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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.