There’s a new show on NBC called Parenthood.  It’s in the same dramedy vain as the 1989 movie of the same name directed by Ron Howard, and Howard is an executive producer on the TV series.  It’s on Tuesday nights, and although Tuesdays are knitting night and not a good TV night for me, it’s been available for free On Demand, and Tim and I have watched the first four episodes together.  We watched episodes three and four today in fact.

I swear this show has me in tears every episode.  I’m not sure what it is about it, but it touches me in a way that’s unlike other shows.  I can relate to the characters–the moms, the dads and the kids too.  They all seem like such real people.  It’s a credit to the writing for sure, and the acting.  It’s not often you see shows where the parents aren’t perfect TV family people (or the opposite extreme where they’re off-the-wall incompetent goofs).  The parents in this show are multi-dimensional–vulnerable, funny, trying their hardest, but unsure.

It makes for entertaining TV, and I especially enjoy watching it with Tim.  At the end of both of the episodes we watched today, the siblings and their families were all gathered together in the show’s final scene.  Episode three ended with them all playing in a pool.  At the end of episode four of the siblings were grilling out at their parents’ house–the brothers, the brother-in-law and the nephew engaged in a game of basketball.

I turned to Tim and said, “This makes me sad.  All their family is in one place.”

“I was just thinking that same thing,” he said.

“Our families are so far away.  We’ll never have that.”

“Most people don’t have that,” Tim said.  “It wouldn’t make for a very good show if the families didn’t all live in the same city.”

I know he’s right.  No matter how “realistic” the storylines and characters, it’s still fiction.  It’s just TV.  But even so, it makes me sad that our families are so far away.  Since my parents are in Illinois and Tim’s are in Florida, I don’t see us ever living close to both of our families. Sure, we can create community where ever we are.  We can have a support network of friends.  Still, it’s not the same as being able to meet your sister for coffee just to chat, or drop by her house for advice–not to mentioning sharing babysitting and having our parents nearby to lend a helping hand.  Tonight, I miss my family.

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