If you have not seen the finale of Parenthood – or plan on watching the series – do not read on – SPOILERS ahead!
Parenthood was one of my favorite shows on television, so I definitely shed a tear (or a few hundred) watching the finale last week. The show was so well written and the character development left me feeling as though I knew all of the Bravermans. It is a loss to network television that they won’t be entering our living rooms on a weekly basis any longer.
The finale did a good job of flashing forward and showing us a little bit about where all of the characters end up, but I was particularly delighted to see where the writers took Adam Braverman. Adam is the oldest Braverman, and like most oldest children he was extremely responsible and always attempted to do the “right” thing. He was the sibling that all others went to for advice and guidance, and he felt pulled to be the pillar of support for all others. You watched as he struggled with doing what he thought was expected of him, while also trying to be his own person.
You watched in the final few episodes as Adam grappled with his decision to leave being in business with his brother, Crosby. His heart just wasn’t in it any longer, and it became clear that he wasn’t living his dream, but his brother’s. Yet again, he struggled with doing what he wanted versus what he thought he had to do for a family member. In the end, he decides to leave the business and is all ready to take a job at a water company – saying to his brother, “any job that pays decent is a good job.” In which his brother replies, “Whatever it is I hope it makes you as happy as I saw you when you were teaching those kids” after seeing him working in the kitchen at his son’s school, Chambers Academy.
His wife, Christina, is running Chambers Academy, and she, agreeing with Crosby, suggests that Adam take over her role as headmaster because she has been offered a position to start other schools like Chambers. Adam finds himself in the position of either following the job that doesn’t have his heart but has a good paycheck or taking a leap of faith and doing something that clearly makes him very happy. This is followed by the heart shattering death of his father, which you have to believe makes Adam stop and realize just how short life is – why spend it doing something just because it “pays decent.”
Adam’s story ends with him handing his son, Max, his diploma – indicating that he decided to follow his heart and live his Chapter Be. The story was not just a beautiful way to show progress for Adam, but also a reminder of how many men in our culture tend to forgo following a career that maybe doesn’t pay that well due to the pressures of needing to “provide.” Christina takes over as the breadwinner in the family, proving that where there is a will – there is a way. We sometimes become so engulfed in the way things are, that we aren’t able to see that they can be different. Adam was an amazing reminder that we can make changes throughout our lives and that it is worth following the path that allows us to live our authentic truth. Just one of the many reasons I’ll miss the Bravermans.
Image via NBC