Oh this show

This show. Oh this show.

Parenthood

Photo credit: nbc.com

There’s a lot of bad TV out there. So it’s surprising that there is (well, was) a show that so brutally beautifully shows what love looks like. In fact, with shows about rose ceremonies and people who are famous for no reason and who’s-the-father talk shows, TV is the last place you’d look for poignant, heart-wrenching examples of what love looks like.

But this show. Oh this show.

And I could talk about the incredible writing because I’m blown away by it. Or I could talk about the stunning cinematography and the sound track and how the most beautiful scenes don’t involve any talking, but music overtop of raw emotion. And the acting. Oh the acting. Because all of these things amount to the most incredible six seasons of television that I’m heartbroken are over.

But since the series finale on Thursday (the most satisfying finale I’ve ever seen), I can’t stop thinking about how Parenthood shows what love looks like.

Love looks like living room dance parties.

Love looks like baby showers and Thanksgiving dinners in hospital waiting rooms.

Love looks like an uncle teaching his nephew how to throw a baseball because his father is in rehab.

Love looks like being a pirate in the backyard with your son who has just been diagnosed with Aspergers, when you don’t really understand and would rather he play baseball, but you wear a bandana and an eye patch anyway.

Love looks like all three of your siblings individually deciding to come over the first night your kids are at their dad’s new apartment. And then having a living room dance party.

Love looks like a dad fighting tears as his daughter who is away at college demands that he tells her the truth about her mother’s cancer diagnosis.

Love looks like accepting any new member of the family. Whether it’s a newborn baby, an adopted 10 year-old son, or an estranged 4 year-old boy.

Love looks like a grandfather taking his granddaughter to the wreck yard to see the destroyed car she almost died in after drinking and driving, and telling her that he dreamed her before she was born and she’s not allowed to mess with his dreams.

Love looks like telling your wife to spend an extra week in Europe painting when you really just want her to come home and stop pursuing a passion without you.

Love looks like cheering on your niece/nephew/brother/sister/cousin at baseball games, school recitals and graduations.

Love looks like a mom explaining racism to a 6 year-old. A 6 year-old who has a white dad and a black mom who hears the N-word for the first time and wonders what it means. And having to explain to him that he might still be discriminated against, but we’ve come so far. And a dad who’s heart breaks because this is a hurt he can’t experience and can’t understand.

Love looks like accepting your daughter who brings home a girl, and it’s not a big deal because she’s your daughter and you love her.

Love looks like making sacrifices so your husband can pursue a dream job with his brother.

Love looks like being vulnerable with your wife, your siblings and your kids. Admitting mistakes, admitting to being overwhelmed, admitting to needing help.

Love looks like not giving up. Not when your son throws a bat through the patio door, not when it seems like your kid will never make eye contact, not when the doctors say there’s nothing else they can do.

And now this show, oh this show, is over. But it will live on on Netflix. Find it, watch it, and embrace the fact that the rumours are true. You will cry. And you will love it.

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