guest star in an upcoming episode of CBS comedy Two and a Half Men , where she will play a friend of Charlie's fiancee. "Natch, when Chelsea hears her bosomy buddy is recovering from a breakup," writes Ausiello, "she insists that she do so at Casa Harper." Helfer's episode is slated to air November 16th. [Editor: while I love that Helfer is working steadily, can we please land her a series regular gig ASAP?] ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) SPOILER ALERT! TVGuide.com's Natelie Abrams talks to True Blood executive producer Alan Ball about what's coming on Season Three of the HBO vampire drama, set to air next summer. "It's a crazy season," Ball told Abrams. "It picks up right where we left off and things get weird really fast." [