(SPOILER ALERT: The following post (obviously) contains spoilers about the Parenthood series finale.)
For some reason people thought that at the end of Breaking Bad Walter White got too much of a “happy” ending, even though he died, lost his family and couldn’t be sure they would ever get the money he left them. But if Walter White had a happy ending then the Braverman’s are like lottery winners. Series finales are generally supposed to leave happy moments for the audience, but Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Wire and others showed it doesn’t always have to be that way. Parenthood went a different way though.
Minus Zeek’s inevitable death, everything came of roses for every member of the Braverman clan. There has already been plenty of (digital) ink spilled over the finale, so there is no reason to completely rehash it all, but at least some people pointed out that things were a little too perfect.
Todd VanDerWeff of Vox on the financial woes that seemed to come and go:
By and large, that disappeared from season four onward. Brothers Adam (Peter Krause) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) launched a risky recording studio venture in season three, seeing it almost fall apart, only to spend most of seasons four and five doing just fine for themselves, even as the real world music industry was completely falling apart. (The final season suggested the studio was not long for this world, before the finale completely reversed this, somewhat inexplicably.) Sarah’s economic circumstances suddenly seemed much firmer, and while Julia left her job to care for her newly adopted son, she and Joel never seemed to worry about money.
Alan Sepinwall with some closing thoughts:
Do I buy that everything would come up roses for the remaining Bravermans? No. Is it what the show needed to give us as our last glimpse? Abso-damn-lutely. The whole finale is fantasy camp, but that’s just the way it had to be.
The show was indeed a fantasy camp; one that probably only succeeded because the cast was one of the best/most talented assembled this century. But so much talent left some stories unfinished or rushed and while the show was good week-to-week it’s hard to see it having the prolonged shelf life of something like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad. It was definitely solid and fun, but not a top tier show all-time. Uneven is a great word to describe this show, and some of it can probably be blamed on weak ratings, or a network that didn’t seem to appreciate the quality of program it had on it’s hands. Either way this show wasn’t everything it could have been.