10 Reasons I Wish I Was A Braverman

Like a fine wine, NBC’s Parenthood has managed to do the seemingly impossible in the world of TV: get better with time. The Braverman family is the best, and the writing, the characters, the relationships—every part of the show has only gotten better. It runs the gamut of emotions and exhausts your feelings in the best possible way, 44 minutes at a time. It’s like therapy. Therapy I wish I was related to.

Parenthood is the tamer, realer version of Degrassi you’d feel comfortable watching with your family: it goes there. Anything you can imagine going through has happened to one or more of the Bravermans: divorce, illness, war, unplanned pregnancy, you name it. Because the show touches on big issues with class and grace, many hold it in a special place; I know I do.

If you don’t know the Braverman family, this link has way more info than even I knew about them. It’s not fully up-to-date, but it will give you a good idea of what we’re working with. Also, UP YOUR NETFLIX GAME! I’ll wait.

Now that you’re all caught up, here are 10 reasons I wish I was a Braverman.

1. Zeek and Camille would be the best grandparents.

Mr. and Mrs. patriarch and matriarch.

Mr. and Mrs. patriarch and matriarch.

Coach and Holly McClane? Hi, best grandparents ever. Past roles aside, Zeek and Camille are one of those couples that make me go “Aww, I want to be like that when I’m older.” And by “that,” I mean enjoying each others’ company, being considerate of each others’ feelings and reveling in the successes of their kids and grandkids. Camille is kind of being a b right now, but she’s going through a phase, and I’m confident their love will prevail.

2. The awesome aunts.

Everyone's favorite Aunt Kristina.

Everyone should have an Aunt Kristina.

Aunt Kristina is the fighter and protector of her family. If you’re even slightly related to her, she would definitely take a bullet for you, while asking how rehearsals for your school play are going. Aunt Sarah is the “cool” aunt who lets you stay up late and doesn’t mind if you curse in front of her. She probably gave you your first beer. Aunt Jasmine is the patient and kind and beautiful aunt who taught you the art of giving the side eye. And then there’s Aunt Julia, and… well, 3/4 ain’t bad. Julia sucks. But it’s realistic! Somebody has to be the lame one. But what Julia lacks in fun, she makes up for in the father of her children. Which leads me to…

3. The crazy-cool uncles.

It's okay to stare. You aren't Bravermans by blood.

It’s okay to stare. You aren’t Bravermans by blood.

Uncle Adam is the sensible one, and while he can be lame-guy-dad sometimes, it makes you love him more for it. Uncle Crosby is just dripping with pure awesomeness, and even though you don’t see him as often anymore because of baby Aida, he still gives you his undivided attention when you do. Actually, I take back what I said about Sarah—Crosby probably gave you your first beer. Uncle Joel is so good-looking, it makes you feel weird for thinking he’s cute, because you’re related (but not by blood, if you want to justify it à la Clueless). I don’t know if Seth counts as an uncle, but Jon Corbett ALWAYS counts in my book, so he’s worth mentioning. You’d have an ex-Uncle Seth, I guess. Amber knows where he lives if you’re interested.

4. They’re really good at making time for family.

Just two sisters, sharing a blanket and some gossip.

Just two sisters, sharing a blanket and some gossip.

There’s a minimum of four Bravermans from at least two families in one room at all times. They enjoy frequent family dinners, someone is always dropping by to visit a sibling and they’re constantly throwing someone a surprise party. With Zeek and Camille’s house at their disposal (for now), can you blame them? They have the best grandparent house in California, possibly the world.

5. Casual hangouts at the Luncheonette.

Which musicians will we rub elbows with today?

Which musicians will we rub elbows with today?

“Hey Uncles Adam and Crosby, I was thinking about you and wanted to surprise you with lunch! Oh, Sting is here? I will stay, thank you!” To cause a scene at the Luncheonette is to be a Braverman. Things always go down there—from jam seshes to family drama to drinking lunches—and I’d definitely have my cousin Amber tip me off to the best times to drop in.

6. The range of perspectives and life advice.

Grandpa Zeek to the rescue.

Grandpa Zeek to the rescue.

There’s always someone you can turn to in the Braverman family. Parenthood doesn’t hold back with its storylines, and if you ever needed advice, you’d be in good company. There’s always someone who can relate, or has gone through something similar.

7. ALL the cousins!

1/3 of the Braverman cousin clan.

1/3 of the Braverman cousin clan.

There’s never a dull moment when you have nine cousins constantly meeting under one roof. There hasn’t been a pregnancy storyline for almost a full season, and I think it’s about time for Sarah to get pregnant with the hott doctor’s baby.

8. The babysitting money.

In bed by 8, Braverman-Grahams.

In bed by 8, Braverman-Grahams.

