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The uncertain fate of 'Parenthood' leaves fans worried about losing a family

When Parenthood’s fifth season ended on April 17, armchair Bravermans around the country were left wondering if the final, tear-jerking hour was a season finale or a series finale. Almost a month later, we’re all still wondering, but we’re now — finally — mere moments away from knowing the fate of our favorite family.


Sometime in the next week, NBC will announce its lineup for next season, and like every year since it began, Parenthood is — ridiculously, surprisingly, absurdly — on the bubble (which makes me seriously question the powers that be at NBC and wonder if they have Grinch-size hearts and souls made entirely of bubble wrap). In all fairness, the president of NBC is a fan of the show and he’s hopeful they’ll be able to renew, as is the show’s creator. Here at EW.com, the “Death Watch” — updates on the fate of current network shows — leans heavily in Parenthood’s favor, but until I see the word “RENEWED” in green caps, I’ll continue holding my breath and trying my best not to completely break down at the thought of losing my Bravermans.


I’ve been down this road before. We all have. Ten years ago, we lost six of our favorite Friends and felt the hole they left in our lives for years. But that was different. They walked away on their own accord, on their own terms. Besides, they were our friends, not our family. Somehow that loss seemed, if not understood, expected. As trivial as it may sound, it’s different with the Bravermans. If Parenthood is (whispers) canceled, we’ll be losing an entire family and all that goes with it: the good, the bad and (in the case of Jasmine’s mother) even the overbearing. We love it all. To the fans, this show is real. It’s not always pretty. It’s not always happy. It can be scary and ugly and painful. But in all that anguish is the very thing that makes Parenthood come alive: its heart. And to stop it from beating would break mine.

Over the past three weeks, fans have flooded the Parenthood Facebook page and taken over Twitter with their hashtagged opinions (and possible medical emergencies) concerning the uncertain fate of our favorite family.

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Even the show’s stars don’t know what the future holds.

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(Although if Joel doesn’t get his act together in season 6, the fans might very well decide his fate for him. #dontletthedoorhityouonyourwayout)

Recently, the show’s official Twitter account posted this tweet, which was actually a quote from the season finale.

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Many fans went crazy with speculation.

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One even considered taking legal action. #yougogirl

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The fans are freaking out and speaking out, and with good reason. Losing Parenthood would be much more than losing a television show; it would be losing a mother and a father, sisters and brothers, children, cousins, heartaches, hopes, struggles and joys. And losing all those things would be heartbreaking, especially when there are still so many stories to be told. Because while it may be true that you can cancel a television show, you can’t just cancel a family. Especially when the family is so much bigger than what fits around that table.

PARENTHOOD family pic


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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