Tuesday, January 22, 2013

'Parenthood' Finale Review - 4.15 Because You're My Sister

        On the season finale of NBC's Parenthood, Jasmine and Crosby plan an anniversary get away and receive exciting news; Kristina and Adam prepare for the next phase of her treatment; Drew learns the results of his college applications; Amber and Ryan discuss their future; Joel and Julia plan an event for the entire family; and Sarah is forced to choose between Mark and Hank.

        Since Parenthood is bound to perennially be an on-the-bubble type of show, the season finale has to be grounded in every story that has come before while at the same time being a fitting sendoff for these characters if it were to in fact be the series finale of the show. Thusly, every single plot thread that has been building throughout this stunning season is touched on throughout the hour. In the end, most everything is wrapped up very nicely with everyone seemingly happy with where they are in their lives in those closing moments. It's in those types of moments that Parenthood pulls off so effortlessly and makes it standout amongst the rest of the television landscape. Yes, a lot of stuff happened in this episode - hell, whole lives were changed - and yet the pacing exuded this breezy confidence. The stakes and tension were there but throughout most of the hour we were left rooting for all of these characters to find their own kind of happiness. And luckily, the show delivers on that promise and gives a satisfying conclusion to an overall strong season.
        So let's recap all that happened here: Kristina is cancer free and enjoying life with Adam in Hawaii; Julia and Joel officially adopted Victor and he called Julia, mom and Sydney, his sister; Jasmine is pregnant; Crosby apologized to Renee; Amber and Ryan are back together and looking at rings; Sarah chose Hank before he decided to leave for Minnesota; Drew got into Berkeley; and Zeek is standing about being proud of everything that his family is accomplishing.
        With all that plot happening all at once, this episode certainly could have felt overstuffed with plot developments feeling rushed due to timing and the need to touch on everything. But this finale doesn't suffer from that issue. Each respective plot is given exactly their due time on screen and are weaved together beautifully. How nuanced this form of storytelling is is almost beyond belief. It is so fantastic. Sure, you get the big family sequence where everyone tells Victor how they will be there for him but then you also get those smaller moments like Kristina re-meeting her cancer friend. In the past, I haven't been too thrilled by certain characters or plot devices but here everything that I complained about seems to actually work well.
        The prospects are high for this series and it rightfully deserves another season of entertaining us. I am not ready to say goodbye to the Braverman gang and I bet most of you aren't ready for that either. Sure, we may only get a 13-15 episode season but still this show deserves that opportunity and it seems like the network and critics and fans are all unanimous in that. Let's make it happen!

So what did everyone think of the finale? I don't usually comment on the soundtrack but the music in this hour was fantastic, right? How many times did you get misty-eyed? This show deserves another season most definitely! Share your thoughts in the comments.