I mean… the family bonding time, of course. But on the real, between Max, Nora, Jabbar, Aida, Sydney and Victor, you would never be starved for a gig again. The only downside (which is kind of an upside) is you would likely get stuck with all of them at once, often.

9. Yet another Friday Night Lights reunion.

A cute moment between Amber and Luke. I mean, Ryan.

A cute moment between Amber and Luke. I mean, Ryan.

At various times in Parenthood’s run, Vince (Michael B. Jordan), Luke (Matt Lauria), Jess (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Lyla (Minka Kelly) were all supporting characters in the Bravermans’ lives. But for some reason, the Bravermans called them Alex, Ryan, Heather and Gabby. (Never.)

10. The endless supply of love and support.

Any room for one more at that table?

Any room for one more at that table?

There’s a lot of love to go around in the Braverman family. They stick with you through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the laughs and the tears. They’re the best. Do you think they have any openings in the family? My best bet is to marry in via Drew.

Julia, if you’re reading this: get it together, girl.

Featured image via, Zeek and Camille via, Kristina via, Joel via, Julia and Sarah via, Luncheonette via, Zeek and Amber via, cousins via, Julia, Victor and Sydney via, Amber and Ryan via, family dinner via


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=56901360 Amy St.Clair

    I agree with every one of the ten reasons…and then some. This show is SO rich of heart, character, joy and pain. It’s life. #AShowIWouldWatchForever

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1644384577 Abby Graves

    Oh good, I thought I was the only one who had an obsession with Joel and that scruff

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000443387022 Jana Mohr

    So glad you mentioned that Camille is being a b right now… It’s driving me crazy! I do not ever want to be that selfish at that age! Also, Julia is going to come around, give her a chance! And I’m on the verge of killing Joel’s beautiful face! He needs to get it together! Ok… I am done!
    P.S. I love this show and act very much like it is real life

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=208102517 Devon Nicole Toovey

    Great list! I have always said I want to be a Braverman. Just wanted to point out that that is actually Amber on the couch with Sarah. Not being critical. I would want that pointed out if it were me!

    Next thing though (not trolling just giving my perspective) is I do see where Camille is coming from. On the surface they give off a great vibe but a lot of that is because Camille just gave way to Zeke throughout their relationship and she’s had enough. She stood by him and supported him in everything, even when he cheated, and suppressed her own passions and desires, a trap most women of their generation and some still today fall into. It was expected. I don’t blame her for wanting a bit of freedom and to stretch herself out a bit now that the kids are all grown. I’m not saying either of them are right or wrong in regards to the house vs. condo issue because it’s just a matter of them having different desires and visions for how they’d like to spend the rest of their days. I can see why Zeke doesn’t want to sell the house but I can see why Camille wants something smaller and less stressful in their older years. She deserves a voice as much as him, she’s only just now learning to use it and Zeke.

    Anyway, just putting my two cents in because I love this show and I really enjoyed your article as I too wish I was a Braverman!


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=208102517 Devon Nicole Toovey


      Zeek, not Zeke.

      My bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1466220073 Patrick Ressler

    I am a die-hard “Parenthood” fan, but it doesn’t go quite “all the way there.” Why do LGBTQIA characters cease to exist in Berkeley, CA or in the Braverman world? With 5 seasons and likely over 100 characters introduced on the show, it feels like a meaningful exclusion to touch on real, complex life subjects, but not have any hint of LGBTQIA representation. What’s the deal?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690960292 Lisa Marie Garver

      !! really good point! I feel bad that I didn’t notice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514792686 Stacy Lee

    youve got it wrong–Julia is my favorite Braverman! I want to marry Crosby- he has such a sexy voice…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1778097553 Emma Jean

    I love this article. You made my day. I literally cant express my love for Parenthood enough. It is like therapy like you said! I love them all….. especially Crosby and Julia! I think they are my faves. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=34901161 Jennifer Gladkowski

    You forgot Joel in #9. Although it was only for 1 episode, he was the Under Armor rep in season 4 of FNL that gave Coach Taylor a break on paying for East Dillon’s new uniforms. Also, your article expresses my feelings every time I watch Parenthood :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1577798617 Mikayla Kapp

    Thank you for writing this! You are completely right about everything!
    I think it’s about time Joel came around. He and Julia are the power couple and she is kind of an idiot but he isn’t a blood Braverman so if he’s out how much air time will he get? Selfish I know. But really (:
    I will always be a faithful viewer as long as they decide to run the show for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507976815 Brenda Forgacs

    Julia get it together???!!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS??

