Parenthood Paleyfest rePort

I’ve been very much looking forward to what happened last night, and it didn’t disappoint.

A little background info:
1. I love the show Parenthood.
2. Love is an understatement.
3. PaleyFest is where the stars/creator of the shows and the fans of the shows come together in the same room.

They handed us Kleenex when we walked in the door. A small package of Parenthood Kleenex featuring the Charles Dickens’ quote: “We need never be ashamed of our tears.” The fact that this show makes you cry on the regular is not lost on these peeps. And we would learn that crying happens in the writers’ room, in the edit bay, and on a stage in front of fans when two actors recollect on a scene from a couple seasons back.

YOU GUYS.

Ok so as part of the experience, you watch an episode of the show. In a theater. As a massive group. The big question is always: what episode are they going to show?? I didn’t want it to be the season finale. Turns out neither did Jason Katims. (By the way, I love his brain.) Instead, he chose “There’s Something I Need To Tell You.” No wonder they gave us the Kleenex. This was seriously one of the most terrific episodes of the season, and it was early on so definitely a treat to see it again in this way. I had tears on my cheeks in the first three minutes.

Here’s the promo for that episode to jar your memory:

PS I just got tears in my eyes watching the promo. I’m a nutters.

Two things…the father/daughter phone call between Adam and Hattie. I can’t. Adam is not my favorite character, but the breast cancer storyline enabled him to have a couple of really great moments. This was definitely the best one. And as far as Monica Potter…as soon as you see her speak in real life you’d understand why she deserves an Emmy so much for her performance this past season. I’m not even sure how it’s the same person. As Cate Blanchett once told me, “It’s called acting.” And Monica Potter has done an incredible job in this case.

Also…I know it doesn’t make sense that Hattie knows they’re at that Chuck E Cheese type place at the end. But you know what? I don’t care because I love that moment so much that I let it go.

Ok so the episode ends, and we’re all crying, and here come all the stars of the show! Except for the kids younger than Max…and Bonnie Bedelia…and Ray Romano.

First things first. There has been no official word on a season five, but apparently ratings were up in season four and everyone is very very hopeful.

They went through each of the story lines, did a poll of the audience as to who we thought Sarah should end up with (I picked Ray Romano’s character) and then we all shared a good laugh about Jason Ritter being cast in a new show where Lauren Graham’s former tv daughter Alexis Bleidel will play his love interest.

Dax Shepard suggested she contact Mia Farrow for advice. Everyone laughed. We laughed at most everything Dax said the whole night. He’s that relative.

We learned Dax isn’t looking forward to working with a newborn next season, which was a weird comment coming from someone who is about to be a dad in real life. Especially because I think he’s going to be an awesome one. Apparently Dax’s onscreen wife Joy Bryant and Craig T (as everyone called him) are the best Baby Norah whisperers.

We learned Miles (who plays Drew) wanted to keep his baby. He went as far as enlisting Lauren to go to Jason Katims and ask him to not go through with the abortion storyline. Re the abortion storyline, Katims said when it comes to different scenarios the writers take a look at how they think those characters/real people might react in those situations. He didn’t want to make it political. And it worked that Miles wasn’t in favor of it because he was able to react honestly and realistically.

Another tidbit: Jason Katims is open to using more Friday Night Lights peeps. Which means if Mae Whitman and the rest of the fanbase gets our way there will be a Riggins sighting more sooner than later.

One of my favorite moments of the night came when Peter Krause brought up a stellar scene from the show’s second season. (They had been asked if they ever took something learned or said on the show and used it in real life.) He brought up this exchange between Zeek and Amber, and he and Mae Whitman (who plays Amber) both teared up just in the retelling.

They told us it happens a lot. They’ve become a real family. They all wear matching chains/necklaces. They’re so close that in those tough scenes real emotions come out because they often feel raw emotion when they see someone they care about expressing emotion. In other words…the Bravermans are for real.

They love those dance parties and family gatherings as much as we do. Although they joked that those scenes are the toughest for the director.

When it came time for audience questions, we met people who were in the middle of a foster-to-adopt situation and a woman who not only battled breast cancer alongside Kristina, but has a son on the spectrum. I know that I’ve never related to a fictional tv character as much as I identified with Julia when the birth mom changed her mind. She nailed that experience so exactly.

We love the Bravermans because we see ourselves in them. We see the families we have or we want to have. So for us last night was a family reunion of sorts. Some people were probably drunk. Craig T was passing out gum. We laughed. We cried.

I’d say that’s one television show success story.

Bee tee dubs, afterward I attempted to make my way to the stage in the hopes of taking a pic with Jason Katims and telling him I planned to put it on my desk one day when we work together. It didn’t happen, but I’m keeping the rest of the dream alive.

In related news, there were lots of Katims fans there. (Duh.) One girl stood up and said something very similar to what I would have said and a little part of me wanted to tell her to stay off my corner. That’s when I realized I’ve been watching The Wire too much lately. But I still feel like we’re in some sort of an unspoken competition now to see who gets to work with him first.

Needless to say, a terrific night. I have the Nashville one tomorrow. I’m hoping some singing is involved.

Here’s the Parenthood PaleyFest chat in full, thanks to Hulu. Enjoy!

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