Parenthood returns for its third season with 18 funny, surprising and always true-to-life episodes. Big changes and big decisions await the colorful Braverman family, from welcoming a new family member and celebrating a new business venture to dealing with family illness and preparing for the future. Starring a stellar ensemble cast and featuring guest stars including Jason Ritter (The Event), John Corbett (Sex and the City) and music sensation Cee Lo Green, Parenthood may be the toughest job you’ll ever love, but it’s a whole lot more fun with this family around...
In many respects, the third season of NBC's Parenthood
revolves around new starts. In the wake of his layoff, Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina (Monica Potter) have their third child, while he looks for work. Meanwhile, Crosby (Dax Shepard) and Jasmine (Joy Bryant) pursue new relationships, Amber (Mae Whitman) gets a job with a political candidate (Jonathan Tucker), and Julia (Erika Christensen) and Joel (Sam Jaeger) try to find a way to add to their family after the disappointments of the previous year. These developments present opportunities as Adam and Crosby open up a recording studio and Julia and Joel arrange an adoption with Zoe (Rosa Salazar, very good), a young woman without the financial means to provide for a child, but the unintended consequences include sibling rivalry and a series of inappropriate employer-employee situations. Adam and Kristina also decide to mainstream Max (Max Burkholder), who has Asperger's syndrome, by sending him to public school, which presents a whole new set of challenges. Unlike the other Bravermans, Sarah (Lauren Graham) revisits her past when she reunites with her ex-boyfriend, Mark (Jason Ritter, who took time off for The Event
). If Bonnie Bedelia, the matriarch of the clan, continues to get short shrift, her grandson, Drew (Miles Heizer), becomes a more fully realized character as he prepares for college and falls in love for the first time. Despite a few tough moments and a few tears--Craig T. Nelson's Zeek has a particularly touching moment with his estranged mother--the year ends on an optimistic note with a wedding and another new addition. If the musical selections tend to err on the sappy side, the writing and acting continue to elevate Parenthood
above most other domestic dramas. The extra feature offers deleted scenes and two commentary tracks with creator Jason Katims. --Kathleen C. Fennessy