Episodes: 103 (hour)
TV show dates: March 2, 2010 — January 29, 2015
Series status: Ended
Performers include: Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, Mae Whitman, Miles Heizer, Craig T. Nelson, Bonnie Bedelia, Erika Christensen, Sam Jaeger, Dax Shepard, Joy Bryant, Monica Potter, Sarah Ramos, and Max Burkholder.
TV show description:
Sarah Braverman (Lauren Graham) is a financially strapped single mother. She packs up her Fresno apartment and uproots her two inconvenienced kids, Amber (Mae Whitman) and Drew (Miles Heizer), to make a big move back home to Berkeley to be closer to her family.
Sarah is greeted by her larger-than-life and headstrong father, Zeek (Craig T. Nelson), and her pillar-of-strength mother, Camille (Bonnie Bedelia). Unbeknown to Sarah, her stable parents are privately dealing with marital issues.
Meanwhile, Sarah’s sister and complete antithesis, Julia (Erika Christensen) is a successful corporate attorney who juggles work and motherhood, alongside her stay-at-home husband, Joel (Sam Jaeger).
Sarah’s younger brother is commitment-phobic Crosby (Dax Shepard) who must suddenly contend with accepting adult responsibility when an old flame, Jasmine (Joy Bryant) shows up unexpectedly and he must re-evaluate his priorities.
Still, it’s Adam (Peter Krause), the oldest Braverman sibling, who must relinquish his preconceived expectations about what constitutes a “normal” family. He, his wife Kristina (Monica Potter), and teenage daughter Haddie (Sarah Ramos) learn that eccentric little brother Max (Max Burkholder) is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Although each sibling and family has its own share of life to grapple with, perhaps this reunion is the push they need to help each other pick up the pieces and focus on the everyday challenges that families face while raising children and starting over.
Episode #103 — May God Bless and Keep You Always
Camille and Sarah are at Amber’s. All three of them are on the phone busily making wedding plans when baby Zeek starts fussing, prompting Camille to say a few things: Amber needs a glider, badly, and how could she possibly think she’s staying in her apartment? She can’t raise a baby there! Amber shakes her head. With The Luncheonette shuttered, she doesn’t have much of a choice when it comes to moving.
Across town, Adam’s having a great phone interview with Mountain Spring Water when a charged-up Max races into the kitchen to insist his father get off the phone – now! When Adam tries to explain it’s a business call, Max insists the call he needs to make is for business, too. Hank has asked Max to take wedding photos for money – finally Max has a paying job! Hank is on the move, stopping by the house to ask Zeek for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and confess to his Asperger’s. Zeek explains that out of all his children, Sarah has taught him the most about unconditional love. Zeek’s only request is that Hank be there for Sarah, always. Hank promises he’ll never stop loving Sarah. Oh, and she wants to get married on Saturday. Hank moves on, visiting Drew at Berkeley to ask if he’ll consider being his best man. Thrilled, Drew doesn’t hesitate to say yes.
Crosby and Jasmine stop by Amber’s apartment bearing gifts and bad news: The Luncheonette is over. Gobsmacked, Amber tries to change Crosby’s mind, but he explains that Adam is done, so The Luncheonette is done, and hands over a severance check. Devastated, Amber thanks Crosby for doing all he could and cries in his arms. Afterwards, a downcast Crosby finds Adam at The Luncheonette packing up a few last things, and tells him about telling Amber. All business, Adam hands Crosby a stack of dissolution papers, the last bit of Luncheonette business. Crosby just has to sign. For the first time, Crosby decides he’s going to read before signing. He used to have a partner who read all the contracts but now he doesn’t. Later, Crosby stops by Chambers Academy to drop off the signed papers. He spends a few minutes unnoticed, watching Adam take great joy in teaching his cooking class. Has Adam found his element?
Joel and Julia are eating dinner with the kids when Julia’s phone rings. Victor’s social worker needs to see them first thing in the morning – about what, she won’t say. It seems something’s come up with Victor’s birth mother… Days ago, she gave birth to a baby girl, Victor’s half-sister, and she wants Joel and Julia to have the first option to adopt. Joel and Julia are blindsided: they don’t have the space, and now is not the time – they need to work on their marriage! Nevertheless, they decide to think about it over the weekend.
