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'Parenthood': 10 reasons I want to be a Braverman

I have a confession to make. For an hour every week when I’m watching Parenthood, I pretend I am a Braverman. And if you’re a big enough fan to be reading this, I bet you’ve done it too.

As a child I always envied big families. Growing up with only one sibling and a small handful of cousins (who lived thousands of miles away), I never knew the chaos and madness of being part of a large, extended brood. And since I married a man with only two siblings and have only two children myself (who in turn have only a small handful of cousins who live thousands of miles away), it seems I’ll never find out — unless it’s Thursday night, when I happily take my position as an armchair member on Team Braverman.

Each week I find myself adding another entry to my mental list of reasons I want to be a part of their big, messy, fabulous family. Although the list has grown exponentially over the past four seasons, here are the 10 that are at the top:

1. The Luncheonette. Seriously, is there any place cooler than The Luncheonette? The impressive recording studio, the upstairs office that is bigger and better-decorated than my first apartment, the real working retro lunch counter, and the ghosts of some of the hippest recording artists in history keeping watch over it all. If I were a Braverman, it would be my favorite place to hang out. I feel cooler just looking at it every week.

2. Free babysitting. It seems like there’s never an issue finding an available babysitter when you’re a Braverman. The fact that they all seem to live about a mile apart from each other makes it especially convenient.

3. The Braverman family home. There are no adequate words to describe my love for Zeek and Camille’s home. The guesthouse, the patio, the covered porch and the kitchen — I want to put on my comfiest pair of sweats and drink hot tea on the well-worn leather sofa every time I see it (and I don’t even like tea). I refuse to accept the idea that it might be sold.

4. Zeek and Camille. Setting aside the absurd fact that Camille wants to sell my the family house and seems to be going through some serious mid-life melodrama that’s left me confused, I love and respect the head coaches of Team Braverman. Zeek and Camille have successfully achieved the perfect balance between involvement and respectful restraint: They are actively involved in their children’s lives without crossing the line into interfering (see: Jasmine’s mom). As someone who grew up without a father, I often envy the connections Zeek has with every member of his family, even outsiders like Ryan. Camille’s gentle guidance — as well as her keen ability to know when to step in or butt out — is something I admire and aspire to have with my own kids one day. (Still, I like to think I’d tell them before ripping their childhood home out from under them.)

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5. The fighting. Yep, even the fighting. Braverman family fights often get vicious, and I love every second of them. No one in the family shies away from saying what they really mean (I’m looking at you, Kristina). As someone who hates conflict and tends to internalize her anger, I’d love to get right in the middle of a classic Braverman brawl. Why? Because of Reason No. 6.

6. They forgive — quickly. There have been some seriously hurtful words flung around over the past four seasons, but by episode’s end, all is (usually) forgiven. I’ve lost track of how many times Kristina has given Sarah the silent treatment. Crosby and Adam have had so many disagreements, it’s a miracle they’re able to coexist at The Luncheonette (thank goodness for that enormous office). The Bravermans are a terrific example of the importance of letting the little things go — especially when it comes to family. Besides, they know that holding a grudge would seriously reduce the free babysitting options.

7. The talking. So much talking. As someone who only stops running her mouth when she’s sleeping, I’d fit right in as a fast-talking, overtalking, interrupting Braverman. Many people might find their chaotic, cacophonous conversations confusing, but I understand every word. These are my people (as evidenced by the previous sentence).

8. There’s never a shortage of shoulders. With a family the size of the Bravermans’, there’s always someone to lean on. Aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandparents and cousins: It doesn’t seem to matter what the size of the shoulder, there’s always one there for you. And no matter what may be going on in their personal lives (breast cancer, impending separation, fiancé suddenly leaving you), the Bravermans always show up for each other. Always.

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9. They stand up for each other. Rule No. 1 of Team Braverman? You have each other’s backs. Whether it be Crosby and Adam protecting their sister from Ed’s drunk and inappropriate behavior, or Kristina busting in to save Amber from the evil clutches of Bob Little (Jonathan Tucker), there is always a team member willing to fight your enemy to the death. (FYI, I pick Kristina first.)

10. The dance parties. When times get tough or stressful, the Braverman siblings just open some wine, crank up the tunes, and bust out the awkward ’80s moves to lighten the mood — because as everyone knows, an awkward awesome moonwalk after a few glasses of wine can solve anything…at least when you’re a Braverman.

Who else wants to join the family? Tell me a few of your reasons for wanting to be a Braverman in the comments below.

Read more of Michelle’s posts at You’re My Favorite Today!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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