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Case Number 19682

Buy Parenthood: Season One at Amazon

Parenthood: Season One

Universal // 2010 // 570 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // September 15th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Franck Tabouring doesn't know much about parenthood, but he thanks his parents for succeeding with him.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Parenthood: Special Edition (published April 30th, 2007) and Parenthood: Season Two (published September 18th, 2011) are also available.

The Charge

Meet the most compelling family on television.

Opening Statement

Parenthood is undoubtedly one of the better shows on network television. The intriguing depth of its main characters and the brilliant cast are just two of many reasons why this series is such a refreshing experience. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are on board as executive producers, and, so far, they can be proud of the work they've done. Parenthood: Season 1 is now available on DVD, and if you missed it on TV, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up and get hooked.

Facts of the Case

The series follows the Berkeley based Braverman family as they try to deal with the ups and downs of everyday life. This DVD set includes the first season's thirteen episodes, as listed below:

• "Pilot"
• "Man versus Possum"
• "The Deep End of the Pool"
• "Whassup"
• "The Situation"
• "The Big 'O'"
• "What's Going on Down There?"
• "Rubber Band Ball"
• "Perchance to Dream"
• "Namaste No More"
• "Solace"
• "Team Braverman"
• "Lost and Found"

The Evidence

As Parenthood kicks off, single mother Sarah (Lauren Graham) and her two kids Amber (Mae Whitman) and Drew (Miles Heizer) are moving back to Berkeley to forget about their hard times in Fresno and start over with the help of Sarah's parents Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia). That's also when we meet Sarah's siblings Crosby (Dax Shepard), Adam (Peter Krause), and Julia (Erika Christensen), who are all trying their best to raise their children, adapt to unexpected situations, hold on to their dreams, and deal with everything else that can put pressure on their relationships.

Some of the events the Bravermans face may be a tad exaggerated to boost the show's dramatic effect every once in a while, but all in all, these are problems we all have dealt or may at one stage deal with in our lives. Whether it's having sex for the first time, protecting the interests of our children, reigniting a faded romance, dealing with the pressure of careers, adapting to someone having an incurable illness, or simply being there at all times for a quick chat or to help, there's always something going on in the Braverman family.

It becomes pretty clear that the central theme of Parenthood is the importance of family. While the messages the show conveys sound quite familiar to most of us spectators, I must admit that the way they are portrayed in the series is both inspiring and utterly sincere. The reason why Parenthood works so well is the emphasis on strong character development, and each of the people on screen boasts a unique honesty that's simply too hard to ignore. These characters are as flawed as everyone else in this world, and the balance of strength and weakness they display throughout the season makes them both likable and intriguing to watch.

Essentially, Parenthood captures the emotions families go through when faced with major life changes that require them to reexamine who they really are as human beings. The series does a wonderful job at showing how the members of the Braverman clan struggle to grow as an individuals and protect their loved ones, and luckily enough, most of their reactions and responses to the everyday problems they face remain realistic throughout the season. In other words, this is a show with a lot of heart and soul, and as the stakes rise in each episode, we feel more and more comfortable with the characters we've grown so attached to.

Yes, in one way or another, Parenthood can make you feel like you're part of this family. We as the audience get a better look at the real feelings the Bravermans carry, and as a result, it's pretty easy for us to identify with at least one of them. Naturally, this all works so well thanks to the excellent writing and superb acting. The cast in particular is what makes this show so addictive, and to be honest, this fine group of actors does a tremendous job at creating characters we want to keep watching. Put simply, it's an immense pleasure to watch these folks harmonize and argue on screen. I don't want to single anybody because they're all in their element at all times. Even the kid actors deliver near-perfect performances.

Good actors deserve to look good, and for a television show, Parenthood definitely looks great. This DVD set provides a clean 1.77:1 widescreen presentation boasting a sharp picture quality and a pristine audio transfer. Besides a couple of deleted scenes and an audio commentary for the pilot, the bonus material also includes an excellent 13-minute behind-the-scenes look with cast and crew interviews.

Closing Statement

By now, you know I'm in love with this series. It's got a natural feeling to it that makes it flow well and stay as close to real life as possible, and it features a bunch of compelling characters you simply can't stop watching. A mixture of down-to-earth comedy and realistic drama, Parenthood deserves a lot of recognition. This is excellent network television.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 89
Audio: 90
Extras: 80
Acting: 95
Story: 89
Judgment: 89

Perp Profile

Studio: Universal
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 570 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Drama
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Episode Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Featurette

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Official Site








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