Parenthood finally begins in the US next week on NBC.
It follows the spin-off of the movie being pushed back due to the recasting of the role originally given to Maura Tierney. Laura Graham stepped into the role after Tierney was forced to drop out to undergo treatment for breast cancer.
Early reviews are mixed, noting the show has as much drama as humour, but critics are optimistic it has room to develop.
Seven has the Aussie rights for this one, which is executive produced by Ron Howard.
The Hollywood Reporter said:
But “Parenthood’s” secret weapon is its vibrant cast members, many of whom have at least one long-running TV series on their resumes. There’s Craig T. Nelson as the overbearing paterfamilias, Peter Krause as the family lightning rod and black sheep Lauren Graham, who has moved into her parents’ home with her kids. This trio alone is worth the price of admission, being among the most expressive, charming, wide-ranging TV stalwarts working today. Setting them up as show gatekeepers makes “Parenthood” instantly likable. Nonetheless, the pilot is a jumble of interrelated half plots, with a tone that veers wildly from only-in-a-sitcom situation (one son reluctantly agrees to father a child with his girlfriend, then a moment later learns he’s already got one with an ex — d’oh!) to facile dramatic pauses (Krause’s son’s evident learning disability earns virtual instant acceptance by all generations). Clearly, “Parenthood” needs room to grow.
Salt Lake Tribune said:
For anyone who has kids — or just remembers being one — raising children is full of quirky, sometimes knee-slapping moments that are permanently burned in our memories. ABC’s offbeat comedy, “Modern Family,” shows off those moments well. “Parenthood” — at least in the episode available for review — exhibited more drama than comedy, seemingly more interested in conveying the more noble gestures of parenting than what we saw in Howard’s blockbuster movie. But this is early, and the seeds of a good comedy -drama are there. Perhaps, like a good parent, the network can nurture this series into something it can be proud of.
“Parenthood” is executive-produced by Jason Katims, who also wrote Tuesday’s premiere and has been the guiding force behind “Friday Night Lights.” But anyone expecting as nuanced a portrayal as the family of Coach Taylor on “Lights” may be disappointed. “Parenthood” is so over-stuffed with characters that depictions of the realistic, messy details of family life get squeezed out in favor of broader strokes. With the re-casting of Graham, producers were also able to lighten up the overall tone of “Parenthood.” The original Tierney pilot was an all-around downer (and she was the best thing about that first pilot), and the show now has a more upbeat vibe. But after a day of dealing with family in real life, it remains to be seen how eager viewers will be to rehash the messiness of modern-day parenting in prime time.