Before Parenthood comes to an end, it celebrates its 100th episode tonight on NBC! TV Goodness was able to join the cast and crew on set for a celebration of this milestone, and had the chance to find out what kinds of things we might look for as the show draws to an end.
One thing thatâ€™s clear is how much the cast and crew have invested in this amazing show, and many of them have taken their own lessons from the Braverman clan. A few cast members told us what they think it means to be a Braverman and why this television family has resonated so well with fans:
Craig T. Nelson (Zeek): â€œ[The show] stays true to its emotion and its emotional content. I donâ€™t think it attempts to frivolize it or negate it any way. I think it tries to explore it and get at it honestly.â€
Erika Christensen (Julia): â€œAll the Bravermans are really great communicators. When thereâ€™s something that needs to be hashed out, they will get in the car and drive over there. And they will hash it out and not let it fester for months at a time. I think thatâ€™s something that we can all learn.â€
Monica Potter (Kristina): â€œEverybody has a storyline they can connect to. There are so many people going through the same things that the Bravermans go through.â€
Sam Jaeger (Joel): â€œBeing a Braverman is about going outside of your comfort zone and sacrificing your ego to do whatâ€™s right. And just doing things boldly. I think the Bravermans are nothing if not bold.â€
The two most emotional storylines this season are great examples of these points.
Zeekâ€™s health issues have already caused plenty of tears, and we wonâ€™t know exactly what to expect from his story for the 100th episode. It is also a storyline that has been hard on the cast. Nelson described it as â€œa lot of angst emotionally. Itâ€™s really hard. Itâ€™s a very hard storyline to do. I donâ€™t care for it. I donâ€™t like it.â€
Joel and Juliaâ€™s split has also caused plenty of heartbreak. It turns out the actors are just as upset about Joel and Julia as we all are. Jaeger called the story the â€œleast fun weâ€™ve had on the showâ€ but explained the importance of it for the characters and the show overall.
Jaeger: â€œWeâ€™re all fallible, and weâ€™re all forgivable. I think thatâ€™s what is most important about our show â€“ is that we show that. The peaks and valleys of life.â€
Christensen told us they didn’t think the storyline would go as far as it has. At first they just thought it would be a little bit of flirting [with David Denman’s Ed], which would be fun for them to shoot. However, they’ve come to appreciate such an interesting story for Julia and Joel.
Christensen: â€œWeâ€™ve come to really appreciate it and think itâ€™s really interesting. But we have shed tears on our own time.â€
Just what can we expect to happen for Joel and Julia? Obviously, we know theyâ€™ll struggle. This isnâ€™t going to be a tidy ending for them. Christensen and Jaeger both mentioned that the ball is pretty much in Juliaâ€™s court now, and that the decision will be difficult because of their kids. As for what Christensen would like to see happen, personally:
Christensen: â€œI want them back together for sure.â€ (So do we!)
Showrunner Jason Katims talked a bit about what it has meant for the show to come so far and what it feels like now that itâ€™s ending. He called the experience â€œincredibleâ€ and â€œbittersweet,â€ saying â€œweâ€™re all just diving in and trying to make these [last few] episodes great.â€
Potter calls the experience â€œbittersweetâ€ as well and talks about how the cast and crew has become a family over the years. Meanwhile, Nelson says his takeaways from the show are, â€œAll the people. Friends. Itâ€™s just been a great ride.â€
Yet another emotional storyline that has been present since the beginning of the show is Max Braverman’s story. Max Burkholder (Max) talked about its importance in the exposure of mental health issues like Aspergerâ€™s, saying it is â€œa very marginalized groupâ€ and â€œnot very popular to talk about.â€
Even one of the Parenthood kids had something to say about the end of the series.
Savannah Paige Rae (Sydney): â€œIâ€™ve enjoyed every minute and every second. I donâ€™t have a favorite moment. I really enjoy everything.â€
Katims expressed gratitude for the fans, who have helped Parenthood come so far:
Jason Katims: â€œThe main thing I want to say to the fans is thank you, because I donâ€™t think weâ€™d be here without them. I think that the show has had such a passionate, loyal fan base. If you think that the network isnâ€™t aware of that, youâ€™re wrong. Having the passion for the show that our fans have had, and the network knowing that they were going to stay by us, and knowing that our fan base was gonna be there is why weâ€™re here today. So weâ€™re indebted. And what weâ€™re trying to do is give the show a great ending and hopefully an ending that will be satisfying to us who are doing the show– and especially to the fans.â€
Here at TV Goodness, we wish Parenthood could go on forever. Since it canâ€™t, though, weâ€™re looking forward to the final episodes and the opportunity to re-watch them all over again.
Preview of tonight’s 100th episode:
Synopsis for “How Did We Get Here?”: THE BRAVERMANS RALLY IN THE FACE OF CRISIS- Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) is rushed to the hospital and the entire family hurries to his side. As Adam (Peter Krause) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) nervously await news of Zeek’s health, a serious emergency at The Luncheonette pulls them away. At the hospital, Joel (Sam Jaeger) sticks by Julia (Erika Christensen), offering unwavering support, and further blurring the lines of their relationship.
Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.
–Additional reporting by Amanda Steinmetz
MORE PHOTOS FROM TONIGHT’S EPISODE
Photo Credit for Images: Colleen Hayes/NBC
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