Zeek tells Sarah that Hank stopped by to ask for his blessing, which was greatly appreciated – Hank’s a good guy. Sarah tells her father that she never would have found Hank if she hadn’t moved back home. When Zeek asks if he’s been a good father, Sarah tears up and says, “The very best.”
Finally, the day of the wedding has arrived! Max is so busy taking photos that he refuses to hug Haddie, home from school for the big day. Ever working to improve their relationship, Haddie pulls Max aside for some one-on-one-time. After making sure he’s making eye contact, Haddie tells him she’s a better person for being his sister. Zeek sits down with Crosby, surprised to learn the brothers have decided to shutter The Luncheonette. When Crosby insists he can’t do it without Adam, Zeek refuses to believe it. He knows Crosby is more than capable of running the recording studio on his own… After hundreds of photos have been taken, Zeek walks Sarah down the aisle to get married to Hank in front of all the Braverman friends and family. There’s not a dry eye in the house, except for Max.
The reception is all about what the Bravermans love to do best – dance! Crosby pulls Jasmine aside to ask her opinion: should he make a go of The Luncheonette alone? Jasmine reminds him that she has his back no matter what. Crosby approaches Adam with his plan for keeping The Luncheonette open, renting out the offices to bring in extra cash. Adam loves the idea so much, he wishes he thought of it, and the brothers hug it out. Crosby asks Adam about the Mountain Spring job, hoping it will make him as happy as he seems when teaching the kids at Chambers. As best man, Drew takes the mike to toast the newly married couple, greatly impressing his mother. He’s so happy she found Hank; their love is all he could ever want for her. Camille and Zeek sit down next to Amber. They bought her a baby glider today – but where should they ship it? They keep picturing Amber playing with baby Zeek in their backyard. In fact, they want Amber to move in with them – it will be their perfect third act!
The big doings don’t stop there. Crosby drags Amber onto the dance floor to tell her the greatest news ever: The Luncheonette is back in business. Crosby is going to be the new Adam – will Amber be the new Crosby? Dancing close, Joel and Julia couldn’t be happier and more in love… they agree Victor’s sister is already theirs. The adoption is on. Max finds a new admirer in Ruby’s friend Lynn. When all his photo work is done, he amazes his parents by asking Lynn to dance – and actually talking to her!
Life for the Braverman clan moves on: Joel and Julia adopt Victor’s sister; Amber and baby Zeek move into her grandparents’ home; Adam wins his Mountain Spring job. After watching Adam teach his cooking class, Kristina calls him into her office to talk about his future… working at Chambers full time. When Adam claims they need the money the Mountain Spring job will bring, Kristina offers a proposition: a non-profit has approached her to build hundreds of schools like Chambers – so why doesn’t Adam take her job as principal? Kristina has such faith, Adam promises to consider it.
It’s just an ordinary afternoon. Looking through the photos Max took of Hank and Sarah’s wedding, Camille calls out to Zeek. When he doesn’t answer she suspects he’s sleeping, but when she gets closer she can see that Zeek has passed away. Instead of a traditional funeral, the entire family gathers on the baseball field to scatter Zeek’s ashes in the place he loved most — and then they play baseball.
Interspersed throughout the game we see scenes from the not-so-distant future: Camille goes to the south of France – the trip Zeek wanted to take her on for their anniversary. Amber and Crosby record Sam Beam and Rhiannon Giddens singing Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” at The Luncheonette. Aida and Jabbar are in the booth too – and Jasmine is clearly carrying baby number three. It’s Christmas when Julia and Joel present Sydney, Victor, Victor’s sister – and a brand new baby! – with a golden retriever puppy. Hank and Sarah host a blended family dinner with all the kids and grandkids. Amber’s got a new man, and things are fine with Ryan, who drops off three-year-old Zeek. After learning to like hugging, Max experiences the victory achievement of his high school graduation, presided over by Headmaster Adam Braverman.
As the series comes to a close, we see them all laughing and hugging as the game comes to an end. They walk off the field as a family. (Courtesy NBC.)
First aired: TBD
What do you think? Do you like the Parethood TV show? Do you think it should have ended or been renewed for a seventh season?
Image courtesy NBC.
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