Made for television
Parenthood is killing me.
Not the real life gig, of course– which, by the way, I really, really love– but the show (that was inspired by the movie that I remember watching over and over as a little kid and is responsible for my knowledge of all eleventy billion verses of a song that begins “when you’re sliding into first…”).
It isn’t real. It isn’t even fake masquerading as real, a la 90% of television today. I know it isn’t real, because real isn’t so flawlessly beautiful just a few weeks postpartum– I’m looking at you, Kristina Braverman— or as consistently witty and sarcastic and casually but impeccably dressed (
Lorelai Gilmore Sarah B., I would like to steal your clothes. Or to be you. Either way.).
I get it. It’s simply T.V., and T.V. isn’t real. Ever.
But something about it sure does feel right.
Like when Seth really figured out that his life might have been different– and that his family might have been happier– if he’d made healthier choices? I think that episode enabled me to do a little bit of forgiving and understanding that I’ve struggled with up until now. Also, I cried and cried.
And when Crosby realized that he was going to have to share his child with Jasmine’s new boyfriend, I was finally able to imagine how incredibly painful that whole joint custody thing must have been for my parents…and I cried and cried. And called my mom and cried some more.
And when Amber opened the envelope full of missed birthday cards at the end of last night’s episode…well, I cried and cried. And cried. Eighteen hours later, I’m still, in fact, crying.
You know how really good poetry manages to reach right in and mash on your heart/brain? I think it’s because all of the excess– extra letters and words and ideas that are so abundant in real life– disappears, and you only have to deal with the essentials. And I guess that’s what I like about the show, too: within the confines of a very safe and contained one-hour time slot, I get to experience (and re-experience) all of this painful and beautiful and almost real (albeit totally idealized) stuff via characters who handle things the way I wish I could have. And until I have my own scriptwriters and make-up artists and a sweet little trailer full of all of my favorite snacks, I’ll keep making messes and miscommunicating and doing my best not to muck things up– and I’ll keep tuning in, every Tuesday, to watch my show and cry :).
My mom and I have both clearly had T.V. on the brain this week, and I’m curious: Have you tasted the Parenthood Kool-Aid yet? Are you hooked? Are there any other shows– on or off of the air– that regularly land(ed) you in ugly-cry territory?