    Joel needs to get his shit together, he is deserting his wife and family that he has neglected, over a stupid tiny kiss. He hasn’t even tried to work things out. He is being SUCH a huge jackass right now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=688805183 Dorothy Boruta

      YES YES YES YES YES! I 100% agree!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1545439487 Janice Capps Jarrett

      I totally agree, Julia is not the problem Joel is!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=45008769 Ashlae Reneé Parr

    I love this show, I always end up wishing I was part of a family just like theirs. But I disagree with a couple character comments on the list. First, I don’t see how Camille is being a “B” in any way. As far as I can tell she worked hard for her family and made sure everybody had what they needed. I see it as a sign of strength that she is finally taking time for herself and putting her passions above of everything else for once. She deserves it. Actually, I think it’s the other way around. Zeek is the one who was being a d-bag (but he’s coming around now). He didn’t seem to appreciate all the love and comfort his wife brought to his life until he didn’t have it on a daily basis anymore. Camille was honest with him and told him what she wanted out of life. And instead of settling for her husband cutting corners (fire pit), she went ahead and took what she wanted. I applaud her for that. I assume people would think that she is a “B” for going away and not inviting her husband. But how is that any different from him bringing that old hunk of junk of a car into their yard without him consulting her first? When it comes right down to it, he was playing games and she called his bluff.

    Finally, while Julia is in no way perfect I would not say that she sucks. Joel is the one who sucks. For the past few episodes I’ve wanted to jump through the computer screen (yay for Hulu) and shake him. Although I do admit that Julia should have told Joel when he asked if something was going on. But at least she owned up to it and didn’t try to keep it from him, at least not for long. It drives me crazy how he won’t even attempt to talk to her or resolve the issue. I can understand him needing to blow off some steam and being angry about the situation. But every time Julia tries to come to him, she is begging to salvage their marriage and he won’t budge. I could understand if they were just dating and they hadn’t built a life together. It seems like he’s just throwing it all away over one mistake. Everyone is always talking about how the key to a great relationship is communication…well his c-skills suck. Like I said Julia is not faultless here but I think Joel is taking it to far.

    Okay, the semi-rant is over. Love the list otherwise. Can’t wait to see what happens next in this crazy lovable family.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1076737008 Shawn Clifton

    I have loved this show from the start. It has rich characters, great acting and writing. I learn things as these characters do life together. That’s rare that you can say that about a tv show. BRAVO!

    Over this seasons storyline the thing that stands out is unresolved or buried feelings and how they come back to bite you, even decades later. Julia and Joel are paying for unresolved feelings about their shift in roles due to circumstances outside of their control. Camille and Zeek are dealing with years of buried feelings about Camille not being able to live her dream and Zeek never acknowledging that or making it a priority. I am oversimplifying i know, but, I can’t wait for the emotional episodes when these characters get to the heart of it.
    I do appreciate the natural way the writers introduce and work through family issues. Most family don’t deal with every possible hot button issue and I like that the writers don’t make in about the hot topic of the day and then the issue goes away. Max for instance. They have done a masterful job at taking us on this journey with the family… It doesn’t really go away, but there are wins and heartache just like any hard issue in life. I like that they let us live with the uncomfortable, the awkward, the painful always bringing us back to the love of family.
    This is just one girls opinion…. Love reading everyone’s comments.. Thanks Elizabeth for the article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001421349778 Charlotte Breitbarth

    This show is the best TV series that has come along in a very long time. I love the story line, the characters, and especially the fact that it is so realistic. Can’t wait for the next new episode, just sad it won’t be until after the Olympics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1614040005 Jean Woodard

    I’m sorry but I disagree with what you say about Julia. She screwed up yes, but she went to her husband first and where was he when she needed him? I think Joel is being down right cruel for saying she is the sole reason for their troubles. Turn that finger inward Joel, family should come before work :o/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690960292 Lisa Marie Garver

    I am really glad you posted this because I love the show but sad because you seem to be blaming the women in both torn relationships right now. Millie is not “being a B” She has been doing whatever Zeke wanted and taking care of all of the kids for as long as the oldest child is. You can tell by the way Zeke could barely take care of himself. Zeke was so stubborn and set in his patriarchal authority that he would even consider her idea of getting a condo and having adventure. She wants to LIVE. Why should her life be stifled because he wants to her to stay home and give him attention and feed him?!?! What year is it again? Julia sucks? Well I guess I shouldn’t be shocked b-cuz you think that positively amazing Millie is being a B, but uhm what?!?! She is a high-powered successful lawyer, that was so concerned about her new son adjusting well that she gave up her job to help. She gave her niece a job even though she had no skills in it and was going through a depression stage. Even though Joel’s boss was CLEARLY hitting on him and is def being a B she backed down and supported him in taking the contract. She went to end the friendship with the ONE person that she could talk to and that seemed to appreciate her and make her smile because Joel didn’t like it. The guy kissed her and she didn’t stop it very soon. She didn’t tell because, well humans are stupid and they want to hide a lie in case it might go away. Especially if you don’t actually want to leave your husband. Give the women a break please.

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